Day 75: Our New Friend Dixie

Mile 788.5 – 801.2

June 30th, 2017

The morale of the group was strong on our first real day back in the Sierra, the sun was shining bright and as we climbed up towards Glenn Pass I was personally feeling great. Just happy to be out there, so very deep in the Sierra Mountains. As you near Glenn you are forced to scramble a bit from snow to rocks, and this is when Lt. Dan thought it would be a good idea to take a higher-untracked route around the rocks. Rooster, being Lt. Dan’s right hand man, decided to go with him only to make sure he didn’t get hurt alone. It was about thirty minutes later after Pistons and I spent quite some time hollering for them that they reappeared. Rooster had fallen on the snow and took a small tumble on down some rocks, leaving him just a little bit cut up. He would survive.

Glenn Pass is somewhat intimidating, the trail hugs the left side of a huge bowl then goes straight up to the top.

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From about halfway up Glenn Pass. This picture doesn’t give any justice to the climb

It was at the top where we met an older gentleman, another Aussie who had decided that he had just about enough of the Sierra and that he was going to backtrack two days to exit at Kearsarge Pass in order to flip-up past the Sierra to Northern California. It is always so bizarre to me how people would want to skip this amazing stretch. For the most part I had originally desired to hike the Pacific Crest Trail because of the Sierra, so the thought of skipping made absolutely no sense to me. Oh well, their loss. I figured the less people out here the better . .

You drop down from Glenn Pass towards Rae Lakes, a set of lakes with such serene beauty; truly a magical place. You cross in between two of the Rae Lakes at a slow-moving inlet that is about waist-high, and we all decided to stop at this point to each lunch but to also test our luck at fishing. The fish here were somehow privy to our murderous desires and wouldn’t even look at the flies we were dropping nearby.

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Rae Lakes
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Up close

 

After thirty minutes or so we kept moving, and for the next five miles we would have the pleasure of a nice, gradual descent towards Woods Creek Bridge at mile 799.8.

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Nearby a Ranger Station, mile 793.8
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Dropping down
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Woods Creek Bridge

 

Although the bridge looked new it still felt as though it could snap at any moment. It swayed back and forth, and had an eerie ‘One person at a time’ sign that you can see in the picture above. At the other end of the bridge was the Mile 800 marker, which is always nice to see. A sense of accomplishing another hundred miles hiked.

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Mile 800 marker
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Woods Creek, Water Slide of Death

As we hiked back up from the bottom of the bridge the trail hugs Woods Creek, an incredibly fast-moving river. If you were to fall in to this river, there would be zero chance of survival.

It was a mile up from this point where we came across a random hiker who had propped his or her tent up right in the middle of the trail. I remember thinking that it was a bizarre spot to set up, and as we got closer a girl poked her head out to see who was creeping in on her. Her name was Dixie, and she had gotten to this spot maybe an hour before us. Just past her tent was a fast-moving, knee-high creek called White Fork. If you were to slip while crossing this twenty-foot wide creek you would be thrown immediately into Woods Creek where you would become just another statistic. She had stopped here after attempting to cross by her lonesome, and after scaring the living you-know-what out of herself she decided to wait until other hikers arrived. Safety in numbers, ALWAYS. Pistons seemed to know Dixie, somehow . . which didn’t make any sense to me at the time but it turns out that she is a famous YouTube hiker, and Pistons had been following her videos closely in preparation for his trek of the PCT. That night we lit a fire right on trail, got to know Dixie a little bit, and all planned to cross White Fork in the following morning when the water level hopefully subsided a bit.

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