a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 843.3 to 857.7 (+1.5 Miles on side trail to ranch). Evolution Lake Camp to John Muir Ranch.
We had a good night's sleep next to Evolution Lake and are excited to reach tonight's goal, the Muir Trail Ranch, short MTR. The MTR is too expensive to stay at, but a great way to resupply because JMT hikers often leave a lot of goodies behind which they decide to get rid of in order to lighten their load. There is also a store there that sells deet and we just really want to get our hands on another spray. We are also very excited about the fact that today is pretty much all downhill, descending Muir Pass. We look forward to an easy going day! Of course it turns out to be completely exhausting. But one after the other. Mosquitoes. They are everywhere. It's the Evolution Creek's fault, accompanying us all day long. We even have to cross the river multiple times, and even have to take our shoes off and put our sandals on and wade through the water because there is no other way. But we find a good spot and can cross it without any issues. Two other guys behind us aren't that lucky and end up retreating back to the shore and then walking "in our footsteps". Only from putting our shoes back on we are again bitten by multiple mosquitoes. Aaaarrggh!
Finally we reach the junction to the MTR and follow it for about a mile. Then there's another junction to the ranch itself and to the camping site/hot springs. Since the MTR is already closed for the day there is no point going down there. And we also already see some tents pitched right around the corner where the campsite is. So we walk that way and see a lot of friendly faces, in particular a mum with two teen boys just getting ready to go swimming. We ask them where the hot springs are and they explain that we need to cross a large ricer to reach them but that‘s is really worth it. So we quickly pitch our tent next to theirs and grab some things to go soak in the hot springs. It‘s actually fun to cross the cold river, the current is quite strong and there is a rope to hold on to. So that‘s what we do.
The hot springs look kinda gross but we jump in anyway, first the colder one and then the really hot one. It‘s fantastic! But it feels more like a hot pond, there are a lot of mosquitoes, and we emerge again not feeling quite clean. So let‘s check out the river and wash ourselves there! We walk back, quickly dip in the ice cold water and feel soo refreshed afterwards!
We climb back up to the tentsite where we make a delicious pasta dinner and soon get ready for bed, feeling very clean and sleepy. Tomorrow we will try to get as many goodies out of the MTR hikers box as possible, we are very excited!