You never know what surprises await. I had a goal of hiking the 12.5 miles to Sonora Pass by early afternoon but I had no idea what lay ahead.
The hike started as most do, with a series of streams and tree covered mounds of rock, but soon the landscape transformed to something else entirely.
It was as if I'd been transported to to Mars or at least the Southern California desert.
It was an awe inspiring shift in terrain.
And the trail was forgiving, with well carved switchbacks that gently guided my feet upward and onward.
There was a light breeze and mild temperatures for my morning ascent, allowing my senses to focus on the beauty of my surroundings.
Here is a panoramic view:
There were fields of snow at the top!
The sun hadn't softened the snow to snowman conditions but it was a joyous sight none the less.
I met up with Sling Blade, seeing him on the trail for the first time since day 1. Looking good man!!!
I carved my way down to the pass, soaking up magnificent views of the valley below.
And the sky above.
I made it down by 1 pm and immediately caught a ride with Ruth and her friendly pup, who cruised down to Bridgeport, CA with me. She didn't mind my smell since she was just getting off the trail herself!
Having recently completed her Ph.D, she is on an epic 3 month road trip before beginning her teaching position at MIT. She was lovely company and I hope to cross paths with her kind soul again.
Now in town, I headed to the post office and picked up a package from my friend Ash.
I thought there was a mistake when the post office employee gave me two boxes.
I could barely believe my eyes. Ash packed so many wonderful treasures for me that I was filled with awe and gratitude. I met Ash a month before I left Asheville, working together at the Biltmore Estate. He is a well traveled adventurerer, cyclist, and accomplished violinist, and has a friendly, kind, and generous spirit.
I spent the rest of the day in town, and stayed at the historic Bridgeport Inn, rumored to have hosted Samuel Clemens back in the day.
I had a most delicious burger for dinner and slept soundly in the well appointed dormitory style accommodations at the Inn.