PCT Thruhike: Section 20

In this section,  we hike from Independence in the High Sierras to Kennedy Meadows to begin the “desert” section. This episode features thre dramatic change in scenery and catching up with old friends!

Our videos feature quick and dirty views of each trail section as well as A+ and F moments and conclude with Lessons Learned. We hope you enjoy!

Click here for Section 20 Photos!

Mini-Blog:

Sunday, October 6:

  • Day: 111
  • Miles Hiked Today: 21.9
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1878.4
  • Update:  Today was tough though we felt rested after a zero day in Independence. We woke early to get packed up and hope for an early hitch back up to the trail head.  We got lucky when a hunter picked us up almost right away and got to begin hiking by 8:15. We had to climb the 2500 feet back over Kearsarge Pass to get back to the trail and THEN hike over Forester Pass, the highest point on the PCT at 13,200 feet! It was a tough day of climbing but we made it to our goal destination safe and sound without headlamps… and it’s not too cold! Cold…but not TOO cold.

Monday, October 7:

  • Day: 112
  • Miles Hiked Today: 23.9
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1902.3
  • Update: 1900 miles! Only 751 to go. Today was tougher than expected since we’d finished all the big passes…lol…I guess I figured it was all downhill.  The toughest part was the thick sand hiking, especially the last 5 miles. We’re hoping it doesn’t continue too much tomorrow. The views were definitely less spectacular as well…to be expected after just leaving the most amazing part of the PCT. However,  it’s still super pretty and we’re excited to finally get back to reasonable altitudes! We’re currently camped at about 11000 feet but will return to 5000-6000 foot range in the next couple of days. 

Tuesday, October 8:

  • Day: 113
  • Miles Hiked Today: 20
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1922.3
  • Update:  Today we treated ourselves to an easy short day with the goal of camping next to water in a bit of a dry area. The terrain was much like yesterday,  but we’re growing to have more appreciation for it. One kind of bummer story is that last night we hoped to catch up to our friends UPAC and Pisci at Cottonwood Pass, but we realized we hadn’t considered that they probably meant a trailhead 4 miles off trail. Trail communication without cell service is confusing.  They had family visiting and were doing some magic there. We didn’t want to risk walking 4 miles for a question mark and didn’t go. Tonight we caught up with Gretzky who went and said it was really fun! They waited for us but we never came :(. We hope we’ll see them down the road! In any case, we had a lovely afternoon setting up well before dark and sitting around a fire with Gretzky and Du Jour.

Wednesday, October 9:

  • Day: 114
  • Miles Hiked Today: 21.3
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1943.6
  • Update: Another easy day and we love it! We didn’t leave camp until 7:30am and got in by 4:30pm. We left 10500 feet for almost the last time (San Jacinto Mountain is 10800 but that’s miles away) and saw our first PCT cacti. The wind has picked up though! One of the notorious features of our final “desert” section of the trail… along with lack of water.  We camped tonight with long lost comrades Mansoda and Sundown.

Thursday, October 10:

  • Day: 115
  • Miles Hiked Today: 8.3
  • Miles Hiked So Far: 1950.9
  • Update: We finally made it to Kennedy Meadows! After an easy hike into town through the desert,  we opted to get our package from the general store and hitch down to Grumpys, where they offset free camping and we were able to hang out with a bunch of new and old friends.  We also paid $3 for the #1 worst shower on trail! Good times… excited to begin the final region of the PCT! 

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