Miles hiked: 21.6 and over 5000 ft of elevation gain
Cumulative miles: 1249
Camped at: Crest Horse Camp, all by my lonesome
My first “12 before 12” and > 20 mile day since before Reds Meadow, I’m glad I’ve still got what it takes. While the elevation gain today looks like a lot, the trail was *wonderfully* graded, and I only went up to 4000 feet at the highest point. The only problem was after lunch finishing a 9 mile climb, when it got so hot and even more humid. I should have found a place for a siesta, and I did take a short break when I started to feel like I was overheating, but I really wanted to get to the next water source to drink my fill. This morning was weather was just perfect, gorgeous mist and comfy temps. Too bad it couldn’t have lasted all day that way!
I leapfrogged most of the day with another thru hiker couple, though we didn’t have a conversation long enough to exchange names. Otherwise 2 speedy thrus passed me early on, and I passed another hiker who I haven’t seen again. Only 2 southbounders today. Apparently folks are more scarce the farther out you come! Fingers crossed someone shows up at my intended campsite tomorrow – it’s 10 miles from the road crossing into town so hopefully someone else has the same idea I do for a Nero. I’d really like to have someone else to hitch as well as share camp. Needless to say, I’m a bit lonely tonight. I did get to talk with a weekender coming back to the trailhead before pitching camp, and he mentioned the others ahead of me are doing 30 mile days. Yowza! My original goal for today was 17 miles out, but I got there at 3pm (I started early due to the heat). The next campsite was 19 miles out but I realized that the camping/water tomorrow might be difficult – either a really short day, or 24 miles, which seems a bit excessive at this point. So, I decided to go another few miles to this campsite so I wouldn’t have to do an absolute death march tomorrow. Still, it’ll be another 20 mile day, though the elevation gain isn’t as much.
While the feet are a bit more tired than normal, nothing horrible from my long day other than having a slight upset stomach from the heat (normal for me unfortunately). My shoulder sore seems to be almost completely healed, though I am dealing with some chafing in the humid weather – and I’d forgotten the particular “wet dog” odor my hiking clothes get when they are soaked in sweat and don’t dry out!
While today was mostly forest walking (thank heavens for the shade in the heat), I did have a few great views at breaks – love seeing the really tall snow covered peaks in the distance :).