Every step between Bishop and Red’s Meadow was absolutely perfect. Although there were many miles of steep climbing from one pass to the next, it was incredible and we would absolutely do this section again. This is what we’ve been hiking toward.
Our pace would not beat any speed record through this area but we made it in 8 days back over Kearsarge Pass and over to Red’s Meadow to get off the trail in Mammoth Lakes for another resupply. The first day back on the trail after 6 days off, as you would imagine, was pretty difficult. We were carrying 8 days worth of food and back out climbing up and down these epic mountains.
We have been extremely lucky and have not seen any snow except the small patch on the northern side of Forester Pass. Ithink this is one of the only years that a thru hiker for our family is possible. The little snow fall this year has left clear passes and very low water levels making the fording extremely easy. There has only been one time that we have removed our shoes to cross the water and had we walked down the stream a little bit further we may have found a spot to safely rock hop across.
On July fourth we lit some sparklers on top of Mather Pass at mile 817 just as the sun was setting. I later realized that three miles back marked 3000 miles for Dion and Buddy. It is hard to wrap my mind around that kind of accomplishment, Buddy was thrilled to hear that. I don’t think that at his age he really understands how far that is or how many miles he’s done but he absolutely remembers the amazing times he’s had and he is really thankful to have all those memories. Hiking along the JMT has been the best part of the trail so far. The views couldn’t be better, there is the most crystal clear water I’ve ever seen – it is just magical. Every day we climbed up and over at least one pass, but took is slow and enjoyed our time out there. Our most favorite pass was the John Muir Pass by far. Here are some pictures to just show you what it looks like, I couldn’t ever put together the right words to describe a place like this. Buddy loved the shelter at the top!
We stopped at the John Muir Ranch on day 5 to raid their hiker boxes, people really weren’t kidding when they said you can resupply here! A lot of JMT hikers send huge packages here only to realize they have sent way too much so they wonderful people of the JMT ranch put all the extra food, gear and supplies into 5 gallon paint buckets and let hikers have at it. We scored two days worth of Mountain House meals and tons of other awesome goodies! I thought for sure we had left Bishop with enough food for 8 days, it certainly felt like it, but I was wrong. Our hiker hunger is in complete overdrive up in the elevation and we are all eating more than I would have ever thought possible.
One day when we were hiking along we ran into a JMT hiker who looked kind of familiar. After an akward hello and a long stare at him it clicked! It was a man named Jim that we had met on the AT last year at the Long Trail Inn. What a small world! We are both from NY and both out here in CA, same date same time – too funny.
The last two days out we picked up our miles and booked it in to town. I love being on the trail but I also love taking a shower and eating ‘real’ food! I was so excited and relieved to make it to Red’s Meadow Resort. As soon as we arrived Buddy and I raced to the store to buy ice cream and see who could eat theirs first. We were able to get in touch with Sugar Momma, a trail angel in Mammoth Lakes we’ve been dying to meet, and are staying with her while in town. This is a really fantastic town, a bit touristy, but absolutely wonderful.
Our first day here we went out to dinner twice, spent the next day running errands, eating more burgers, going to the carnival and now updating our families and websites on our where abouts. We will hit the trail again tomorrow morning for a three day stretch to Tuolumne Meadows, we hope to arrive there Tuesday night and then catch a ride back here to resupply for the next section. Wednesday is my birthday so I hope to be back in Mammoth resupply for the next section, eating ice cream cake and enjoying this amazing life with the ones I love so much!