Campsite at mile 55.9 elevation 8100ft to campsite at mile 38.8 elevation 10064 ft
We all deal with storms…
Woke this morning to the pittering of rain on my tent. Thankfully it was short lived. We were packed and ready before the sun was. The best way to describe trail today was a roller coaster…lots of ups and downs…literally and figuratively.
Initially everything was going well. I seemed to have energy and I felt like I was doing well. After stopping for an early morning pee behind a tree around mile 50, I was getting my clothes all situated and my pack secure while simultaneously turning to get back in trail and right before me on the trail was a cougar. From all appearances we surprised each other. I am not certain if I hit something…rock, root or air…but I fell forward face first like a tree. Smacking the ground hard and all I saw afterwards was the backend of the cougar running quickly away. I’m guessing it was thinking “I don’t want that meat, something is wrong with that meat.” Afterwards I felt utterly tired, any uphill was laborious and I just wanted to sleep, thank you adrenaline crash effect.
We stayed in the forest for the greater part of the morning and by mid to end of the second climb, I was feeling very grouchy…all I was seeing were trees…why the heck are we climbing if we do not get a reward of a magnificent view…my body is ready for a break, this is the most consecutive days I have spent hiking without a zero day (day off)…crossed pathes with a wonderful couple who could see I was struggling and the simplest gesture of a handful of jolly ranchers lifted my spirits. After cresting the climb, I was once again reminded why this hike is so popular. Before me sat Garnet Lake, it was so stunning.
There was a bit of a tug of war going on with the weather with storm clouds developing over where I just hiked and into the area we were going to hike. We watched the skies darken before setting off again. After maybe 1/2 mile we stopped again because the clouds were changing right over us. As it was windy, I took the opportunity to use it to dry my tent fly…Luke did too ghost style.
Once the weather appeared safe to move we headed up to Thousand island lake, up and over Island Pass, which seems to have the flattest approach with less than perfect views as the lake is best viewed below it.
We pushed onward…really downward. The down really hurts the blister on foot and I’m slow going. At the bottom we don’t really have a good tent site and I decide I can continue on up with less pain and decide to push on another mile or so. I’m not liking some of the campsite along the way…Luke finds some stealthy campsites that involve boulder hopping that I’m a little less keen on…legs are just too tired and I worry I’ll miss and fall into the creek. Finally we find a site nestled perfectly between two other campers and I am done for the night. I wash my feet, soak my blistered foot in an Epsom salt bath…still looking good. I eat a delicious dinner of ramen and crushed Fritos…oddly good…and snickers and hot chocolate. Tomorrow we climb Donohue Pass and enter into Yosemite. This also means 2 more days and we are done. I’m ready to be done…at least to have a break…in the end it will have been 14 days and over 240 miles hiked…I think I have more than earned a break. Oh and I want ice cream, strange craving on the coldest day hiked so far!