Day 72 to day 78 – June 6th we headed back over Kearsage Pass. Our group had grown to now be Andy, Adam, Indi & Jean Michael. Half American, half European. Half boot wearers, half trainers. Half with “A” names, half with names from later letters.
Andy, from the UK, would entertain us with stories of the Continental Divide Trail (CDT), British accent impersonations and his hunt for edible plants. Adam, from Oklahoma, would tell crazy tales about being a Marine and a child cowboy in his southern drawl, and was a veritable wealth of film knowledge. Indi, from the Seattle area, would beat-box along the trail, telling us of his family’s Alaskan adventures and wicked college pranks. Jean Michael, a retired quintessential Frenchman, would be eagerly asking when we’d come across a restaurant and constantly consulting his GPS.
Together we traveled over the snow covered passes of Glen, Pinchot, Mather, Muir and Selden. We helped each other navigate the trail-less terrain, alternated who cut steps in the snow and glissaded (like sledding without a sled) down a few lovely hills. More often than not, though, we were post-holing, not glissading. It was slow going. After a dozen miles we were dead tired.
Every day we faced precipitation – rain, snow, hail. But every day we also had at least a few brief moments of sunshine. I managed to break one of my hard contact lenses, so when it was sunny & snowy I had to don both my sunglasses and glasses to avoid snow blindness. Oh so hip!
Mostly it was cold. Only in rare moments did I bare my arms. And some of the stream crossings were so bone-chilling it made us groan in agony.
The sights were breath-taking… layer upon layer of mountains so jagged they looked like they’d rip open the sky. Deep green valleys with boggy meadows and cascading waterfalls blackening smooth granite rocks. We’d sing Flight of the Concords songs and talk about our favourite films. We chatted over bondfires in the evening to warm up and dry off. The scenery was stunning but we were we thrilled to finally arrive at VVR on June 12th.