Holy cow, so I have not had any service since before Kennedy Meadows, so my apologies for the delay! This trip is aasammmaazzziiinnnggg. Everyday something new and exciting happens, which both challenges my physical strength and my mind. I have finally hit the Sierras - a dream come true. The landscape has changed from cacti and water shortage, to sequoias providing balanced shade, rocks that stack high above 10,000 feet, and rivers every few miles or so. I've been using my life straw lots, which saves times used filtering through the Sawyer mini, and weight in my pack. The bear barrel though... is a pain in the neck... but highly valuable for protecting my food. I saved a ton of money preparing my food before the trip, but I still find myself running into every grocery store while in town to resupply on produce and other fresh foods. Avocados are a popular carry-out on trail, also cheeses and beer. The things people carry to gain that little bit extra comfort while in the mountains make the world of a difference for food-happiness.
Sooooo I climbed Mt. Whitney!!!!! It's the tallest point in the southern 48 states! And it was the day after my highest mile day - which was 27 miles!! Let's just say I was pretty exhausted climbing over Forester Pass (which is the highest point on the actual PCT trail). The weather has been amazing, so every mountain top reached has shared incredible views and a remarkable feeling of accomplishment. The down hill from Forrester Pass was both hilarious, and fucking difficult. It faces the north, so the snow level was high, but the afternoon when I was going down, the snow was slushy and a total pain. I remember at one point, I was trenching through the snow waste deep, my knees were bloody from the ice ripping off knee scabs I acquired while running downhill days prior, hands were red and sprinkled with sharp ice... And as I stood there, with over 200 feet of snow left to make it to solid dirt, all I could think about was my mom being pissed if she saw me in my current state. Bloody, icy, sun burnt, and in a possibly dangerous position if I sunk too deep into the icy snow. Anyways, made it through, laid in the sun near a beautiful lake to dry off, and continued on my way. Every difficult situation renders someone beautiful once complete. As I walked down the valley that evening to my campsite, baked in every form possible, the smile on my face was so large, pure, and satisfying.
The amount of people on trail lowers each day... But that's okay because thousands of people registered for thru hike permits. Either people slow down to rest and recover, or they are skipping ahead to avoid the snow, or are leaving trail, tired and beat. Everyday I hear of someone else stopping... I don't think I'll get to that point, but I know I have some difficult terrain ahead.
Now since in the Sierras, lake swimming is a daily activity, which is so cool! I want to get my fishing license so I can eat some of the fish I swim with on the regular.
Hitch hiking is more comfortable, and don't worry, I never hitch alone.
My pinky toes hate me.. I feel bad for the little guys.
I eat so much... Or I CAN eat so much. Food is such a treat, but super mandatory when you start feeling your energy level drop. There are times, when you have to climb a few thousand feet, for over 10 miles... So for hours, you're walking up hill! Shit is exhausting.
Life is amazing, I can't wait to write more later. For now, I need to pick up my resupply box, and head back to trail. Love you, thinking of you always.