Walking through a bright green meadow I watched as Mosquitos swarmed my body. Every square inch not covered by deet had a few blood suckers on it. I guess this is what we exchange for less snow as we continue north through Yosemite.
While waiting for the general store to open we saw some old friends and met a new one named Daybreaker. He just got back to the trail after a wedding in Delaware. Not wanting to face Yosemite by himself he decided to come along for our 76-mile stretch to Bridgeport, CA. It's nice to have some extra company and really get to know another thru-hiker taking on the PCT.
The terrain is getting faster and we grow more excited everyday we get closer to South Lake Tahoe. Although it's been tough, we both know that the hard stretches are the ones we'll remember. Just like the Appalachian Trail, I doubt I'll forget about all the hardships and beauty we came across while out in this truly wild place. There's something about being exposed to the element- throwing everything you have into every pass, every river ford and stretch that makes you feel alive. We are in the first of five days on this stretch and ready to take it all on. If we weren't ready, we wouldn't be out here. This life is one we choose to live and although it can be hard at times, it's one we would never leave.
As I sit drinking the wine that Ian packed out I think about tomorrow- two climbs, over 2,500 feet of elevation change and four river fords. Should make for an interesting day, and even more interesting stories. Sometimes I think about how each day brings about memories I'll never forget- and that's when I realize how truly lucky I am to be out here, taking on a goal as epic and pure as hiking 2,660 miles up America's west.