Day 86, 18.5 miles
Last night was my last night in the Sierras. This morning I have 3.5 miles to hike where I will be back at the very spot we had to leave. Around five weeks ago I had a terrifying descent during a snow storm on Glen Pass, shiver… it was the most frightening experience I’ve had so far.
Today I hiked back down the same exit for 15 miles, Paradise Valley Trail to Roads End. I was so excited about reaching 1500 miles. Yes! And hiking over two passes in the Sierras in one day! 30 miles in the Sierras! A woman asked me where I had been and I told her. She was so excited too! She wanted our picture taken together. Amanda who is going to hike the JMT, insisted she give me a bag of goodies. I didn’t realize I was so hungry, I ate them up as I hiked. Mini chocolates, nuts and bolts, fruit cookies. Yummy. Thank-you Amanda from Bakersfield for your interest and enthusiasm.
I was almost out of food. Coffee enough for 1/2 a cup, a few tablespoons of potato flakes, few table spoons of oats, 1/2 a dehydrated meal, and a pack of blueberry granola that I was going to eat for lunch.
I was getting hungry and as I came to an open wooded area I slowed down to seek a spot to sit. I heard a clawing on the tree beside me. Right there, at eye level, so close I could have plucked it off the tree for a cuddle, was the cutest, most adorable, tiny…OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD…BABY BEAR!… Sprinting I went, down the trail, poles flailing….where’s mama, where’s mama!? I swung around to look back up the trail, pole tips facing outward, eyes darting everywhere looking for movement. I must have looked bonkers. Then I sprinted farther down the trail. Oh my god, oh my god, where’s mama? Where’s mama?!
After about a mile, I calmed down. I sat and had lunch as my heart raced. More hikers came along and I warned them. They got their cameras out.
At Roads End, Cedar Grove, I got a ride from a very nice couple, Sam and Brin. They were great company and they drove me to Fresno.
On the trail today I passed a doe and her fawns, and a stock train (mules transporting stone steps to repair the trail). I fell in a stream first thing this morning and then again on the trail.