Camping: Bodie Hotel Bridgeport PCT mile 1018.5
I woke up in my Bristlecone Pine apartment on top of Sonora Pass feeling well rested. The Sierras were glowing pink on the horizon, and the western sky was blushing lavender. I had slept surprisingly well, cowboy camping at over 10,000 ft of elevation. The guys were already up making breakfast, and I announced that I lived here now. This is the most perfect spot on the PCT so far, especially with a noticeable lack of mosquitoes. It will be a short walk to the highway today and town is once again in our sights…I don’t have much of a choice there, I need to resupply and we are finally able to get rid of our bear canisters! It’s been 300 miles with that cumbersome contraption and we can finally be absolved of the burden. I will miss it only as a handy camp chair, though I am more than willing to sit on the ground if it means not carrying the extra 2lbs 9oz.
The 7 mile hike was breathtaking. None of us had any clue how incredible Sonora Pass would end up being. It was vistas beyond comprehension, miles and miles of mountains, contrasting in granite, rich reds, bright greens, muted greens and never-ending shows of wildflowers in pink, yellow, purple, blue, orange and more. Stunning doesn’t cover it, and pictures barely touch upon it. Sonora Pass was just, WOW! It did take us on quite the roundabout journey, the road in sight just below us, yet we were climbing up and away from it for a while. The trail was mostly rock which is hard on the feet, and my shoes are falling apart with only 250 miles on them. It’s time to get a new pair already…but hopefully these will survive until that is possible in Tahoe.
We arrived at the road excited for restaurants, cafes, showers, laundry and the mailing away of our bear canisters. A girl came down right behind us, and she decided to hitch with us to town. Her name is Spice Rack and she is from Toronto. We stood by the side of the road and the first car to drive by stopped for us! It was a woman on her way to Arizona, and she stuffed all 4 of us with our packs into her tiny Toyota Echo. Winding our way down the pass to town, we had a fun time talking and feeling the excitement build. She dropped us right at the restaurant I used to love visiting over 10 years ago, (Hays St. Cafe) and we put our names on the waiting list. We spent the next 30 minutes chatting with others outside the restaurant, everyone quite interested in us and our journey. Spice Rack even met a family willing to drive her all of the way to Tahoe to meet up with her mom who would be visiting from Canada.
We ordered 6 breakfasts between the 4 of us, as well as coffee and fresh squeezed juice. As our meals arived to our eager table, along with them came the message that a couple across the restaurant had bought our meals. They had heard us talking outside the restaurant and thought we were cool, so they paid for everything! Amazing! The food seemed to taste better after that and we all kept smiling at each other as we ate. Spice Rack then took the ride to Tahoe and we began our inquiry on the hotel scene in town. We found a room at the Bodie Hotel and went next door to have a celebratory drink for hitting 1,000 miles. All 3 of us ordered expensive whiskey and a man at the bar, overhearing our cause for celebration bought our round of drinks! This town sure does make a hiker feel special!
We spent the rest of the day eating, enjoying beer, playing pool and finally got settled into the hotel watching “Ghost.” We were beginning to wind down early, when who should appear? The rest of our group! We piled onto the beds in the hotel rejoicing in our reunion, sharing stories and smiles. They wanted to get dinner, so we headed back to the bar and ended up tying on another drink or so before we finally retired to the hotel. The rest of our group got another room, and we finished Ghost. Now to sleep a little buzzed on beers and life. Busy day tomorrow, no zero here…Tahoe next weekend!