Day 58 – 6/9/15
Big Pete Meadow
Miles – 21.3
Total Miles – 875.0 ( PCT 832.6)
We woke to clear skies but it did not last long. The first clouds that moved in were high up. They quickly thickened and covered the whole sky. Throughout the day, the sun would taunt us by coming out for a short time and then get covered up again by the dark threatening clouds. Towards evening, we started to see blue patches which gave us hope that it will clear up over night like it has done for the last three nights, but I do not think it will. It has been sprinkling as I write this.
In the Sierras, the valleys are deep with steep mountains on either side therefore the sun is slow to hit our morning campsites. This makes for a cold morning walk. About 30 minutes out from camp, Mama Raven had a little problem. She was crossing a river when the 12″ diameter log she was walking on rolled, thereby depositing her into the river. She was soaked from her waist down. Her first thought was her camera which she keeps in a zip lock bag in a pocket on her belt. Luckily it did not get wet and worked fine. Next she pulled out our sleeping bag which was at the very bottom of her backpack. She found that only a small part got wet. She repacked it in a larger plastic bag, so it would not get any wetter from the soaked backpack. Mama Raven’s shorts, shoes, and socks were soaked by the freezing cold water that only felt colder by the chilled morning air. The best solution was to get hiking fast! The first bit of trail in sun was over a mile away. Nonetheless, Mama Raven eventually dried out and warmed up as the morning sun got stronger.
We headed up into Upper Basin below Mather Pass, ate a snack, and went for the top. We reached the pass by mid morning. We took a few pictures and started down. Since we made it to the top of the pass so early in the morning the snow on the north side was hard. This made our decent faster and easier than if it was soft snow that we sink into every time we step on it (post holing). While we took a short break at the Lower Palisade Lake, Will tried to catch fish with no luck. We next headed down the Golden Staircase. This is a steep twisting set of switchbacks that quickly brings you down to the valley floor. We then hiked to the far end of the valley, just before our next up. Here we took a break and washed socks. With several hours of daylight left we headed up to our camp in Big Pete Meadow. Tomorrow we will climb 6 miles to the top of Muir Pass. The weather is not looking very good. The clouds are dark and ominous looking. We hope they clear up through the night like they have done for the past few nights.