Daily mileage: around 23
Mile 850 (or 851 according to halfmile)- 873ish
Oh why must all our maps disagree?
When I woke up this morning no one else was moving. Ended up sleeping in a whole 15 minutes which was actually pretty great. That little extra was so nice, these last few days have been tough for me, great but tough and my body is tired.
Started off the day heading down and out of Evolution Basin. Got to eat breakfast on a bridge over the roaring creek. I love breakfast with a view.
Today started with a goal. At mile 856 there is a side trail to a place called Muir Trail Ranch, from what we know its some sort of backcountry resort. But the key is that at the resort and about 0.5 miles away are hot springs. So by making a short loop we could have hot springs!
The 6 miles actually went pretty quick, walking along the river canyon was pretty dramatic and then there was actually some nice forested non rocky trail. Got to the intersection which was not labeled how we expected. Just in case you were curious Florence Lake, yeah that's where you want to go. A mile and a half later we ended up at the bottom of the valley at the resort. To find hot springs!
After the amazing hot springs it was time to get back to the PCT and start the climb up to Selden Pass.
What a different kind of climb, definitely an easier climb even though it was still 3000 ft of elevation gain. Lots more forest and less rocky trail overall. Plus it was surprisingly beautiful. Not sure why but since we had heard it was an easier pass I somehow thought it might not be as scenic.
The trail also become something of a highway, I met 15 people today. I think I met only 4 the day before and 1 before that. All of them are heading south in the John Muir Trail. Fun to chat with.
Hung out at the top for our afternoon break and then down we went. Actually forded bear creek. No rock hopping today, the water was even as high as my thighs. I'm making it sound more exciting than it was, mostly knee deep and then if you aren't watching you can hit one deep spot, not even super cold. The crossing was uneventful and then it was some more miles following the creek (seriously though that thing is a river, not a creek, it's huge). Started climbing again and found a campsite just after sunset. A few other thruhikers are here and we can hear the river down below. What a fantastic day, something just clicked perfectly to make today great. As usual hard to put into words but it was such a good day. And now to sleep.
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