While I didn’t do any PCT miles, I did hike. Jewel Thief and I decided to finish off the last 20 miles or so of the John Muir Trail down to Yosemite Valley, since neither of us have seen it. We really slept in and didn’t get hiking till 9am. The trail climbed back up to snow level and stayed there for a good part of the day. At one point, we actually walked down a creek to avoid the snow.
The trail began dropping towards the end and was snow free a couple of miles before the Half Dome Side Trail. We hiked a mile or so up the trail, set up camp, and then raced up the dome to watch the sunset. The trail up the actual dome was a long series of steps, followed by 2 steel cables hung like banisters straight up the side. The cables were very steep – I don’t think I had as much of an adrenaline rush skydiving as I had climbing them.
The top was well worth the effort required to get there. It was incredible to see Yosemite Valley for the first time. I lay on my stomach and crawled to the edge to look 4000’ straight down at the valley floor. The sunset was everything we had hoped for; the mountains glowed from light pink to deep purple. Soon enough though, we made our way back down the cables and stairs to camp. This side excursion has been well worth the trouble.