Miles hiked: 15.5
Camped at: Sallie Keyes Lake campsite with Spencer/Chef, Amy, and Tristan
Ohh, 100% Deet, I had forgotten how wonderful (and horrible) you are. I broke down and used some while getting swarmed at my second breakfast break, and immediately wondered why I had been resisting. Tonight at camp I let others borrow it, and the reaction was immediate – ahh, relief. How wonderful and terrible at the same time.
No pass today! After the self imposed stress of yesterday, my goal was to get as close as possible to Selden Pass, but not worry if I didn’t make it up and over. This morning’s hike was a meandering stroll through actual woods (pines only of course) following creek and rushing rivers. I did my first real ford – Evolution Creek. The water came up to just above my knees, and there was a decent current, but no sweat, literally, as the water was quite cold before 9am. I was so much more relaxed after the fords in Maine last year.
I made good time, feeling like I had my thru hiker legs back by doing over 10 miles before noon. However the afternoon humbled me. The initial climb for Selden Pass is a very exposed, hot and sunbaked, rather steep series of never ending switchbacks. I met the folks I’m camping with on the way up and at the first creek crossing where we all collapsed to drink some water. Amy and I bonded over hiking shade to shade and having difficulty breathing on the climbs. It sounds like she is leaving the trail when she gets to VVR, too bad as we might actually have a similar pace! She’s decided thru hiking isn’t for her though. Her BF Chef it sounds like will stay on, while Tristan is her brother and was visiting for a few weeks – tough kid, his first backpacking trip ever and it’s in the Sierra! They built a fire to cook fish Chef caught in the lake here, so neat to see folks partially living off the land. Plus it was nice to have the warmth on this chilly night! I hope I see them in VVR – we were all daydreaming about cheeseburgers. Ahh, the torture of thinking about town food when I’m not quite there yet. I have a feeling I’m going to be motivated tomorrow even though I have enough food to last until the next day at least. But that is backpacking food, I’m at the point I need something fresh.
All in all, a nice relaxed day of hiking for me in the Sierra! I tried to think more positively this morning, and that seemed to help my overall attitude :).