Thunderstorm

After resupplying in northern Kennedy Meadows I thumbed a ride back up to Sonora pass and started my way up the unnamed pass around 3:30pm. Clouds loomed overhead and an occasional sprinkle that eventually turned to snow flakes as I climbed in elevation rained from the heavens. Not enough to warrant rain gear but an unexpected down pour worried me. As I saddled the pass thunder could be heard east in the distance. I picked up my pace and powered through postholes eventually finding myself on a consistent trail by 6pm. I continued down the valley till 8pm managing 7 miles, a total of 15 for the day.

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The next morning I hit the trail around 5:40am and pushed hard all day long. It was a beautiful day. Blue skies, warm. I had 15 miles done by noon and was well on my way to 30. As I saddled the final pass for the day a dark cloud formed overhead. It quickly swallowed all the blue sky south of me and was headed in my direction. About a half mile down from the pass I heard the clapping of thunder booming through the sky. “Oh shit” I thought. The darker thunder clouds were still behind me so I rushed to stay ahead. For 4 miles I was successful but the flash of light and sounds of thunder were under 3 seconds apart. It was close.

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I crossed a few open meadows and asked mother nature not to strike me as rain began to trickle down. Around mile 1053 I started to look for a place to camp, unfortunately I could find nothing suitable.

As I headed down into mile 1055 I could hear voices and eventually across a clearing could see other hikers. I approached and introduced myself meeting Bones, Reboot, and Seattle. They were in the process of pitching tents to escape the rain, a smart move I I thought. I asked if I could join and they said yes… I wasted no time getting my tent up.

After my tent was up not another thunder bolt left the clouds that day. The rain stopped and by 8pm the sky was almost blue again… Go figure.

The following morning a got a late start. I didn’t start up the trail till around 6:30, 40 minutes behind Bones & Reboot. As I was leaving I said bye to Seattle who was still in her tent mending her feet. The miles ahead were easy and beautiful. By 10:30am I had 12 miles done and by noon I was at 17. The views looking back were ready rad. You could see all the white tipped mountains I spent the last 2 days crossing and they looked really rugged.

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I met a lot of southbound section hikers in the following miles who reported heavy snow around Dicks pass in desolation wilderness. Not what I wanted to hear, I’m so sick of snow. I eventually worked my way over Carson pass and made my way down to a park station running into Homeless Guy and Thirsty Boots who were relaxing in some chairs. I joined for about 20 minutes enjoying the fruits and cookies left for hikers. Homeless Guy and Thirsty Boots pressed on and about ten minutes later I did as well. After an hour I ran into Homeless Guy as he was humoring questions from some day hikers. We hiked for the next 3 hours together running into many other weekend backpackers and one of the coolest ladies and her dog ever.

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About 4 miles from highway 80 I called it quits for the day. 34 miles. Whew.

The next morning I slept in a bit then made my way down to the highway, a beautiful section for day hikers. I decided since I had hiked desolation wilderness many times before I would skip this small 60sh mile section by jumping to Truckee so I thumbed my way down to Sacramento and made an REI trip, got a good sleep, then it’s up to Truckee to continue on.

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