Tuolumne Meadows – NOBO 942

This post is from August 26, 2019.

My GPS track from today’s hike can be found at:


I was hiking by 6:20 AM this morning. I had reached the top of the Donahue pass by about 8:30 AM. The rest of the morning was spent descending rapidly towards my destination of Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park and my planned on-trail meeting with Bill Johnson.

These photos are taken at the top of Donahue pass, at the entry point into Yosemite Wilderness:




This photo is taken at our ‘Dr. Livingstone, I presume’ moment, when Bill met me on the trail a few miles before Tuolumne Meadows:


This shot is of some very tired legs and feet and one very appreciated beer:


Yosemite in the books. Check. Signing off –



Rush Creek – NOBO 927

This post is from August 25, 2019.

My GPS track from today’s hike can be found at:


I was hiking by 6:30am. I have not slept as well the past 2 nights as I have usually. I don’t know why other than that I am perhaps less tired due to doing lower mileage or that my lower back has started to hurt me.  It is nearly 3 weeks now on the Thermarest air mattress – maybe my 65-year old back is finally yelling ‘Uncle’!

I have said that the PCT is also an equestrian trail. I have not really seen many riders on most of the 1,450 miles I have done thus far. Today, though, this group caught up to me. In this photo I am looking down on them on switchbacks gaining on me:


Awesome views:

A couple of shots of Thousand Island Lake:


(…and I thought it would be filled with salad dressing…?)

My tentsite for tonight:

My elevation profile for today:


Tomorrow, God willing, I reach Yosemite and the end of this long, brutal and glorious section!

Middle Fk. San Joaquin River – NOBO 911

This post is from August 24, 2019.

My GPS track from today’s hike can be found at:




I was hiking by 6:30am for the 15 miles mostly descending to Red’s Meadow Pack Station. It went quickly and I arrived there at 1pm. The last couple of miles were through what was left of a mature forest ravaged by forest fire:

At Red’s I retieved my resupply box:

Then the best cheeseburger and chocolate malt ever!!


I spent about 2 hours there because I did not want to get in more than 20 miles today to stay close to my schedule.

I then passed through the Devil’s Postpile National monument:

This is my tentsite tonight:

This is my elevation profile for today:


Lake Virginia – NOBO 891

This post is from August 23, 2019.

My GPS track from today’s hike can be found at:


There was a lot of commotion this morning at Vermillion Valley Resort  (VVR) as most hikers scrambled to eat breakfast and be ready for the 9am boat departure. I sat with a family from Ontario that had driven their rental car over many miles of dirt roads to reach the resort and planned a number of day hikes in the area. We had a nice one-hour long chat as we waited forever for breakfast.

When the boat reached the other end of Edison Lake there was the expected cell service. I took advantage of this brief window to upload abbreviated blog posts and to call Helen and Bill Johnson. Then it was off to the races with a big climb up to 11,000′ Silver Pass:


Then the trail drops rapidly down to 9200’ just to immediately, steeply and frustratingly climb back to 10,500’ where am now camped. My lungs were heaving with the effort of those climbs.

This is a typical scene during today’s hike:

This is my camp tonight:

This is my elevation profile for today:

Vermillion Valley Resort – NOBO 878

This post is from August 22, 2019.

My GPS track from today’s hike can be found at:


In order to make the 9:45 Vermillion Valley Resort (VVR) ferry 5 PCT miles north plus 1.5 miles (out of the way) side trail to the ferry dock. I got up at 5am and started hiking at 6am with my headlamp. I only needed the headlamp  for about 10 minutes.

The hiking progressed well and I reached the dock at 9:15.

I had read about this whole VVR phenomenon in Ray’s book and others and it feels somewhat magical to have actually arrived here:


Here are some shots of VVR itself:



This is my elevation profile for today:


Nameless tentsite – NOBO 873

This post is from August 21, 2019.

My GPS track from today’s hike can be found at:


I was hiking by 6:50am. I was relieved that my ankle was not bothering me after the way it felt last night.

I reached Muir Trail Camp at 9:15am for my resupply bucket diligently sent by Helen via horseback. Here are some scenes of that happy event (I was OUT of food):



Upon departing Muir Trail Camp, there was then a brutal 3100’ ascent of 10,900’ Selden Pass.


This a shot of my pack prepared for the ford of Bear Creek on the descent:

This is my campsite tonight:

This is my elevation profile for today:

So. Fork San Joaquin River – NOBO 854

This post is from August 20, 2019.

My GPS track from today’s hike can be found at:


I made it over Muir Pass 12,000’ at 10am after starting at 7:15. There was a fair amount of snow such that I lost the trail many times on the ascent. At one point I reached a dead end and could see no trace of the trail anywhere and just huge patches of snow and mountains. I felt very alone and I said out loud to myself “I am scared”. I studied the terrain more carefully and I found a way forward. Lots of river crossings and snow traverses. Here are some shots of this ascent:


This is the famous Muir Hut at the top and views from it:

The descent went well and eventually, I reached infamous Evolution Creek. In late August, it was just fast-moving shin-deep ford for me, so I was fortunate:

I am just 4 miles from my resupply bucket at Muir Trail Camp. As I am 10 miles behind schedule, this night was not in my food budget but I started stretching my supply 2 days ago in anticipation of this so I do have something to eat tonight. I will be at the camp around 9 am and get my much-needed resupply.

My ankle and lungs held up ok today. I expect my lungs will feel better now that I am over the highest altitudes of the PCT.

This is my campsite tonight:

After so many days without washing, I found my own smells disgusting. I have been trying to wash bits and pieces of the worst of my clothing and dry it on the back of my pack while hiking. You are not supposed to use soap along this part of the trail, which complicates washing. Tonight after eating I stripped down to my speedos and did the best I could at a soapless turbo wash in the icy river. I feel less disgusting now lying in my tent as I write this post.

This is my elevation profile for today: