56. June 5: Mile 739.32 Campsite to Mile 745.30 Horseshoe Meadows Campground
Sleep was at a premium last night. I probably got around four hours, Glowworm (apparently that’s how it’s supposed to be spelled, not Glow Worm) only got two hours and I know Cougar had limited sleep too. Dr. McDirty snored all night just to taunt us. Okay, he probably didn’t do that on purpose, but I need someone to point fingers at. The enormous amount of mosquito bites we all got were the ultimate culprit of our misery. Everything itched. I felt like a dog gnawing at its haunches until it rips its fur out due to a flee infestation. So of course we all got our best sleep in the last hour of the night before we got up at 5:30 to make it over Trail Pass before the snow got too slushy.
Once again there was very little to no snow on the approach to the pass even at 10,500 feet. I cannot describe how much easier this makes moving through the trail. I actually kind of enjoy hiking through the snow and with proper gear it’s not really all that bad, but it will cut your progress in half without a doubt. So for us to be this high up is marvelous. Once we got to the junction for the two mile Trail Pass spur trail, though, there was certainly snow. Since it wasn’t that far it was a lot of fun, actually. The snow had softened by this point and we glissaded/slid/skied/fell down the snow banks. Well, Glowworm and I did. Cougar, our trail mother, did not see the joy in it.
Upon arriving at Horseshoe Meadows Campground we set up camp and Dr. McDirty’s cousin, Ross arrived with copious amounts of food. Steaks, vegetables, sausage, eggs, beer, bourbon and wine. Ross was keen to check out the trail and so Dr. McDirty took him back up the trail. Ross even helped McDirty build his first snow man!
Then came dinner. Holy shit was it good. I’m sure it was because it was brought to us on the trail via private plane, but still, I will be salivating for months when looking back on this. We built our first fire on the trail (surprising, I know, but you’re just too exhausted to have the desire to build one on most nights). Then, we skewered red and green bell peppers, green and yellow squash, and onions and cooked them over the fire while baking potatoes wrapped in foil in the coals and then grilled the steaks. While the steaks were grilling Ross made us Makers Mark and ginger beer cocktails (which were amazing) and then poured us a glass (or in my case a 850 mL titanium pot) of red wine for dinner.
While we were eating Carmen and Michael, a German couple we met while staying at Scout and Frodo’s in San Diego the night before we began walked into the campground so we invited them over to join us for dinner. Most of this hike is fairly mundane. It’s mostly just walking, eating, and sleeping, but it’s nights like this that really stick out. It’s the community and the people that make the PCT. Not necessarily the trail itself.