I can hike. I can actually hike! Even my lungs agree, which is a complete turn around from a week ago :).
Today I awoke to chilly temps after a night filled with an amazing starscape here at Horseshoe Meadow campground outside of Lone Pine. It felt outrageously decadent to laze about in my sleeping bag (and can I say I’m very happy to have my fleece liner again?!) reading long after I would normally be packed up and out. After an equally leisurely breakfast, which I actually heated up water for my oatmeal, I loaded everything into my pack except my tent and sleeping bag. It felt great to haul my pack up and grab my trekking poles once more to head out down the trail. Well, a trail, if not the trail. At least I stepped foot on the PCT today for the first time in 1 1/2 weeks! Great fun exploring any side trail that caught my fancy, my primary concern, that’d I’d be a gasping wheezing mess trying to hike uphill at 10000 feet, was soon allayed. Thank heavens!! No need to even think about my rescue inhaler brings a big grin to my face even now. Yes, I had to pause now and again on the steeper sections, which is typical at this elevation, and my pace finally feels like mine again – frankly I felt just as good, if not better, than the day I climbed Baden Powell! Granted 13-14K (Forrester Pass, Mt Whitney) in elevation might be a different story, but if it is I’ll just go slow. Baby steps!
One thing I’ve realized the past 2 days – I am hungry at elevation – and today I only hiked in the morning. Well, at least I planned for 12-13 mile days through the Sierra – if I go faster I can eat more ;).
Some PCT hikers arrived during the afternoon, most notably Blue Butterfly who camped by me and we had a great time visiting over dinner. Nice to spend time with other backpackers – the weekenders here are nice but look at me like I’m some sort of strange creature when I describe what I’m doing!
The PCT again! Looking into the future ;).