Day 43: Of Hills and Heavy Packs

Memories from June 2

I have a warmer sleeping bag for the Sierras. It’s big and soft in a way my lighter one isn’t. I slept so well last night I might as well have been in my own bed. I also used my puffy and had shell as a pillow instead of an inflated water bladder. All of this despite waking up with frost on the bag.

Since I didn’t eat a full day of food yesterday and the food I stuffed into my pack’s mesh pocket was definitely more than two days, my pack is probably as heavy as it has been for the entire trip. Not 70lbs like they used to have but they had thick hip belts and padded shoulder straps. It’s surprising how quickly a few thousand feet of climbing can wind you. I don’t know if it’s the pack or altitude which always brings my breath up short when I start walking again. I think I’ve rested and my first few steps disagree.

The first part of the day was spent climbing about 2500ft to about 10500ft.

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A bunch of people stopped for water at Cow Creek but given the duration we all stopped, it was more about catching our breathes. I met Raw Hide, Trips, and Nana. Trips has a good habit if just politely standing and enjoying the view instead of driving herself to a sweaty, hyperventilating mess. I decided to take a leaf from her book.

Over lunch Flapjack tried to repair his Kindle. Note the workbench, toolset, and electrostatic wristband he packed out for just such an occasion.

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The peak elevation today was on a traverse under Olancha Peak.

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We just have 15 miles to do today and so I took a side trip to near the top. There wasn’t a trail, I was expecting to just go up until I didn’t feel safe or couldn’t go higher. I found two cairns in the process and what might have been indentations left by an adventurer from a previous season.

I only made it to the lowest of three peaks. Here’s the highest.

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There was a hill to the south which looked like it might have had enough room to camp on top.

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The view was amazing. It was like an overview of where we’d come from.

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As the trail descended the soil changed to a light sand. The trees’ bark became more orange. There was less brush. The stones became lighter in color, larger, and more round.

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Over dinner by a stream I tried to give away the extra food I’m carrying. There weren’t many takers until a group came by where one person had been planning on resupplying earlier than the others and they were trying to figure out how to share their food in a way so they could all get out to Independence instead of Lone Pine.

Nutella in Zip Lock bags is very messy. Eventually Half Spoon pointed out that there was a stream so I could turn the bag inside out, lick it clean, then wash my muzzle and paws. I still couldn’t get it clean but got enough off that I didn’t feel bad putting the rest in my trash bag. I am hikertrash.

I’m camping tonight on an overlook with Flapjack, Hiccup, and Half Spoon. We watched the sun go down. I don’t have pictures because if I took pictures of everything pretty, I’d have a video.

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