PCT 2007 – Day 75 – Wallace Creek – Bullfrog Lake Junction

Day 75 6-8-07 Tarp 10,405′
Wallace Creek – Bullfrog Lake Junction
19.1 miles; 789.5 (31) total miles; 2653.7 trip miles
High 50’s, sunny

!!!Forester Pass!!!

Marmot count is 32
Deer count is 28
Pika count is 1
Bear count is 0

Last night was not as cold as the few before; but still cold enough I didn’t sleep well. Ed told me he had been wrapping his feet in his down jacket. I wear mine to bed so I used my rain jacket and it helped a lot. The two nights before my feet were freezing. My headache went away during the night but I was very stiff whenever I rolled over.

Ultra Brite

I was up at 5:15 AM and once again the raisins in my cereal were frozen. I was on the trail at 6 AM.

It took a long while to warm up and just as I did, we hit the Bighorn Plateau. It is this huge open area which looked like it was tundra. We could see in ever direction and the views were amazing. From there we descended to Tyndall Creek where we had a tricky ford. I only got one foot slightly wet. Wounded Knee opted to remove his shoes and walk across. You should have seen his face at how cold the water was.

Bighorn Plateau

Once we left the creek we would be above tree line for 9 miles. We had 5 miles of open country before we reached Forester Pass, the highest point (13,180) on the whole PCT. We could see the pass from afar and it looked tough. As you got closer you could make out switchbacks up the face to the top. We passed many frozen lakes along the way and water was flowing everywhere.

As I reached the top I did the last few switchbacks and then there it was, the sign reading “Forester Pass 13,200′”. I was so excited and the views south and north were incredible.
I reached the top with Ghost and ____? and Lisa, Beef Stu, Stretch, and Chigger were on their way down. I had lunch on top with Ed and Wounded Knee. UB kept on going and didn’t have lunch.

Forester Pass is the notch on the right side.

On the descent, we glissaded one section of snow. My butt got all wet but it was worth it. We would descend for the next 7.5 miles. We passed through the most beautiful basin on the way down. It made me wish I could have my closest family and friends there to experience it. It brought me to tears at how incredible the views were. I felt so small standing in that basin. It was a once in a life time moment.

Forester Pass, highest point on PCT

As we descended we followed the Bubbs Creek to Vidette Meadow where I saw 3 deer, a momma and two young. Just up from the deer was the junction we were looking for. The trail went from the PCT to the AT once I turned. It was a 1.5 miles climb that could have been in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In the large rock field near the top I looked in vain for a Pika but didn’t see any. The camp for the night was just up the trail.

Valley north of Forester

At camp I cooked two dinners I was so hunger. We are a day ahead so I could afford to eat extra. We have a nice creek next to us but no bear box so my bear canister is sitting on a rock near camp.

Today was the second epic day in the trip and so far the most spectacular yet. I can’t see it getting any better than what I saw today.

Tonight at camp it’s UB, Wounded Knee, Ed, Mr. D, and I.

Scatman 2011- Years later I can admit that as I sat on a rock about 1.5 miles north of Forester Pass I listened to James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” and I cried.  I was so moved my emotions just welled up in me.  I had dreamed about this day for so long.  It is an experience I will never forget.  Some times I wonder if I go back if it will be the same.  I doubt it but I would love to sit there again and cry.

———-

Scatman

Get out there!

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