Day 55- Just keep hiking

I didn’t write on this day…. We woke up early and watched the sun splash its warming light across the valley. We were all quiet, soaking in the view. I wish the pictures did it justice but they barely captured even a fraction of the morning’s beauty.

Jailbreak and Pioneer hiked ahead while Bandaid and I were slower. Both of us had tender knees and were trekking carefully on the rocky ridges. We passed a marker for Mount Jenkins and got more great views.

Discreetly along the side of the trail were some rocks writing “1/4”. We almost missed it. A quarter of the trail complete! It seems like we have been out here for so long and that we should have more than 25% done, but on the other hand, we have WALKED a quarter of the way from Mexico to Canada. That’s pretty dang awesome.

At some point Jailbreak stopped to wait for us while Pioneer hiked on. The trail was still climbing and would continue to have an upward trajectory as we approached the highest section of trail- the Sierra Nevada mountain range. The rocky terrain and continuous climbing was taking its toll and Bandaid fell behind in the midday heat. My ankles and knee were freezing up at every break so I hiked ahead alone.

I reached our agreed-upon campsite and scoped it out. There were a number of sites so I wandered for a while and chose the best group spot I could find. As I was pitching my tent, the guys came limping in, Bandaid offering me a lovely desert thistle, blooming brightly. We all set up camp and made dinner, stiff and uncomfortable after today’s miles.

Another small group of hikers came into our campsite as we were finishing dinner. One tripped over the guyline of my tent as he stumbled through camp- maybe we weren’t the only ones struggling! It got cold quickly and I was thankful for my sleeping bag liner and my tent. Jailbreak had no tent (Mr Ultralight) and borrowed my foam mat for the night to stay warm. Hopefully we’ll all feel stronger in the morning.

Miles: 15.9

Hiked with: Jailbreak, Bandaid, some alone

Camped with: Jailbreak, Bandaid

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