11.8 trail miles. 14 actual.
We got started at 6:50 am. It was 29 degrees on Snow Mesa, 12,200 feet. We met a group of three we saw a few days ago as we left out from highway 114. We hiked up the pass to beautiful views and slowly down the other side to about 11,500 and got a little water from a small stream just before noon. A couple miles over the next hill we come to another stream, and re-meet the Bay Area hikers we met a few days ago. We had a good visit and heard their stories of a pack falling in the river. One guy wears speedcross shoes like me and we compared notes. They have a couple more days before they hop off the trail. They told us there was no water for the next 8 miles or so. So we loaded up with more water… before talking a 1,400 foot climb in 1.5 miles. The extra weight was brutal. We saw another solo southbounder we had met before on our way up. I was envious of her downward progress. Also for the first time the whole trip someone passed us going our direction as we were stopped. He had a nice light pack. Over the top of the pass we ran into epic beard guy and his wife. It was just starting to rain and we were joking if we all put on our rain gear it would pass. It slowed right as we did. A few minutes down the trail we ran into Patch. And she had a friend hiking with her for a few days. She was telling us this section of trail was stuff she worked on doing trail maintenance last year. It was a good section of trail. Patch and her friend Lauren were hesitant to climb 1000 feet up that side of the mountain into a storm. As we hiked off into a light rain across the other side of the valley up another mountain I saw Patch’s orange tent going up to wait out the storm.
We came into the valley 2.5 miles before San Luis pass. We setup camp and ate a good hearty dinner.