Hikers hiking the entire Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) are now coming through Pit River country.
This morning at 8 a.m. I got a call from Burney Lodging. Two more hikers needed a ride to the trail. I threw on some clothes and drove over to pick them up.
Two young American hikers were there waiting for me. They greeted me with big smiles and a handshake and gave me their trail names.
One was 2 % from Rochester NY; the other was Pillow Talk from Seattle. They had stayed overnight at Burney Lodging and wanted a ride to Burney Falls State Park.
Burney Falls Lodging is a good place for visiting PCT hikers to know about because it has become the communication point for local PCT angels. Manager Nancy Bobo has been a long time supporter of the PCT. Burney Lodging has a list of angels who are willing to give rides to and from the trail and provide other help. It is also a great place for people who want to meet hikers half way on their journey to come for a rendezvous.
This was the second group of hikers I had met who had hiked the entire trail from Campo to Burney. The first was Royal Irish Ranger Donaju. Actually, 2 % and Pillow Talk had met Donaju further south.
Previous hikers coming through had skipped large sections of the Sierras because of the snow. Now the trail is much more passable so a stream of hikers who had been log-jammed further south are on their way.
Pillow Talk began his journey from Mexico on April 15. 2% began on May 8. They met up around South Lake Tahoe and have been hiking together since then.
Pillow Talk has an interesting perspective because he also hiked the trail in 2013 when there wasn’t very much snow. He didn’t hike the entire trail that year, but he did hike the Sierras so he could see the dramatic difference. He said that he was able to hike about seven more miles a day in 2oi3 when the snow was sparse.
As of now, north of Lake Tahoe the trail is pretty clear of snow. South of Lake Tahoe there is still snow but much of it has melted. Pillow Talk said that as the snow melts, it makes its own interesting snow topography that adds to the challenge of the hike. Portions of the snow fields melt faster than others, there are mounds and areas of snow around the big trees. The snowy areas are not level. There is a lot of up and down.
“It takes a lot of energy,” said Pillow Talk.
He also said that north of the Yosemite area some of the passes are challenging but it is well worth it to see the beauty of the snow-covered Sierras above the tree line.
2 % said he was able to follow all of the trail except for a few detours due to road closings.
They said that they had seen one big cinnamon colored bear.
A hard copy version of this article also appeared in the Mountain Echo 7/12/16