The most beautiful ending  

Day 70,   32.5 miles

Squaw Valley, Alpine  Meadows, to Desolation Wilderness!!

I have a sore throat and it hurts to swallow, but I feel energetic and ready to hike.

This morning we passed the tops of Chair lifts.  Dramatic views down the steep slopes to Olympic Village.  I would like to come ski here one day.  It will have to wait till our Canadian dollar smartens  up.

We spotted a grouse at the side of the trail.  He was territorial and he fanned out his tail feathers, puffed up his neck to expose an orange, yellow patch.

I am very fortunate to be hiking the Pacific Crest Trail.  I appreciate that every day.  But the last few days I’ve been filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and peace.  I am living outdoors 24 hours a day.  I am surrounded by nature.  I am always touching the earth.  My feet while hiking,  my butt when I sit, my hands when I wash them in the streams,  and my whole weary body when I get to lie down.  This is an amazing, once in a lifetime, experience.  How lucky am I.  And who’s body is this anyway?  A knee injury that recovers, then a cold while I continue hiking.  Four missing toenails.  Shoes with holes and no tread.  I’m in awe that my body can keep going and I get to enjoy this wonderful journey.

It was late in the evening when we made the summit of Dicks Pass at 9,400 feet.  Over the pass was…wow,  Desolation Wilderness.  The view of the lakes at different elevations, well, you have to see for yourself.  My photos don’t capture it.  Now I know why Sweet was pushing for us to get here.

We camped at Gilmore Lake.  I fell asleep to the sound of the soothing wind.  This time it was calming.  I slept hard.

6 thoughts on “The most beautiful ending  

  1. Your stunning photos are a gift that keeps on giving as the scenes are engraved on the mind’s eye, and your words of gratefullness enrich the vicarious experience. Thank you! Tis a blessing to be following your journey.


  2. So many memories came rushing forward while reading this particular posting. Not only did my daughter (Swipe) and her husband (Tradja) hike the PCT a few years back, but they met while working at Alpine Meadows Ski Resort and then spent several years working next door at the Stanford Alumni B&B. AND my late husband spent many weeks over the years horse packing around Gilmore Lake. I totally agree with jayne (above). Keep on keepin’ on. I am so thoroughly enjoying reading about your adventure and that of Shepherd (your friend on the CDT, which Swipe and Tradja also hiked a couple of years before they did the PCT) as well. Can’t wait for you to come back south and hike over Sonora Pass, which is near where I spend at least half of each summer. Happy Trails.


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