Day 159: (20 miles)
After a restful night’s sleep and awaking to miraculously non-swollen and/or sore feet we began our trek to rejoin the actual PCT and the rest of the thru-hikers. As one might not think, we were not alone in our Goldmeyer adventure, as several others (10) had also taken the alternate…they are just younger and faster than us (me). We leap frogged each other as we climbed to the top of Miller Gap that opened into a spacious meadow bordered by sharp granite mountains.
Along the way we discovered an old PCT trail marker and surmised that the original PCT must have been routed through here…booya!
Take that, those of you who thought us slackers for trying to shave off some miles. From the gap, it fed into Ivanhoe lake, teaming with fish surfacing zestfully while feeding.
Overhead the distinctive sounds of fighter jets blasted above us…the Blue Angels were in a nearby town for an airshow. We pointed and cheered as they “practiced”. One sharply rolled 90 degrees to his right and back again as if acknowledging our presence. Ah the sounds and sights of freedom. Following a frankly miserable, switchback laden descent down a steep, dry and “marble” cluttered trail, we finally join back up with the PCT and friends who are frankly smarter than us. They left the same time we did, and covered 38 for our 25 miles and met us at the intersection. Brilliant! (brilliant, if not for the hot springs). They, however, had to negotiate steep ledges and a “catwalk”, which has been described as an “engineering marvel”. Anything with “engineering marvel” and catwalk, no matter how great the view(s), I will pass on. Knife’s Edge was more than enough, as were all the passes in the Sierras, save Muir Pass which was just a lot of snow. Once we returned to the PCT, proper, we found our complaints about its tread had evolved into gushing about its “easy” grade and “meticulous” upkeep. It appears that Goldmeyer upped the appreciation factor ten-fold.
We ended the day camping at one of the many campsites at Deep Lake, where Fresh joined us later in the evening.