Miles hiked: 15.7 (including rest of JMT alternate)
Camped at: Rush Creek Campsite
Some days I just don’t want to be hiking solo. This evening is one of those days – I can’t even say all day, because I was quite happy chatting with folks going southbound and Rev Blister when we leapfrogged for a while this morning. The scenery was stunning and diverting, lots of great alpine lakes, but it wasn’t until I got tired around 5pm and decided to camp early that I began to feel the lack of companionship. It seemed that almost everyone I saw today except for Blister was in a pair or group. I’m feeling so envious of them – it might be different if I was around many other solo hikers but I’m not. I ran into Sunshine and Taboo, who told me they haven’t seen other PCT thrus for 5 days! They zeroed on the trail at a hot springs and didn’t go into VVR or Mammoth Lakes, but still, they are feeling lonely and they have each other. I kept hoping Firestarter and Cat Burglar would catch up, but they must have either passed me while I was on a break or they are camping shy of my location. So different than the AT last year, where even when I was at the end of herd, like now, there were still plenty of folks about. I don’t necessarily want to skip ahead, as I want to see all of the trail, but I’m thinking more and more about it when I start feeling lonely. When it comes down to it, I like both hiking (which is fine solo, though I like sharing views with others), and camping, which I like to do with other folks. I can keep myself entertained for a long time alone, but there definitely is a limit! Perhaps the only thing I’m assured of is that Tuolumne tomorrow, this being a holiday week, will probably be a mass of humanity.
Today was a series of climbs and descents into/out of valleys along the JMT alternate. Despite the unrelenting terrain, I’m glad I took this route instead of the PCT as I really enjoyed the woods and lakes. Amazing to see the bright blue of the water through the trees – a hint of a beautiful lake beyond. Then, closer and closer, the view would open up. Stunning. Lots of great rushing creeks and waterfalls as well. At Garnet Lake where I ate lunch, the wind was beyond fierce! I couldn’t believe how chilly it was, with the spray from the lake waves coming up occasionally on the rocks near me.
In other news, I’m going to have to switch up my diet again. I have just not been that hungry the past several hiking days, but starving for town food. Whether this is from the elevation or just getting sick of everything I’ve been eating, I don’t know. It’s not helping that I’ve been carrying my least favorite dinners I prepped myself, which isn’t helping me to eat in the evenings. If the Tuolumne store has mountain house meals I’m going to buy some, despite cringing at the cost, and get rid of what I don’t want to eat. It’s a sad thing to be carrying a stove but not using it!
Lakes, lakes, and more lakes!