Mile 963.9-979.8 (15.9)
I had nightmare about creek crossings and falling through deep snowpack. When I checked Wilson Creek in the morning, the water level was a foot lower than it was last night. I packed up and crossed the frigid water.
I crossed Wilson Creek twice more in a mile and a half, then started climbing up toward Benson Pass. It was not a difficult climb and there wasn’t much snow going up. On the north side, though, I lost the trail repeatedly as it wove steeply up and down. There must be hikers ahead of me, but their footprints have all melted. I relied heavily on my GPS. It felt tedious.
But it was beautiful, as ever. There were wisps of clouds here and there but mostly blue and sunny. The temperature rose as I dropped into a valley. Crossed Piute Creek on a fallen log, a good thing since it was super deep. The mosquitos chased me through the swamp and up the other side onto another mountain. Sweaty and tired, I bushwhacked to the nearby creek and jumped in.
This was the first time I’d gone swimming in a creek since the AZT this spring. It was frigid! But my body was clean, my spirit refreshed, and my clothes rinsed. Ready for the last of the Sierra, baptized in her mountain waters.
Well. The last of the Sierra turns out to be nasty. I climbed up from the creek on a snow-free slope and began my descent. It was trecherous. I’ll take the details to my grave. And tonight I am stuck on the south bank of Kerrick Creek, which is so high and so fast that I cannot safely cross it. I’m camped here with two Norwegians, Chris and Martin, and we hope to the water level will go down by morning.