Day 7: Increasing Mileage

PCT Mile 1031.8 to 1051.8

Miles Hiked = 20.0

I was up earlier today because I knew I needed to hike at least 20 miles. I’m meeting Donna in South Lake Tahoe in three days and that’s 60 miles away, so I need to average about 20 miles per day. I was on the trail by 6:30 this morning

Here’s a screenshot of an elevation profile of today’s hike from the Guthook app. This is the app that all PCT hikers use to navigate the trail. No more paper USGS topographical maps. The app shows where water is, where campsites are, etc. On this particular screenshot you’ll see that I have over 4000 feet of elevation gain today and almost that same amount in descent. That’s a pretty typical day.

Today was a beautiful morning with clear blue skies. Shortly into my walk I passed right by this large cone of volcanic rock. I wonder how many thousands of years ago it was deposited?

I had one last view looking back at the rugged mountains that I descended a few days ago in a hail storm. I was happy that that particular adventure was in the rear view mirror!

Yesterday as I hiked (after leaving Kennedy Meadows North) my spirits were a little down. It’s sometimes difficult being out here alone. It’s much more fun to have someone to share the experience with. When I was a teenager and young adult I would backpack in the High Sierras with my father every summer. It was a great father/son experience and together we learned a lot of basic backpacking skills. Later, when my oldest son was in his middle teens he started joining my Dad and I on these annual summer backpacking trips. When the younger kids were a little older than Donna and I were able to start venturing into the backcountry together. We’ve done a lot of hiking and backpacking and trekking together over the past twenty years. So even though I know she’s hiking along with me in spirit, it’s still sometimes difficult.

But today my spirits were better. Maybe it was because of these majestic views. More likely it’s because I know I’ll be seeing Donna in a few days.

A little later I had a different view looking back at the cone of volcanic rock that I had passed an hour or so ago (it’s on the left).Then I passed a stream cutting through the snowand a beautiful green meadowthe remnant of a once majestic treea small waterfallan alpine lake in the distanceand then the trail traversed up to a saddle above Noble LakeI had cell service up at this saddle, so was able to call Donna and send texts to all the kids.

This is the valley that I would hike down on the other side of the saddleI took a water break under this old weathered Bristlecone PineI passed, yet again, under more rugged jagged peaksand finally reached my planned campsite where I set up my tentand enjoyed lake views as the sun slowly set.

Thanks for following!

4 thoughts on “Day 7: Increasing Mileage

  • Amazing! You could write a book Todd. These are pictures most of us will never see. Enjoy your time with Donna! Something to look forward too I’m sure. Thanks for sharing.


  • I love reading your posts! Thank you for sharing. I am not much of a ‘commenter’ but I wanted to let you know that I am living vicariously through your posts. You are so brave, organized, strong and determined! Hugs to Donna! Have a good few zero days. Helmut says hello too!


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