By this, I’m not refering to the trail (that would be up down up down up down… repeated so many times that we’ll have climbed Mt Everest 17 times in the end – from sea level!). I’m hinting at my mood.
I’m very happy to come into town and the first half day we spend there is great! We find accomodation and can take a looooong shower after which we feel way better and don’t look completely homeless anymore. This impression is aided by our reshly washed cloth and really nice dinner…
But then, I somehow start feeling not well, dizzy and exhausted. In addition, I worry about our next section where there are apparentely many dangerous river-crossings (especially with all the snowmelt we have now). We have to organize many things, though, so I’m walking around all day. When I finally run into problems in the postoffice – my new shoes, that should replace my old ones that are full of holes, somehow are not there though the tracking says they are – it’s the last straw. The postmaster unfortunately is not very helpful (my first negative experience in an American postoffice so far) and it all becomes to much. I return to our motel and there, have a little “breakdown”. The last days of hiking brought me to my limits, I lost a lot of weight and – at least it feels like this – all my energy and motivation. It all becomes to much and I don’t know anymore what to do. I don’t want to continue, yet I don’t want to stop, either. Later, I get fever – in short, I feel really aweful…
The next morning, I’m a little better. It helps me a lot to talk to Andy (who is very supportive) and my mum, who reminds me that nobody will do a trail like the pct without reaching their limits in one way or another… So in the evening, we’re all ready to start the next section. We decided to go to Yosemite Valley, which isn’t part of the pct but a little sidetrip. From there, we’ll do the section with the sketchy rivers. Like this, we don’t have to carry so much food and can take our time with the rivers – really searching for good crossing options instead of forcing our way through in dangerous parts.
My old shoes and my new ones I bought in Mammoth Lakes after not receiving the ones I ordered…
After camping at the trailhead, we start early the next day back over Mammoth pass to rejoin the pct. Almost at the top, there is a beautiful, not frozen lake. I mention to Andy that this is one of my favourite lakes so far. He replies “Ok, I’m going to do something “loquito”!”
A little confused, I follow him to the still snowy shore, to a point where we’re not sure if we’re still standing on land or already on the water. For a crazy second, I wonder if Andy wants to go for a swim with the little duck that is paddling around close to here. But no, he says he has a surprise for me. Aha, I think! It’s our third anniversary and now I guess he has something little for me to celebrate that. But I’m wrong again!
Instead, he takes my hand and goes to one knee, asking in a little shaky voice “Princesa, quieres casarte conmigo?” I’m so overwhelmed as emotions wash over me, I fall to both my knees, laughing and crying at the same time, hugging him and wispering “yes!”
We’re both incredibly happy and everything seems to be a bit more beautiful than usual, the colours a bit brighter and the sun shinier. The pct soon becomes snowfree and we float along it, taking in everything, enjoying the beauty of the moments. To make the day even better, we do a little bit of “sightseeing”: We take short sidetrails to visit Rainbow falls (there really is a rainbow!) and the Devil’s postpiles, an impressive rockformation. It feels great to do these little sidetrips just because we like t. After all, we’re on the pct to enjoy and not only to “do miles”.
The next day brings us into the snow again as we hike past thousend-island lake and cross over Island pass. Lucky as we are, we find dry campspots just below Donohue pass although there is snow everywhere. There is also a hole in the snowcover over one of the creeks flowing here. Very practical as lije this we don’t have to melt snow! The water is deep and so clear that Vincent and I both can’t resist: We have a bath! A very quick one, I stay around 5 seconds… Chrigi comments: “I don’t understand, you must be really desperate!” Or crazy…😉
Donohue pass is the last of the “high” passes of the Sierra (more than 11’000 feet). We cross it without problems the next morning on frozen snow and then descend into beautiful Lyell canyon. All the snow has melted there and it is green with a big river slowly flowing through. There are deer and marmots and the trail is easy. To us, it seems like paradise!
Along the “trail” over the pass..
Because we can advance very fast here, we reach Toloumne meadows and the highway there at exactely the right time. A southbound jmt-hiker confirmed the rumours we heard: The highway has finally opened, even if only for two hours a day! This saves us from a long and tiring hike to Yosemite Valley as we can hitch-hike… What a good end to this section of the trail!