Sunday: (07/08) A slow morning. We had breakfast at the Village Pantry. Great. We drove back down to Horseshoe Meadows for my return to the PCT. On trail 1200, at the top of Cottonwood Pass at 1440. Lots of rolling thunder on the way up. When I arrived at Chicken Spring Lake to get water, just as I got my pack open, it started to rain and hail for 30 minutes. I had to huddle under my umbrella. I continued on for two miles to a campsite overlooking the inland mountains. I’m now 2 miles from where I was camped before heading home 2 days ago. Camped at MM753, 1 mile South of Sequoia Park. Puma Salad camped nearby later.
Tuesday: (07/10) Up at 0000 for the long walk to Mt Whitney.Peak. 7 miles up then 7 miles back. It rained for the last two miles home. Home at1400. I napped till 1730. Had to dry the tent and mattress. Camped at Crabtree Meadows again, MM767+1 off trail.
Thursday: (07/12) Up at 0600, on trail at 0710. I was the first hiker starting up Forrester Pass for the day. Of course, I wasn’t the first over the top. I had to settle for second. I was passed about half way up and when I got to the top, the hiker that passed me must have been two miles ahead on the downhill side. It was a 1000 foot climb, over the highest pass of the PCT,13500 feet. Then downhill for 9 miles and 3,600 feet. It then was uphill for 2000’. I exited the trail to Kearsarge pass, then hiked downhill for the last five miles. It was raining most of the way up to Kearsarge and most of the way down, but nice at the top. I found a way to afix the handle of my umbrella to my pack strap so I didn't need to hold it. I also managed to break one of my hiking poles. On one of my frequent rest stops, sitting on a rock with the pack weight removed from my shoulders, a bear came quietly down the hill about 25 feet from me and either didn’t notice me or didn’t care about me. I was slightly concerned. It obviously was not one of the human food eating bears. Fortunately, I wasn’t eating. I managed to do 18 miles today and made it to the trailhead at 2030. Lou and Dawn had just arrived to pick me up. I was able to call them earlier with an update on my arrival time. Since it was raining heavily, it was nice they were there.