Day 2: Back on the PCT

Friday September 20, 21.6mi/34.8km

Granlibbakken Hill (21.8/6549ft) to Campsite near Richardson Lake (43.4/7546ft) (CA)

It was a very cold morning, around 34F/1C, so I got a later start.

At least it was a nice sunny day, so the temperature rose quickly. The trail was also slightly uphill, so that helped me warm up as well. An hour later, I was in Page Meadows.

The concrete patio pavers were a nice feature, since usually meadow trails get very muddy and eroded. At the far end of the meadow, I saw a sign for “oven”. Perfect! I had a couple slices of leftover pizza from last night that I could reheat. But it wasn’t that kind of oven…

I took a break there for second breakfast, and moved on. I refilled my water at Ward creek, which had a surprisingly overbuilt bridge.

There was so much water on the trail today, even some waterfalls! This is McCloud falls.

There were also many large meadows, which I suspect used to contain wildflowers. I think the recent hard freezes had killed off most of them.

Looking back across the meadow, toward Twin Peaks:

The trail reentered the forest, and I was amazed by the perfect pattern of moss on the trees. I think I know the snowpack depth here in the springtime, haha!

At the top of this climb, I attempted a side trail up to the summit of Twin Peaks. It was a rock scramble up some choss. Actually, a ton of choss. After sending down too many rocks, I gave up and returned to the trail.

Back on the trail, I had a nice preview of tomorrow’s hike.

But right now, time to enter the Granite Chief Wilderness!

The trail stayed up on a high ridgeline for a few miles, and I stopped for lunch at a nice view spot.

All afternoon, the sights just kept coming.

I had a long break at Barker Pass, and was offered a nice cold Lagunitas by some day hikers in the parking lot. They live locally, and they were very entertained to learn about a trail encircling the lake! I continued on the last few miles to camp.

I arrived to Richardson Lake, but it was windy, and rather cold and damp since it sat in a low depression in the land.

I filled my water, and continued another half mile to a nice high and dry spot in a pine forest.

It’s 8pm as I write this, and another hiker has just passed by on the trail in the dark. They must be a PCT southbound hiker, trying to make some miles!

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