PCT Day 70: Mile 948.5-972.5 Benson Lake



Its leather, either boot or saddle. There is no other way.

I felt like sleeping in, so I did. I was up the night before hanging out with Happy, Feather, and our new backpacking friends Lisa and Mike. I hadnt been sleeping all that well the last few nights with my ever flattening pad so I decided and extra hour of rest wouldnt kill anyone.

By the time I woke Happy and Feather were long gone, so I was back to trekking solo. I meandered through the lush green forest, enjoying the trees and gurgling creeks with high rising granit in the background. Couldnt ask for a more scerene scene to have a morning walk through, and I enjoyed all the moments. I pulled over for a moment, and Noodle came bounding up. “Hey man!” he exclaimed with a huge smile.

I had met him in Tuolomn waiting on my package to arrive and he was a new found friend. We chatted on as we hiked throught the beautiful landscape. He went on about his last day or so on trail, his hiking partner Tank, and we chatted about the difference in personality types. How the majority of people are there just to enjoy nature and all it has to offer, with a n open mind. Not only to what may come, but alos in meeting other hikers along the way.

After crossing a few creeks together with some killer leaps of faith we had a quick break snacking up before he pressed on and I went back to enjoying my solo stroll. Soon after running into Trainwreck and chatting on with her I happenned upon happy sitting in a beautiful meadow just across a nice creek. I got my feet wet attempting to ford the creek, and soon after joining Happy, pulled off my shoes and socks and layed down having a nice short nap after some muchneeded snacking.

Afterwards we both got up and started pushing on and up towards the pass. Soon as we did Quill came into view. Our 2 man conga line had turned to three. We climbed towards Benson Pass, chatting as we went. Soon after NoBo and his lady joined our 3 man conga turned to 5, and like the little engine that could we slow and steady chugged up the hill towards the pass. The views were incredile, but unlike the passes before this one was almost devoi of snow. We soon gained the highest point and to celerate we all took a nice break. It was only moments before the mosquitoe were upon us, sucking on us like vampires.

We were soon up and we all pressed on. I cstarted chatting with quill first about the statistics of the people on trail. Then we turned to phylosiphy, ideaology, religeon, movies, books, personal hostry, all sorts of subjects. She most interesting enough believed the all the decisions we make are already pre determined by our genetic makeup and environmental influences. We went back and forth debating the idea to some length before we realized we had reached te overlook of Benson Lake.

We looked back, Happy and Cashew ( a fella we picked up at he pass) were nowhere in sight. We continued on, through the gorgeous green landscape before finally coming to rest at he lakes edge. This was our camp for the evening and we chatted on after eating our dinners and watching the last light of sun leave the sky. It was a good day, and id be sure to make the next one just as good (pre-determined or not!)

Hiker Profile:

Noodle – 27, Fun loving guy with a huge smile and always ready to laugh from Montana. He went to Montana Weastern and played strong safety for the football team throughout his time there.

Montana Reccomendations: Swan Mountain Range for hiking back backpacking some beautiful lakes. Bob Marshall Wilderness, climbing at the Chinese wall. Bozeman Canyon for ice climbing, Beartooth Mountains for all around adventure.

Wyoming Reccomendations: Sinks canyon, Shashony National Forest, Popogia Wilderness

Quill: 23 From San Diego CA. An aspiring wrighter, she tried her hand at Stuctural Engineering studies and decided they werent for her. She decided to take a break from accidemics and come hike the PCT. Afterwards she has no definit plans on where she will end up, but would like to persure her studies in environmental enginering or green engineering possibly from Oregon State. PLenty of miles to go before having to decided!

Jazz Recomendations: Lester young, Django Rhinhartd. Book reccomendations: Life after Life, Gone Girl.