Day 63- Nero out of the Valley
We got our food from the post office, and met up with the guys, to get their plans. We made plans to meet them on trail and headed back to our campsite to pack up. We finally got moving and tried to hitch around 3. Getting a ride about 20 minutes later. We got dropped off right at the trailhead, and started moving on our 6mile hike as it was already 530 before we actually got hiking. We got to the campsite and couldn't find the guys, so we adventured to find them, and couldn't. So we headed to the pre-decided tentsite, and found the guys. They were behind us and slipped in after we left it. We had dinner, met ZuZu(hummers friend), and went to sleep. Daily milage-6m
Day 64-25 miles. Glen Aulin to Benson Lake
We slowly got out of our tents and packed up. ACB and I were ready and standing around so we got moving first. About 5 miles in we came into a nice open meadow so we stopped to eat and wait for the 2 guys and Zu. We eventually started moving and quickly started to gain some altitude. We went up and over a ridge, running into some snow, we descended down to a really nice valley meadow, but I decided to push on up the hill a ways, as we had a pass to do. The other four didn't, and lunged in the meadow, with suavé catching some fish with his bug net. I ate alone though and waited for them. We pushed on together up and over the pass with Zu blazing a fast path up to the pass. Over the pass was surprisingly snow free, I figured a good sign for our milage goal for the day, though as I would learn, I shouldn't get expectant. We descended a bit, and quickly went back up and into a new valley. This new valley was hella full of snow, and the trail had us staying high and to the left, in all the snow. I had gotten far ahead on my own, so I checked my topo map, and decided it would be better to blaze a trail down to the bottom of the valley. I ended up scrambling and downclimbing some class 4 climbs, and climbed through a waterfall, glisaded beside a river, and waded downs river for a ways. But I found the trail eventually. I sat and waited in a nice vista for about 20 minutes before pushing onto our lake alone. I followed the side trail to the lake, which as Zu said was the "Riviera of the Sierra". Well the trail went straight into the lake, as it was so full of spring run off it was about 15ft higher. I waded through the lake to the bit of beach I could find. Surrounded by lake on 3 sides and aswamp to my back, I found some dry tent spots, and a fire ring. So I decided to get to camp chores. I layed out all my shit to try and dry in the last 30 minutes of Sun, went for a quick swim, and started a fire and collected wood. I also decided to tie my orange handkerchief to my ice axe and leave it as a marker on the beach visible from the trail. Fortunately I did this as they saw it, and Howl'd once they got there. They came across happy to see me and a fire. We rocked some dinner, set up tents, Bill did billga(patent pending), and talked and joked. Made plans for the next day and went to sleep. Daily milage-25m
Day 65-25 miles- Benson Lake to Dorothy Lake
We woke up and slowly started to make food. We realized we were camped in a flood area, luckily it flooded only to within a couple feet of our tents, with a of us staying dry. We packed up, a d started to hike. The ford 100ft into the day was a terrible premonition. We moved on, quickly hiking up over the first pass. Th descent after was super manageable, and we pushed on, having second breakfast on the far side of a river that Zu waited until I was waist deep in the river to say there was a good log crossing. So wet and hungry, I ate in the sun. We moved on after about 30 minutes, having no more passes to do, but larger climbs than the pass we had just done. The first climb went easy enough, the descent and was a mix of snow, and significant water from the snow melt. With parts of the trail having mid shin deep water. We pushed up and over the second climb, stopping for "lunch" at a lake just over the other side. It was 3pm, we ate and swam, and didn't get going until 4. Suavé wanted to get to Dorothy Lake, which was at this point 12miles away. Which in good conditions would take 3-4 hours. The hiking was ok from here for a while. With a couple of pretty deep River crossings, ACB getting as deep as her "hunder boobs" on one. We all made it through, fortunately since leaving Mammoth it had been getting warmer. So even though the water is cold, the air is warm enough to tolerate it. After the last big River crossing the trail was nice for a little bit, and we made some fast miles, getting a couple miles down in under and hour. Then we made a wrong turn and ended up in the fucking Florida Everglades. The trail was largely flooded, and the only reason we didn't just go straight through most sections was to minimize the mud that would fill our shoes. So a new challenge had appeared, and we still had like 4 miles to go. So we just pushed on,as normal I ended up walking off the front, ad apparently long ass legs help