Day 60

Day 60 – mile 1006 to 1018 – Farewell High Sierra Camp to Sonora Pass:
The bugs behaved for the most part last night and I slept well, but the truce was broken at first light.  I didn’t even wait around to have breakfast.  Moving as fast as I could, I climbed above the tree line where the breeze would take care of those pesky devils.
Munching on Pop Tarts at a particularly sweaty break, I gazed in awe at the incalculably different landscape into which I had wandered.  Bye bye, granite.  Hello, reddish volcanicy stuff.  Definitely not in Yosemite anymore.
A brief climb on the longest switchbacks of all time plopped me on a magnificent ridgeline of this stuff.  With no trees to hinder the epicness, I was treated to long distance views in all directions.  Though there was some smoky haze floating about, there was no large plume indicating a raging forest fire within sight.  I believe that bodes well for my chances of hiking the next piece of trail.
The trail took me along this awesome ridge for many appreciated miles.  There were a couple sandy parts and patches of snow to contend with, but nothing to kill the buzz.  This was ridiculously cool and turned into an instant highlight of the entire trip.
Planning on meeting my folks at Sonora Pass where the trail intersects Hwy 108 at 1pm, I was surprised to see them at the top of the ridge at 11:30am.  Looks like they couldn’t wait to smell my mountain freshness and jumped the gun, climbing far above the pass to catch me on the trail.  Excellent work to climb so high after coming from sea level that morning!
We slipped and slid back down to the road to the car and cooler full of crunchy carrots and cool beverages.  Not wanting to wait too long to get my leisure on, we loaded into the car and headed west down the highway to Strawberry where we’ll spend the weekend.
It’s awesome to see some familiar faces after two months on the trail.  I wonder if they actually recognize me or if they just picked up the first bearded guy to give them a hug.  Respite from the bugs will be very welcome and I can let the fire situation develop a little more before making a hike or hitch decision.  In any case, a shower and some laundry will do me a whole lot of good before the next section.  Now, where’s that burrito?


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