Distance hiked today: 7.7 trail miles + 3.5 to enter over Mammoth Pass = 11.2 miles / 18 km.
Back to trail today - we aren't taking a zero day since we got into town early yesterday. It's good to keep moving, and also to spend less money on hotels and restaurants.
We pack everything up, and grab hard-boiled eggs from the hotel breakfast - the only low-carb food there. We take the trolley back to the trail head, and head out for a shorter day.
There is an alternate trail option parallel to the PCT to visit the Devil's Postpile: a national monument of a rare geological formation. We took the alternate to check it out and it didn't disappoint. It's a dark cliff of columnar basalt, created by a lava flow less than 100,000 years ago. Because it's so thick, the pooled lava cooled slowly and evenly, which is why the columns are so long and symmetrical. "Columnar jointing occurs when certain types of lava contract while cooling", and formed into hexagons and other polygonal shapes. Then a glacier exposed the formation as it melted and moved, and left a polished surface on top where you can see the column shapes and the glacial polish on them.
Part of the forest burned years ago, and left the bottom portion of large trees standing like monuments of the forest that once was.
There is a campground along the trail that seems to be on a closed road, so there are only PCT hikers there and we take advantage of camping next to a picnic table.
We'd packed out avocados to eat, and it was so worth it to have a fresh vegetable on trail which I cut open with my tiny knife. Plus there were trash cans at the campground, so I didn't need to pack an avocado pit for the next 6 days!
Total trail mileage: 911 miles / 1465.8 km