Lupine and I remain in Mammoth Lakes for two days. We initially planned to stay for just one day, but when it came time to checkout the following day, we couldn’t bring ourselves to leave. Still tired, we chose to spoil our bodies with a second day of rest. And our bodies are thankful after the 10 days of trail we’ve subjected them to, And the countless more we will.
We get a ride to the trailhead from two friends from Seattle. They happen to be in the area climbing, and offer to give us a ride then they hike with us for the three miles over mammoth pass to rejoin the PCT. From there we all snag a selfie and wave goodbye. We may see them in a couple days as they’re going to Tuolomne to climb, and that’s our next stop as well in a couple days.
The trail is warm today. It feels like summer. It’s hard to believe we’ve been hiking since March and we are now entering summer.
We pass through an area of broken trees. It looks like a clearcut, but the trees still remain strewn on the ground. Trees are snapped 20 ft up. I can’t imagine the storm that did this. It must have been a hell of a ride for these poor trees and any life in the area. A man in town told us some of the tree blow downs occured about a decade ago, when two storm systems converged creating a vortex between them with sustained winds of 90 miles an hour.
We hike on eventually reaching Devil’s Postpile. We eat lunch near a bridge above a stream. The water is turbulent and hypnotic as I watch it while shoveling food into my face. A fellow hiker, Daddy Long Legs, joins us as well to chat and rest. We last saw him at VVR. It turns out he also took an extra zero day in Mammoth.
We cross a lovely bridge, and stop to soak our feet and rest. It’s nice to be back on the trail, I think.
After talking for a bit we continue up trail several miles to the Agnew Meadow trailhead, and pitch our tent in the parking lot. The mosquitoes are plentiful and we cover our skin with bug spray and clothing to avoid their bites.
We navigate our dinner with bug nets over our faces, lifting them to take each bite. For a night cap Lupine has brought a special treat, hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps. It warms my belly and my spirits as we evade the bugs into our tent.