Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Thunder Rolls - (6/10)

Mile 750.3 to mile 761.8 (plus 3.5 miles up to Cottonwood Trail Pass)
15 miles

The morning started where last night ended, with us fighting. At least we were talking now and got everything out into the open, which was a good thing. 

Now that we were back on speaking terms we got packed up and hit the trail. We busted out the 3.5 miles back up to Cottonwood Pass in no time. Along the way we happened to come across a Grouse. A Grouse is a chicken like bird that makes this incredibly low 'Wooo, wooo, wooo' sound. My understanding of those birds is that they are very private and shy, so it was cool to actually see one. 

The first time Mandie and I heard a Grouse was when we were backpacking in the Mineral King area and it freaked us out. Every time we would walk by this grove of pine trees we would hear this low pitched 'Wooo, wooo, woooo' sound. We had no idea what it was or what it was coming from. When we returned to the trailhead, we stopped and asked the ranger what the heck that sound was. He of course said it was a Grouse. 

Back on the PCT, we hiked to Chicken Spring Lake to refill water bottles and have a bite to eat. For there the trail would climb a bit and then level off for a while before dropping down to Rock Creek Camp. It isn't much of a camp, just a bear box and a few flat spots, but it is next to Rock Creek; our first decent sized river crossing. It wasn't the raging river I was hoping for but it did have a nice flow and was pretty wide. We hopped from rock to rock and then across some logs to get across it. 

We hiked down to Rock Creek so that meant we had to hike up to get away from it. We also didn't get any water there, who wants to carry heavy water up hill, so that meant we had to stop at the next creek to get water. Guyot Creek was only 1.5 miles away. 

We reached Guyot Creek in no time and started filling our water jugs. As we were doing so a family of Mt. Whitney hikers came and chatted with us for a while. As soon as they left Mandie and I started to feel rain drops. Not a lot of them but enough for us to take notice. They were also big rain drops. Then we heard thunder and lightening. We quickly picked up our stuff and started looking for a suitable place to pitch the tent. Guyot Creek was as far as we were going today. 

We found what we thought was the best spot and pitched the tent. Soon after we started seeing white stuff bounce off the tent and hit the ground. At first we thought it was snowing but on closer examination it was sleet. The thunder, lightening, rain, and sleet went on for a couple of hours before letting up allowing us to escape from our tent and make some dinner. It was a scary and exciting storm, our first High Sierra storm. It was a nice change but hopefully we won't have too many of those. 

Tomorrow we hike to the base of Forrester Pass. I can't wait to see what that looks like. 

---

What dazzling beauty
Views of meadows and mountains
How lucky am I