Day 39 – So Far So Good

June 16
Olancha Pass to Trail Pass
Mile 724.5 – Mile 745.3

Peeking peak

I was pleasantly surprised this morning that I didn’t freeze overnight and my ankle felt better. One thing about camping high is that almost always the walk in the morning descends and this morning was no different. In general, the PCT stands out as a very well graded trail. There’s nothing too steep either way though sometimes uneven footing becomes a literal pain. Not so this morning and I enjoyed a smooth walk through the woods.

Idyllic meadow crossing

Ever closer loom the snow draped Sierras. There have been isolated patches of snow above 10,000 feet but nothing of consequence. I’m not sure what the snow level is but it seems to be rising nicely for my hike so far.

Perfect trail
You see what you see

Happily around lunchtime at a place that called Owens Valley Viewpoint, a gap in the mountains revealed the floor of the eastern desert where Highway 395 runs north south. I say happily because for the first time in days I had cell service. My phone beeped and chirped as if I had just won a jackpot.

Lunch time cell service

Being out here alone doesn’t bother me but lack of connection to my love, family, and friends erodes my resolve. I have always professed to be a self assured independent but I’m learning that methinks I doth profess too much.

View from 10,500 feet to eastern desert

Tomorrow things will get more interesting with higher passes and entry into Sequoia National Park. I am mulling whether or not to tackle Mt Whitney. It adds a day to an already aggressive plan and I’m leaning towards keeping my powder (food, time, energy) dry for what I came to do- hike the PCT!

Water stop at Diaz Creek
Southern Sierra Wilderness

By the way, 50 points to my brother Dave for figuring out that the ridge line in this blog’s logo is the south to north track of the PCT laid on its side. I’m now ahead of where the little dude is plodding. Woot! Surely but slowly I’m walking my way home.

Rocks, trees, and mountains

4 Replies to “Day 39 – So Far So Good”

  1. Great post! And great to hear from you!! The trail looks absolutely beautiful, very serene. Karen, Jeff, Rita and I saw Cabaret on Thursday night. Seeing that show in NYC is one of my most favorite memories of us in New York. Magic, right? Well…, seems Cabaret is just that kind of show because who did we run into??? Kayla and Chuck!!!🤗
    It was so great to see them (they are so cute!) and I had a nice chat with them as I was able to uber them home. It was an AppleJack love fest as we chatted about how much we care, love and miss you.
    Take care bro. You are amazing us all!
    Care for a Kit Kat? 😎


  2. So awesome that you found cell coverage again, and great work getting up there in elevation! Since it didn’t freeze and you were so high, that is a good sign that snow is going to melt!
    I understand the temptation to hit Whitney, and you are right, it would take a lot of your powder away from the PCT, and super high elevation.
    I am guessing that once you hit the snow, your Rainier experience will help you tremendously.
    Go John!!! What beautiful pictures!


  3. I am enjoying your blog and journey so much. Thanks for sharing this adventure with those of us not on the trail. I hope to get out soon for a 350-mile section hike of the PCT in Oregon. Perhaps our paths will cross!


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