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Day 47--Campsite Below Olanche Peak to Dutch Meadow

Day 47--Campsite Below Olanche Peak to Dutch Meadow

Otter's 2021 PCT Thru-Hike

Written Saturday, 5 June 2021

Great sleep! Almost no wind, but cool (not cold) weather. Plus about an extra hour of sleep since I've decided I don't want to hike before first light in the Sierra. I don't want to risk missing any great views.

I was up at 0430 and on the Trail by 0530, just after the sun was up (even if it was still behind a nearby mountain). Olanche Peak towered overhead!

The early path is generally downward past Gomez Meadow (where I passed by a tent and backpack that, I think, belongs to Florian... but no Florian) and on to Death Canyon for my first water stop of the day.

Yes. Death Canyon. Death. Canyon. Nothing ominous about that!

While I'm having a water and snack break (at Death Canyon) Glory catches up to me. Turns out he had been out exploring Gomez Meadow when I passed by his camp site this morning.

Leaving Death Canyon, there's a pretty good 2,000 foot climb, but there's a dynamite view around every corner.

One of the big differences between the desert and the Sierra is the scale. The desert does, you will remember, have mountains but the desert is really all about the micro. The Sierra is all about the macro. The trees are huge. The water sources are huge. The mountains are HUGE.

A good portion of this climb passes through a forest of foxtail firs, a tree that may grow as slowly as 4 inches a century, but which may live as long as 3,500 years or more. Because they twist as they grow, you can see a corkscrew pattern in the fibers of the tree.

Climbing out of the forest, we get great, expansive views of the the Owens Valley and Owens Lake (now almost Owens Dry Lake, since California now sends most of the Owens Lake water to Los Angeles).

The Trail makes one last climb to Dutch Meadow, which turns out to be a beautiful spot--a high, flat, grassy space, surrounded by mountains and trees. There is definitely evidence that it is an active cow pasture...

I wait for quite a while for the rest of the gang to arrive to decide where we are staying for the night, and, when they do arrive, the answer is: we staying here... which is awesome!

I'm safe, dry, and warm at Dutch Meadow tonight!

Miles Hiked Today: 18.0 Total Miles Hiked: 743.0

Sea Otter Fact of the Day: Besides man, sea otters have no natural predators. Lacking the blubber layer that keeps other marine mammals warm, they just aren't tasty enough.

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