As per my Brit Guide, this section is the toughest route of the entire PCT. Seriously? I thought the highest passes would be the hardest. So off I went, a bit skeptical but up for the challenge. I had a zero day and was definitely rested. My good friends Judi and Dee sent me off in fashion, turkey sandwich and good company. My personal trail angels Eva & Keith had done everything and anything a thru-hiker could ask for, washed my clothes, fed me, massaged my feet and provided me all the comforts that one cannot find in the wilderness.
Back on the trail, I was in Tuolumne Meadows! How much better does it get than that? Lush green grasses, deer grazing, bear forging on twinkies, and men fly fishing! As I meandered down the trail, I remembered traveling this trail a few years prior. All of a sudden, it came back to me. This is a super crazy steep section of trail! No switchbacks, just straight up and knee breaking downhills! But beautiful waterfalls and scenery that reminds me that I am in some kind of special place!
With good, comes better! I love this part of the PCT. It truly is God’s masterpiece! How much better can one place be? It has everything from meadows, grasslands, granite rock faces, abundant water cascades to unruly bears, prairie dogs and mosquitoes that have terrible manners! Okay so the critters are literally out of control! You are required to carry heavy canisters that keep critters large and small away from your food! And if you dare to question authority, well the price is $150 for non-compliance! I carried a bear canister and did not risk the fine! Most of us did as we were told.
As I covered the 76 miles in four days, I often asked myself, “what’s your hurry?” The difference between a backpacker and thru-hiker is the miles you pack in , day in and day out. I typically wake up at the crack of dawn, 5-530am, hit the trail no later than 630-7am and hike for 11-12 hours a day. Sometimes I don’t get into camp till 730-830pm, build my house, fetch water, dehydrate something yummy for dinner-not, make my bed which includes inflating my mattress, rolling out my sleeping bag, wiping myself down with towelettes because the water is either too cold or its too late to take a bath in the prestine River or frozen lake, eat my scrumptious dinner, journal, pack my lunch for tomorrow, determine what’s for breakfast and finally hit the sack at 9-930pm (hiker midnight). Then up the next morning to work, another 18-22 miles. Yep, the joys of hiking daily. Is it fun? Well, it’s more like a job but it has rewards that money can’t buy!
Yes, I truly love my life on the trail! God has opened my eyes to things that He can see. As I was sitting on the shore of Wilma Lake, rainbow trout were jumping out of the water like they were Dolphins on display like a Sea World follies ! If only I had a frying pan to catch them in, I would have cooked them up to order! Love fresh fish! But they were safe as I have no fishing license, let alone a line or lure to bring them in. But there were others, much smarter than I, who were eating some delicious lunch on the lake!
As I hiked this section, I met a beautiful woman named Dos. She had hiked the Appalachian Trail two times prior and was well on her way to add the Pacific Crest Trail. She had just finished the Florida Trail and I was amazed by this gal. She is my age but looks like a teenager! We spent four days sharing our love for the trail and God was once again, showing me I was right where He needed me to be!
On my final day of this section, I had managed to somehow keep pace with all the youngsters of the trail. Barista, Full Roll, Easy Over and others who started with me and we all ended at Sonira Pass within an hour of each other! As I was nearing Sonora Pass, Mom and Dad were waiting for me, on the trail! They had sandwiches, potato salad, chips and the all important beer! Oh life is good! The last couple of days, I have been spoiled by bubble baths, manicure and pedicure along with getting my hair deep conditioned and colored. Gotta look good on the trail.
As I return to the trail today, there has been a fire threatening a trail closure. I had considered jumping ahead but really did not want to miss this section from Sonora Pass to Echo Summit. With the help of my dear friends Janice and Bertha, they committed to drive me to the trailhead with my hiking buddy Mary. Please pray for the firefighters who are working tirelessly to protect the homes in Markleeville and this beautiful landscape!
So what have I learned this past week? God will be there if we take the opportunity to find Him. He has opened my eyes to nature, both big and small. To the waterfalls and the mountain springs, to the lakes and ponds, wading through the creeks and rivers and all the glorious trees, bushes and shrubs. My ears hear all the quiet chirps of birds to the loud cries of warning sounds from woodpeckers and quails. He has opened my nose to the distinct smells of the conifers to the recent cut down trees that had blocked the trail. And God has opened my heart to all that I meet on the trail! I had an encounter with a hiker who stated to me, ” if I had met you a few years ago, I would’ve never talked to you!” God knew I would meet this hiker at this time, at this place and where we would both be open to one another! Thank you Jesus for designing me, refining me and developing me into the woman who you desperately wanted me to become. And for being ever-so-patient!
Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up. James 4:10
4 thoughts on “Tuolumne Meadows to Sonora Pass”
As I have followed you on your amazing journey, your wonderful photos have reminded me of all the gifts we have been given. Happy Trails, Jay
So glad the photos can inspire something in you. The scenery is like nothing I have ever experienced! It is absolutely breathtaking!
I am thrilled to find your blog and to read about your motivation for hiking-” hiking 4 God”. It spoke deep to my heart as I have been feeling strongly compelled to hike the PCT, but have been questioning my reasons and how in the world it could make sense (I am nothing else if not sensible!). I too am a strong believer, but have been asking God is it just a selfish thing or what? I know my husband would not be interested in joining me, and the fact that you started alone is also encouraging. I still don’t see how it could work out, but I almost cried when reading your journey and imagining I could someday do the same. I know the time is soon as I will be 59 this fall! I will be following your progress and praying for you daily.
It was so nice to hear about your faith and how this journey could make sense to you. I truly believe if it is Gods will, you too will be on the trail. Keep the faith and God will bless you!