Miles hiked: 16.5 over Muir Pass
Camped at: McClure Meadow Ranger Station, with 2 JMT southbounders
Today felt like such an off day for me. I was anxious all morning about getting to the top of Muir Pass, all I could picture was a postholing disaster if I didn’t get up and over by 1pm, and 7 miles ascending at 11-12K takes me 1 mph these days. I was almost panicked when I lost the trail at stream crossings several times (many others did too) – “I don’t have time for this!!” I’m hiking all day long, what else do I have except time?? Realistically, there was so little snow it wouldn’t have made a difference when I had got up there. This afternoon I was irritated that the trail was completely exposed for miles and looked like a moon scape (where are the trees??) then had a pity party/crying pitifully walking down the trail about all the perceived shortcomings in my life. Sigh, I’m glad these days don’t happen often, I’m exhausted emotionally tonight if not physically.
This morning began with deer encroaching on our campsite – the poor section hikers cowboy camping got an eyeful the deer were so close! Except for the emotions rolling about the climb really was gradual and very pretty with all of the lakes. Many many stream crossings – many. The trail was a stream at times too! Welcome to the days of wet feet. Trail maintainers, if you are going to channel the Whites (boulder piles serving as the trail with cairns marking the general direction – Godspeed! being the implied message), for gosh sake, at least make the cairns bigger. At least those sections didn’t last for long. Down from Muir, where despite the fact it was noon I just wasn’t hungry for lunch, just snacked, I ran into many southbounders, including 2 NOBO thrus doing a short section that way – I had last seen the ladies at the Walker Pass trail magic, and it was heartwarming to hear they were glad I was back on the trail. Once past the “moon desolation” area, the glacier lakes were as lovely as usual, Evolution Lake being particularly stunning. Meeting the JMT-ers in camp was uplifting, two great guys quasi training for an AT thru hike! I really enjoyed getting to know them.
I’m done with elevations over 12,000 feet, hooray! There is a decent amount of mileage until Selden Pass, so I guess I’ll see if I make it that far tomorrow. I definitely have enough food to stay out longer if needed. All the folks I’ve met since getting back on the trail are now ahead of me, which has me feeling lonely. I have a feeling few will zero at VVR, as many did out of Kearsarge Pass. Still having thoughts of skipping ahead at some point if I don’t fall in with a group soon. Enough with the angst for today!