Today we woke up early in an attempt to get to Red's Meadow and then to Mammoth Lakes before the PO closes to pick up packages and then eat copious amounts of food, washed down with some ice cold beer.
The first part of the hiking went quickly up some exposed switchbacks. Unfortunately beyond that point the majority of the trail had some, or was completely covered with, snow. We still made decent time as we passed by Lake Virginia and Purple Lake, crossing a few small creeks. The creeks are interesting to cross. Sometimes you have to search a bit up and downstream to find a good place to cross. Sometimes there are snow bridges that are sturdy enough to cross, but still cause a little anxiousness due to the holes in the snow bridge up and downstream. Other times you walk across the snow and hear water running beneath you without seeing it at all.
We stopped for lunch at mile 900! It's amazing how much faster the last 100 miles went compared to the first 100. The last 7 miles were the slowest for us, primarily because the trail was covered in snow and we were hiking through trees making navigation difficult. Usually there are reliable footprints which can be followed, but it appears that we were the first ones to hike this section today. Fortunately Gangsta Rap has a GPS which made things go much quicker. The last 2 miles were better and we had mostly bare trail to follow through a burned area. I was very ready to be done hiking when we finally got to Red's Meadow. Glad for a couple zero days before hitting the trail again.
We joked all day about how bad the weather was compared to the previous 8 days. There were gusts of wind that must have been at least 10 mph, and then clouds started rolling in in the morning, which turned to a completely cloud covered sky by the end of the day. We heard later that the snow level is going to be 8000' tonight and tomorrow, with the chance of thunderstorms as well. Good thing we are in town, warm and dry!
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