PCT mile 788.9 – 789.9 (plus about seven non PCT miles from the Onion Valley Trailhead over Kearsarge Pass)

About 8 miles

  

Happy Solstice, everyone! I hope you all saw the rare full moon! It’s summertime!

Today was the day. We did most of our packing last night. We finally made ourselves get out of bed a little after 7:00. I was dragging my feet with everything, not wanting to say goodbye  

I was in a bad temper, pissed off that my blog wasn’t behaving the way I wanted. Really, I was just sad. I started crying, but stopped quickly. What would crying accomplish? 

We loaded the car, went to the bakery, then the coffee shop. We had talked about picking up some hikers to take to the trailhead if we saw anyone, but mercifully we didn’t. I wanted all the alone time I could get. 

I’m not sure what time we got to the trailhead. Around 9:30, maybe? We took some pictures. We hugged and kissed. I held on tight and wouldn’t let go. 

  
(My backpack wearing me.)
But I had to let go. Hunter had a five hour drive and a flight to catch. It seemed abrupt when he got in the car and drove away. That’s the way it had to be. As he drove away, I started hiking, looking over my shoulder a few times, crying then not crying. Alone again. 

The day was a slog. So much uphill. So many rocks. I was moving only about one mile per hour. Very slowly. 

  

I had hoped the ten days off would allow my knees to repair a bit, but they feel just as sore and weak as they did when I got off trail. I bought a knee brace yesterday and it seems to help some. I’m going to try alternating each day and see how that goes. 

I didn’t get as far as I’d hoped today, but I’ve set myself up to go over Glen Pass early in the morning. If I can make it 15 miles tomorrow, I’ll have set myself up for Pinchot Pass the next day. This is good. I want to go over the passes first thing so any snow I encounter is still frozen, not slushy. 

  

Other than feeling concerned about my knees and still a little sad about saying goodbye to Hunter, I feel pretty good. My pack is way too heavy, but I know it will lighten in a couple of days. I’m proud of myself for being out here doing this. Whatever happens, I’m proud that I made it this far. I’ve learned a lot already. I’m ready for whatever comes next.