Cowboy camping at Crabtree Meadow ranger station (PCT mi 766.3), walked 24.5 miles today
Got going at 7:30 this morning and had a really easy first 8 miles or so. After 4 miles, got to Poison Meadow Spring, the very last water source on the water report. There was much rejoicing. After 8 miles, got to Chicken Spring Lake, aka Chickenhead Lake, which is a spectacular alpine affair. Did some laundry in it and washed my legs and face, Gavin went for a 5-second long swim that probably significantly decreased his chances of successful reproduction later on in life. I was having pretty exceptional gas by that time (beans for dinner last night) and it was so good that an innocent female passerby sitting about 50 yards away started cracking up. A proud moment. Hung out at the lake for a long time, left only because we were supposed to be 16 miles past there for tonight and it was getting to be the afternoon.
A little climbing here, a little descending there, a lot of flat walking everywhere else and finally Bow, Gavin and I popped out at a stellar overlook of Crabtree Meadows and the Whitney massif around 6:30pm. Before that all we had really seen was a view of it that made it look like a big featureless sandhill. Pretty gnar, as they say in these parts.
Got to the first Crabtree Meadows shortly thereafter, then climbed to the upper meadow. There are a lot of tents around, like in the two dozen range, but a lot of them appear to be unoccupied. The first day and a half out of Kennedy Meadows, we'd been seeing a metric ass ton of hikers--because of the KM bottleneck, because we've caught up to the Kickoff people, and because everyone who skipped half the actual trail in the desert is back out for the Sierra--but we've outrun a lot of them, I think, and keep catching up to new faces. Still camping with Matan (possibly the Hebrew Hammer), Gangster, Bow (possibly BowNOBO), and Gavin. Wicked cold already and it's barely twilight, I have on pretty much all my layers. Expecting a freeze. Hoping I'll have motivation to leave cozy land and go climb Whitney in the morning.