September 18th, 2018
Sonora pass mm 1017 to mm 992
Distance: 25 miles
0930 – 1830
I was packed early as usual then decided to wait around to see if the guy was serious about free bacon and eggs. I could at least play on the internet while I waited and the sun was hitting the pass, warming things up. There was a breeze overnight and it got very cold. Poor Dorothy had to move his camp behind a log in the middle of the night.
Taylor and I stayed, while Dorothy wisely got moving at 7 am. When 9 am rolled around and the guy still hadn’t appeared, we decided to call it a loss. I talked to a day hiker, explaining while we were waiting, and got some pitty points. He kindly gave me a protein bar, which I ate on the spot. The cold has really made me ravenous and I am burning through my food faster than I thought. We could have tried to hitch down to a resort called Kennedy Meadows North, but it is not an easy hitch.
We resigned to hiking and began a big climb up a ridge. It had warmed up considerably but the wind at the top was strong and very chilling. We were glad that we had stopped early at the pass the night before, as the ridge went on for about 10 miles and was completely exposed. That would have been a cold night, camping up there!
Like on the Colorado Trail, it’s getting really critical to plan out the days to ensure that I don’t end up in a high, exposed spot for the night. But at least I don’t have to worry about thunderstorms. Snowstorms…maybe soon. Let’s hope the weather window holds a bit longer.
We dropped down from the ridge and came to a sunny creek for lunch. We had passed 2 section hikers, who later caught up just as we were breaking from lunch. Otherwise, the trail was quite deserted. We began a very easy stroll through forest and a gradual ascent up to the Yosemite national park boundary. Taylor’s trail name is officially News Feed, so I asked for an update on all the summer events and got an earful. It made the day pass by quickly. He is the only person I have hiked with where both don’t seem to mind each other talking all day. It helps that he always has something interesting to say.
We passed under the 1000 mile mark (not far to go now!) and came over a saddle at the end of the day. We dropped down into the park at Dorothy lake…no, we did not find Dorothy camping there. We did meet a guy camping in a hammock… brrr is all I can say to that. We pushed on, as we were still trying to do at least 25 miles, despite the late start. The trail followed a stream all the way down a valley. The sun dropped behind the valley walls and it got chilly! I had to stop and put on layers.
With the stream and valley trapping the moist air, we knew we were in for a freezing night. We passed through several meadows, and you could already feel how much colder it was in these areas. We were seeking some pines, not too close to the stream. We found a good spot and hunkered down. It is such a good feeling to finally be snuggled in my quilt at the end of a long day.