Today was what we consider an easy day. We slept in and didnt leave the Bensen Hut until 9 or so. It was so beautiful up there. We slept on the second floor and had a the windows open, creating a perfect cross breeze. We also enjoyed the sunrise, not as spectacular as thee sunset, still amazing. The ridge walk after the hut was a great place to spend a leisurely morning.
When we reached old highway 40, we found a cooler with sodas in it for thru hikers. Such a great surprise! We also found great trail magic at the Donner Ski Ranch, a hometown feeling ski lodge that gives PCT hikers a free beer. We of course got fries, burgers, and ice cream. Hard to hike after all that food, but we did it.
This area is full of recreation opportunities. We passed folks rock climbing, running, hiking, road biking, and could see people boating on a lake far below. Old people and young people. Dogs too! Lots of fun talking to day trippers who are amazed by the trail and make us feel like superstars!
We took another long break at the Peter Grubb Hut where we enjoyed some reading material we found. I found a Civil War magazine and Lauren found a Tina Faye book. After another 2 hour break we marched onward.
The trail dropped down a bunch and we were quickly swarmed by thousands of mosquitos. We walked quickly, swatting ourselves until we reached a saddle and cooked dinner. This was another hour long break. Then down to White creek where they were terrible yet once more. We grabbed water and headed for higher ground. Hiked until 830, but sleeping in a windy saddle will keep us a little more sane, as long as these wind gusts dont blow the tent off the mountain!