tiffany's pct journal

California Section G: Crabtree Meadows (Mount Whitney) to Walker Pass - Part I.

Days: 101 - 103.
Dates: October 12 - 14.
Trail mileage: 1886.1 - 1953.5.
Distance: 67.4 miles.

It was absolutely freezing that night and morning. My water bottles didn't freeze in my tent overnight, as I had taken to sleeping with my water in the Sierra so I'd have water and not ice cubes in the mornings, but they somehow froze while I was packing up to head out. That was annoying, because it meant no water for a while.

I saw several SOBOs headed into Lone Pine soon after Whitney, and I was jealous. I love heading into town! One of the SOBOs I spoke to told me how he was going to hitch back up north to finish a couple sections he missed. That made me start thinking about whether or not I wanted to do the same thing with the 2 sections I missed.

It was time to say goodbye to the Sierra

I was able to camp with another hiker that night, and I was happy about that. It had been an incredibly quiet day because there were no more JMT hikers around us, and the last NOBO we saw was a long ways back. It was starting to get really cold, and having someone at camp always made it a little easier to get up in the morning. Conversations are distracting to the cold, I guess.

sunrise from camp
Still had beautiful weather

For some reason, I felt re-energized that morning after I started hiking. I'm not sure if it was just psychological because I was now officially done with the High Sierra, but I felt great. I was able to pick up the pace a lot more than any time in the Sierra, and breathing felt easier already.

My partner sent me a message that said something along the lines of, "Don't listen to me if you don't want to, but I just wanted to say that I would really support you if you wanted to head back up north to finish those sections you missed. I'm not trying to tell you what to do, but I'm just nervous you'll regret not doing it if you don't."

view from the trail
The trail was starting to look a lot like the desert

Was this, along with my conversation with the other SOBO earlier, a sign? Was this the world telling me I should just do it? I checked the weather forecast for the Northern Sierra and it was supposed to be beautiful as far forward as the forecast went. These all felt like messages from the universe.

The thing is, I knew my partner was right. I would regret not going back up north and completing those sections. I can be really hard on myself, and he knew that. And I knew that too.

When I was sitting in my tent that night, freezing my butt off, I decided I would hike as quickly as I could the next day to Kennedy Meadows and start hitching up north. I had camp set up in a meadow next to a river that night by myself, and it was very quiet. This time, it felt calming, and I was actually happy to be alone.

Quiet camp

I practically ran to Kennedy Meadows the next day, which actually wasn't that hard because it was a very flat 14-ish miles.

flat trail
Always grateful for flatness when I'm in a hurry

When I got there, I stopped by the general store for a couple snacks, then immediately started trying to hitch my way out. I wasn't sure how easy that would be, since Kennedy Meadows is in the middle of nowhere, but I sure wasn't changing my mind now!

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