These posts are created by our sponsored PCT-hikers, and contain their stories and adventures, straight from the trail.
This is it.
My Grandpa used to say, “If you walk far enough, you’re bound to go somewhere.” As of now, Rick and I have reached the pinnacle of our trip: The Sierras.
After leaving Kennedy meadows, I attended an outdoor church service for fun. The service included six people and four dogs… With some catchy hymns stuck in my head, we cleared out of our trailer at Tom’s and hiked into the Sierras. Right off the bat the views trumped anything we had seen as we settled down for the night at the edge of the Kern River. I awoke early and peered out of my sleeping bag. I was shocked to see the landscape was covered with frost, Rick and I included. We looked like frozen popsicles and I was in no hurry to abandon the warmth of my sleeping bag to see if the rest of our things were alright and if Rick was alive. We entered Sequoia National Park and immediately the trees seemed to grow taller and grander. The trees were nice, but our attention was on the looming peaks in the background that we were about to climb. It is hard to keep a good pace in the Sierra because there is so much to look at. It seemed as if the animals took it as their queue to come hurtling out of the woods any time we stopped. Deer, marmots, western tanagers, you name it, we saw it (except for bears).
Rick and I wanted to summit Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48, at sunrise, so we climbed up the mountainside to Guitar Lake at 11,000 ft. in Whitney’s shadow. Crossing a creek we tripped over dozens of large trout that had reached the end of their journey up stream. Rick and I looked at each other and with a nod, grabbed a few and cooked our best dinner yet. In the morning we summited Whitney, with the moon and stars lighting our way to begin with, and later passing their job as guide off to the sun, right as we reached the top. A perfect morning with amazing views, clear and copious, Rick and I stood at the top of the world, 14,598 ft., and stared back at the 800 miles we had just hiked. Completely alone, having not seen a person in days, we sat in silence admiring our planet’s beauty.
Yesterday, we climbed 2000 ft. up and over Forester pass, 13,200 ft., the highest point on the PCT. We exited Sequoia National Park and entered Kings Canyon National Park. We clambered down 4000 ft. through snow, then climbed back up 2000 ft. over Kearsarge Pass, and then down 3000 ft. to a trail head that would take us to the town of Independence where we would resupply. We stayed at the Mt. Williamson Motel last night and the only other guests were a group of seven siblings celebrating their sister’s 60th birthday. They invited us to join them, cooked us dinner, declared us family, and spent the night telling stores of their childhood which they had spent entirely in the Sierras. It was a wonderful way to reflect on what we had just come from and would soon return to.
Want to see exactly where Rick & Dash are now? Follow their adventure via GPS!