Woods Creek Junction – 1 mile past Glen Pass
8,492 – 11,000 (+ 3,448/ – 960) – 9.7 miles * Glen Pass
Free Maps Online – Day 21 – Map 4 and 3
Naked Hiker Day! Or Another Day in Paradise!
We did not get a very early start, but had a pleasant and relaxed morning breaking camp and gearing up. Before hiking out, one of the many budding journalists out on trail wanted to get some tape of Papa Joe talking about hiking and his experience as one of the most well known PCT trail Angels. It was nice to see Papa Joe get that kind of recognition. Joe is a humble man, but there is difference between seeking notoriety and accepting gratitude and acknowledgment.
What a gorgeous day! We talked about this almost every day – that we were running out of words to describe the loveliness we were living in and passing through, but that a failure of human vocabulary did nothing to lessen the impact of being there and soaking it in. Another day of varied terrain, beginning in forest, climbing to meadows dotted with clear blue lakes, and rugged alpine peaks.
We told stories as we walked and enjoyed being together. Knowing that this time in our lives was coming to an end did not yet sully our moods or darken our spirits. This is the day we found a place that Joe had seen as a youngster on a camping trip. Near the Rae Lakes, a boulder stands alone in the middle of the creek. And on this camping trip many years ago, young Joe and his buddies saw naked hippies lounging on the rock and playing in the water. We were not that lucky, but how cool is that to come back to the same spot some length of years later and you can still recognize it! That said, it was naked hiker day and Joe still got a little show.
Not long after I finished the coldest swim of my life, we rested, snacked, and enjoyed a lounge in the sun. Then we ran into Hee-Haw! Hee-Haw was an awesome guy and one of the more appreciative of Joe’s hospitality at Casa de Luna. Of course, a guy named Hee-Haw doesn’t go wandering the woods without a travel guitar and he busted it out and played us a tune.
I think Jake got it all recorded on his phone. It took me longer to turn my phone on and get set to record, so I only captured the end, but Hee-Haw was raring to go and it seemed inappropriate, bad feng shui if you will, to ask him to stop and wait for my recording device to be ready.
The rest of the ascent to Glen Pass was amazing. Parts were challenging and we did have a few very small snow fields to contend with, but the views were rewarding.
We did enjoy some time at the Pass, but it was getting on towards sundown and we wanted to get down somewhere and make camp. We found a nice spot about a mile from the pass and got setup before dark. We cooked, ate, and cleaned up quickly in the cold, and then sat together as long as we could stand it to watch the end of sunset and a beautiful moonrise. Sadly the pictures don’t do it justice, but it was a wonderful tableau for our last night on trail as Fox Force Four!
* As i did a quick bit of research and debated adding a link to naked hiker day for the curious, i noticed many sites calling June 20,2012 naked hiker day. I don’t know what the “Authentic” day was, but everyone near us on trail called it the 21st and did their bit of naked hiking on the 21st, so that is when we celebrated it. When in the Sierras…