Distance hiked today: 21.6 miles / 34.8 km.
The clouds cleared overnight and there was a nice sunrise.
After a couple downhill miles we began the ascent of Mount Baden-Powell which is on trail. The trail climbs for 4 miles, a little bit gradual but still steep. The summit is at 9407 feet and the elevation was sucking my energy. But we still passed day hikers on the way up, with their small day bags. I guess hiking for 29 days gets you fit. There was some snow nearing the top of the mountain, and I lost the trail several times, finding myself climbing straight up random dirt patches to find the next switchback.
The summit was wiiiindy. We took some quick photos, had a snack, and started the descent. It was more gradual along the ridge, with great views. The sky on one side of the valley was clear, and on the other was covered with a blanket of thick fluffy white clouds. I wanted to lay on them.
After lunch we hiked almost entirely in the clouds for the rest of the day. It was really cool, and kind of spooky since the trees had burned. The air was humid, and the weirdest thing was that it only rained under the trees. They were gathering the water droplets from the air, and then they'd rain down underneath, whereas everywhere else the humidity hung in the cloud.
There's an endangered frog species habitat here, and the PCT is closed through it. The alternate trail takes the road for a few miles then rejoins the PCT. The cars coming by would appear from the mist and then disappear just as quickly. We got some trail magic: Joe was there with his truck giving coke, carrots, and cherries, and some hand soap & water to wash our hands (a luxury).
As we walked by a parking lot, a group of Japanese hikers took one look at us and started clapping in unison! I suppose they knew we were thru hikers and were cheering us on, but it was strange and hilarious to have a standing ovation on our way.
Total trail mileage: 393.1 miles / 632.5 km