How are you guys?! I hope you're still enjoying Steamboat! Jake and I are having a blast hiking! The PCT goes right through Mammoth Ski Resort, out here in California. There's also a ski patrol couple, Wildflower and Nips hiking with us, and this is their home base. We're psyched to be rolling in today.
Last November, fierce winds blew across much of the Sierras causing widespread damage. These winds were unusually strong and gusted to more than 180 mph, toppling thousands of trees. In fact, the Forest Service estimated that over 10,000 trees were blow down. Access to and from the PCT was significantly cut off, especially around the Mammoth, and Red's Meadow Area.
After the snow melted this Spring (and there wasn't much of it, as you guys will recall from Steamboat's light Winter), the Forest and Park Service, saturated the Sierras with trail crews to begin clearing the trail. Many early hikers were slowed by the down trees. We had perfect timing! We cruised through recent crew work. We also got to see our friends Elise and Patrick, who were members of the crews clearing the trail. AND we got to Mammoth on their days off. Triple letter score, Bev!
After over a week without a shower, we were fairly desperate to get to town. We hiked out at Mammoth Pass, a four mile long trail to road access, and the only access point from the PCT to town whilst the tree clearing continued. But it was well worth it.
Mammoth is a nice little ski down dipped in a Swiss alpine motif. Have you two been here? The people are very friendly, the food is very good, and everything is very expensive.
We camped at an RV Park. There we could get showers, do our laundry, and charge up our phones without having to pay over half a hundred more for some walls.
We gorged ourselves on food, though. And while we already had lunch, our friend Patrick offered to treat us to a second, and we just couldn't say no! Breakfast, Second Breakfast, Elevenses, Luncheon... Even with a fine free meal at Hot Chick's BBQ, Jake was eating donuts in the checkout line at Vons only a short hour later.
Our evening ended with pizza, ice cream and then pancakes--perhaps already starting in on tomorrow's breakfast. The hiker hunger is back!
I've missed all of this since the AT--the active lifestyle, the deprivation followed swiftly by pure appreciation, the solitude, the cravings... It feels great to be back out here.
I hope you're still finding fun and creative outlets in your free time. Keep on keepin' on, and thank you for all of your constant support!