Wednesday, May 17 — day 52

PCT miles 745.29 to 750.83

Today my goal is to get to Chicken Springs Lake then exit the PCT to Horseshoe Meadow.  I got up early while the snow was still hard and donned my Microspikes to start the ridge traverse.  The entire trip will be on snow

I was able to get a good View of Horseshoe Meadows

After a few miles I finally reached my trips goal: Chicken Spring Lake 

I was so excited!  Fifty two days and 751 miles of walking had finally brought me to this point!  

I celebrated with a lunch of salami, cheese, cookies and candies.  I then headed back before the snow got too soft.

I said goodbye to all the PCT through hikers that continued on to Rock Creek and points north — I wish I could join you!

I returned to Trail Pass and headed down to Horseshoe Meadows.  I was careful in crossing the meadow because the streams were eroding the snow

I was careful to cross the ice bridges over the steams at their thickest points

Along the way I encountered pink snow – an algae that grows on snow

After crossing the meadow I arrived at the Cottonwood Lakes Trailhead where two years ago I had started my extended John Muir Trail hike.  

With my trip last year from Tuolumne Meadows to Lake Tahoe, this now means that I have hiked from Mexico to Lake Tahoe, I have completed the first 1,110.99 miles of the PCT!

I set up camp at the walk in campsite for Cottonwood Lakes.  Due to the road closure I had the entire area to myself.  I started a small campfire in an attempt to fro my shoes, but the wood was awfully wet and preferred to smoke rather than burn.

I think I only succeed in giving them a nice smoky smell!

I went to sleep feeling both excited that I had reached my hiking goal and sad that my journey is almost over.

Thanks for reading!