Miles 843.6 – 862.5
4th of July, 2017
We woke up on the side of the cliff overlooking Evolution Meadow, nothing but trees and trail; no snow for the next twenty miles. After travelling so far on snow something as little as walking on an actual dirt trail really excites you. We also realized that day’s hike was going to be mostly downhill, so the energy was high within our group. So high that we decided to sleep in til 7:45am. Today was going to be a great day.
At mile 850.9 you cross over Evolution Creek, a slow-moving but very deep creek. The water went up to my chin as I crossed, holding my pack well above my head. On the other side we were met by a flurry of mosquitos, so stopping to dry off was out of the question. About an hour later we stopped along the same creek to rest and have lunch, a perfect little spot to take a swim and wring out some dirty socks. It was at this point where we first met Dibs, a feller from Louisville, KY who walked up on us. Dibs had hiked previous miles with Dixie in the desert, so she was excited to see him walk up on us. Dibs seemed like a nice guy, so we welcomed the new presence within our little trail family. I didn’t know it then, but I’d hike more miles with Dibs throughout the entirety of the PCT than anyone else. Funny how things work out that way.
We followed Evolution creek for quite a while, where the trail started to descend at a faster rate and where the creek turned from a lethargic body of water to one of fleeting rapids, waterfalls at some points. We now entered into the John Muir Wilderness at mile 857, and only a two thousand foot climb was left in between us and a fire, some ramen and our tents. What an arduous climb it proved to be, each and every one of us struggled to get to the top, but once we were there we camped just north from another decent sized patch of Sierra Onions. Dixie and I stayed back and desecrated this patch of onions, leaving no trace that they every once grew alongside this piece of trail. I felt like Stanley Yelnats and Zero from the book ‘Holes.’ Getting full on onions is a rather strange event for anyone in their life, not the well-balanced and nutritious diet we probably needed but it was something. I’m sure the onions didn’t help our already questionable stench, but this was to be our last meal of onions. We overdid it, just a bit.