I was extremely tired and wanted to keep sleeping, but finally got up at 6:09. My sleeping bag was wet with condensation! It was 42 degrees, but felt much warmer than that! For breakfast, I had granola with chocolate bits in it, a banana, and coffee! I was very surprised that no one had passed by the entire time that I was camped directly by the trail! All night long, I was expecting Drama to come by and find me. I wondered where everyone was!
I started walking at 7:18. The landscape had changed into more of a woodsy feel with leaves all over the ground.
Just after 8 am, I heard an unexpected sound…water! I thought that the next source was only a dried up puddle and not a cascading stream! My water report had no mention of this! There was a guy camping with a hammock up on the hill. He was just starting to break down his tarp, and I assumed that he was a weekend or section hiker. I collected some cold water and sat on a rock to filter in and then proceded on my way.
My mood was good and thoughts about other things than how many miles I had left until the end of the day, until my next resupply, until the end of California, and until Canada flowed through my head. I decided that after the trail, I wanted to make jewelry (like Weeds does for a living), and that I wanted to write and teach yoga, as well. I had two climbs that were each about 1,000 feet during the morning. The temperature rose to 94 degrees, but didn’t bother me very much. I must be getting acclimated to the heat.
I reached a sign that had something written on it in marker. It advised that there was a better water source here than the one listed in our guidebooks. It instructed to find the second Sugar tree, stop and listen for water, and then head down the bank through the trees to find it! So, I did just that! It was kind of fun. I set my pack under the big tree and scrambled under the branches to find the water, filter it, and head back out for my next climb of 2,000 feet over the next 6 and a half miles. Part way up the climb, I reached Fox Mill Spring and decided that I would make my first ice coffee of the hike! That was nice.
I kept climbing and soon reached another burn area! Sometimes, these areas have their own beauty because flowers grown quickly around the charred trees, but this area just looked like dead trees. I listened to some music to help me with the climb, even though it was quickly draining my battery to do so. The burned area was going on forever and by now, my stomach had started hurting again. I hoped to stop and take a break when I reached the top and had a nice view, but there turned out to be no nice views around here!
I moved on until I came to a bend in the trail around 5:45 and sat down. My stomach was in a lot of pain. I decided that I would make my dinner here. I boiled water for my pasta, let my noodles sit, and added some tuna for protein. The wind was picking up. I didn’t know what to do about my stomach. I tried to go the bathroom, but couldn’t. So, I kept walking along the ridge for the next 75 minutes. I saw no places to camp along the way!
At one switchback turn, I saw a tiny spot that could possibly fit a sleeping bag, but I would have to wedge myself in between a prickly bush and a charred log! No, thanks! I continued on, hoping to find someplace soon. Finally, I saw a clump of trees in the distance and knew there must be something there for me!
I was right! I turned off the trail and scouted out the area. Parts of it were filled with anthills, so I chose a spot lower down. I later saw that I had put my stuff sacks on top of baby poodle dog bushes when I took them out of my pack!
As I lay in my sleeping bag at 8:36 pm, it is 61.8 degrees out and the crickets are chirping. I hope it is not too windy tonight! And I hope my tummy feels better tomorrow! Tomorrow is a big day- crossing the 700 mile point and reaching Kennedy Meadows- the gateway to the Sierras!
Hi Wendy: OMG! Is this the onset of the C.Diff? (cringing) I wish I had a time machine and could go back to this date and hike up with the Flagyl and the Lincomycin for you. Even with it, it takes a week to three…gosh I don’t even want to think about you suffering that hideous affliction out there on the trail! You are amazing! I read your blogs every day…I can’t get enough Wendy!
This is the giardia before the C. Diff! I was sick for 3/4 of the hike! (And still suffering to date…)