you walk fast. Eventually we got into a bunch of snow, and I did my best to Follow the tracks of what appeared to be Hiedi, Nuts, and 2 Meals. Mostly it was good, but I definitely got into some really post holley spots. I started to worry if we would be able to camp at the lake we planned as it was at elevation. So I turned on the Jets and went fast to try and avoid the rest of the crew hiking backwards if they didn't have to. I created the last climb to the lake, and my heart sank, the lake was frozen and snow was everywhere. But off on the distance, I had a glimmer of hope, a little peninsula that didn't have snow. So I crushed the mile to it, and found it crazy dry, with some flattish tent sites, and a tonne of dry wood for a fire. So I started up a fire, as ACB and Suavé came in. Then Zu, and finally Hummer rolled up, he was not feeling so hot. Fortunately Suavé and I had a rocking fire going, so he plopped down infront of it, and we all ate. Making some plans to be a little more conservative with the miles the next day. Daily milage-25m
Day 66- Dorothy Lake to Sonora Pass
We woke up around 5, but I was the first one to leave the tent around 520. It had definitely frozen overnight, so naturally I started a fire. We all ate breakfast, and started moving slowly. We all got going by around 7, and quickly got up and over Dorothy Pass. We didn't stop for pictures as this was an unassuming pass, just moved on to minimize any snow issues. We crossed a pretty deep river, then for some reason a mile later crossed it again. We started to get onto dry trails and were making good time. We stopped by a small river, not anything special, just because it was 10 and Zu and I were hungry. We ate second breakfast, and talked about milage for the coming days. We eventually moved on and for the first time in a while were all together. So naturally we played one of Zu's games. We eventually climbed back up and started to get into a bit of snow. After some map reading, we realized that the trail hit some serious snow, but if we turned 90° to the right and went straight up the 50° slope, we could avoid it. So naturally we did that. Topping out on the ridge we found dry rocks, and ate lunch. Beyond this we only had a few hours of a long ass ridge walk to do. I was getting antsy to get it done, so ACB and I headed out. The ridge was actually amazing, the views mostly I mean. ACB only yelled at me twice to appreciate the view and to stop taking pictures of it. We started to encounter periodic snow, and eventually dropped down onto the east side. We encountered a big snowfield here, and another one in the next valley. After climbing up out of this valley, we got back onto the ridge and made some quick miles. Before long we could see Sonora Pass, and had only to descend a sketchy, snowy, steep section. We did it as safe as we could with lots of glisading. Eventually we popped out on the highway, and found our way to the rest stop. Where we found MC Camel, who had been visiting family. He had some magic for us, so we moved up to the picnic tables and drank beer and ate Doritos. Eventually we got tents set up, a fire going and had dinner. We made plans for a 6ish start, and went to bed.
Day 67- Sonora Pass to river tentsite
We woke up around 530 ish, Suavé got a fire going, and we ate some breakfast, and as normal we started late. By around 7 ish we rolled out of camp. We made some quick work of the hill, and got to the top of the first climb about an hour in. We snacked, and quickly moved onto the ridgewalk. Shortly after we crossed into the next valley we hit snow, lots of it. It was all iced up, so we made good time, putting on microspikes once it got steep. Eventually we got to the bottom of the valley, and promptly started to posthole. This continued for about 45 minutes before we found some dry spots and stopped for second breakfast. After about an hour we pushed on. We hiked for a little while longer, before I started to get really hungry. So ACB and I stopped for food. Everyone else pushed on. The two of us ate, packed up and started hiking again. We caught up to the rest of the guys in about 30 minutes, and waited for them to pack up. We hiked with them for a bit, but eventually ACB and I got well ahead of them. We started to get into some significant snow, and mud, a d swamps. The snow melt was making this challenging in a new way. ACB led us through a deep mid section on a "shortcut" and we eventually got into a small valley with a tonne of snow. I looked at the map and decided to try a short cut I hoped would get us out of the snow. We made a hard left turn, and got up onto a ridge, we were able to drop down the other side of the ridge and while it was steep, it was free of snow. We made our way back to the trail about a half mile down the hill, and followed it for a bit, before getting to the river we were going to camp at. In the melt the river had flooded and washed away the tent site. So we kind of made some spots and slept on an ok spot. We made plans for the next day and headed to sleep.
