Miles hiked: ~16.5+, 14.5 on the PCT to Trail Pass junction
Camped at: Horseshoe Meadow Campground
Writer didn’t make it here to Horseshoe Meadow, I’m hoping she is ok and stopped to camp early. So hard to know if I should worry when there are only a few thrus here since I’m off the PCT. I’m planning to leave her a note on her bear can, so she’ll know where I am. I wonder if I’ve been too impatient getting out of camp in the mornings – we really haven’t given hiking together during the day a real try. Though we each have our priorities – she’s trying to get her hiking legs and figure out how she likes to hike, and I’m testing my lungs and endurance to get back in thru hiker shape. I hope it works out to meet back up – though everyone else around is nice and I’m slowly getting to know folks, I was lonely for a while today. Plus, my dry hacking cough isn’t really changing, which is disappointing it’s not better. It’s definitely worse with a lot of dust, which is so hard to avoid out here. I don’t think it’s affecting my breathing while climbing that much, but it’s definitely annoying.
This was a tiring day – hiking at 10000 feet when you aren’t used to elevation like this is wearing many of us out. Or, the effort involved to hike 16 miles is even more than I was expecting. The last 2 miles down from the PCT to Horseshoe Meadow, which I remembered so fondly from my day hike last week, nearly did me in. So much sand! Though I had time to hike more, arriving at 5pm, I certainly had no energy to do so. In fact, I couldn’t even muster up enough energy to go to the pack station to get my bear canister, so I’ll have to do that tomorrow morning before heading out. Today’s hike was less exciting than yesterday’s, but much of the scenery was lovely and it was still a joy to be out of the desert. I definitely pushed myself today, and while pleased I was able to do so, tonight I refined my plan from here to Independence keeping the mileage more forgiving. It’ll give me time to appreciate the scenery and enjoy the Sierra! I’m happy I planned on 6 days of food, though I certainly won’t be as happy to carry it ;).
One of the last views of the desert: