Halfway between Muir Pass and Le Conte Ranger Station – Le Conte Ranger Station
10,200 – 8,720 (- 1,480) – 4 miles
Free Maps Online – Day 17 – Map 7
We continued down the mountain and made it into Le Conte Ranger Station – and YES there was trail magic. Marty and Norma were the two past PCT hikers that Joe knew who were also running this Ranger Station Construction Project.
They had quite a large crew for the previous week as supplies and cabin pieces were helicoptered in to the work site. There was a new food shipment set to arrive Tuesday and they had loads of food left over. Knowing what distance hiking is like, they opened their camp to the hikers for the weekend. Quesadillas, salads, Gatorade, and good companionship.
We liked Norma and Marty right off, and we also met one of the other construction crew workers, Dewey. Those three folks were very welcoming, interested in hearing about this year’s hiker experience, and sharing information about the area, the construction project, and much more.
Norma had a hand washing station set-up with A NAIL BRUSH!! My hands were never as clean as the time we spent at Le Conte. I jumped behind the counter with Norma and helped make salads and chop things for quesadillas. Many groups of hikers came through during the day and we spent time with them and helped feed them all. Norma and Marty invited the three of us to stay the night, have dinner, a nice breakfast and move on the next day.
Marty knew quite a bit about the local history and shared stories of planes found in nearby glaciers and disappearing rangers. We ate and talked around the fire for a few hours and everyone retired for a very peaceful sleep.
Stay Tuned: these three slow moving hikers receive many boons from Norma!