Day 68- Tent site to Lilly Pad Lake
We woke up around 530, and slowly got moving. I quickly was off on my own as everyone stopped to get water, I was already full from the night before. I was looking forward to today because we had been told by some south bounders that last the next road crossing there was almost no snow at all. So we cruised down to this road and chose to eat breakfast there. We took way too long there and eventually got moving. I felt great at this point, so for some reason I started to run. So I fairly quickly got far ahead. At lunch time ish I found an ok spot to stop. So I ate and waited for everyone. As we were told there was almost no snow, so we were all moving fast. We packed up and moved on. We had some climbing to do, and got onto this fairly steep section, where there was a kind of scary snow pass due to the steepness. I was a little gun shy because I had already had 2 good falls in snow, and this place would have been actually dangerous to fall in. So I slowly made my way across, and then kept moving. After the descent off this hill we got into a section with a lot of lakes, and now the first time we were dealing with a lot of bugs. Now that we were getting into less snowy areas we are going to have to deal with it. I got to the planned lake and found Salty there and two section hikers. I claimed my tent spot and unpacked. Eventually everyone showed up, and we went for a quick swim and rinse. It was quick mostly because Hummer found a leech on his foot so we decided we were clean enough. We had dinner around the fire, and spent about 2 hours playing camp games before deciding it was late and heading to bed.
Day 69- Lilly Pad Lake to **** lake
We woke up around 6, and I got a fire going and ate some food. Slowly everyone else got going. We packed up and were rolling by around 715. We had 2 decent climbs, but before this, Hiedi got a text from 2 Meals that there was trail magic at the road pass ahead. So we all blazed on. ACB, Suavé and I were together when we found Salty, and stopped him from eating lunch early because of the magic. We all did the last big climb together, and during it we got spread out. The descent was really nice once we got below the snow and started to run into day hikers. We got to he road pass, and found a visitor center there that handed out cold pop and lots of snacks and candy. So we used their picnic tables to eat lunch and have some cold soda. It was really enjoyable. We talked to salty and found out there was a nice lake not too far away. So after about 2 hours here, Zu got a hitch to town due to her IT Band issues, and we headed out. After a bit of snow, we got into some really gorgeous meadows. Eventually getting to the lake. It was a bit chilly so we decided not to try and swim, but we had a great fire because of salty. Had a great dinner, and made plans for the next day once we got to Tahoe.
Day 70- We woke up and slowly got moving. Packed up, ate food and had a fire. We finally got hiking by about 7. We only had 8 miles to do so no rush. We hit a lot of snow on some steep descents. So we were definitely slowed by this. Eventually we got into a nice valley, and started moving quickly, partly because there were tonnes of mosquitos, partly because of dry trail. Suavé, ACB, Camel, and I were all together, and after about 3 hours we got to the trail head. We made our way to the highway and started trying to hitch. After about 20 minutes a trail angel named Jay happened to drive by, he only had room for 2, but he shuttled us into town. We had breakfast with him, and he gave us a ride to a grocery store. Once in town we got groceries, mailed food to Sierra City, had free pizza at a fancy pizza place, bought some new gear(well Camel did to replace his lost gear), and ultimately got annoyed at the hitching situation, so we Uber'd it to bills friend's cabin, where we found Zu. She had already cooked us dinner. So we had sweet potato tacos, and whiskey. We eventually got to bed, and had an amazing sleep. Daily milage-8m
Day 71- Tahoe City
We woke up to Suavé cooking us dinner. I made coffee, and we ate and hung out. Eventually we made our way to the grocery store, and a hear shop. I got new shorts as my Lululemon shorts were starting to come apart. We got back to the cabin, with much beer and tequila, and got into the jacuzzi, drank lots and hung out. Camel made us bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast for lunch. And pizza for dinner. We made our way to be around 10 after a late night limbo sesh. Daily milage-0m
Day 72-Tahoe City to trailhead
I cooked pancakes for everyone. We dealt with our food, used the wifi, charged everything up, watched Netflix, drank beer, ate leftovers, and suddenly it was 4pm. We got a ride from Hummers friend, and her family to the trailhead. Once there we made plans for how far to hike. We settled on hiking until we felt like camping. It was 1730, and we finally were on trail. After 0.5miles, the decision was made that we had gone far enough. We set up camp, and ate dinner.