Trail location: 1760
Cumulative miles hiked 2019/2021: 2408
Cumulative miles hiked 2021: 391
Miles hiked today: 13
High/low temp/humidity: 80/54/40
Spinning on the turntable: Jeremy Robinson: Infinite 2
The morning started with some campers yelling “go away bear!” Thankfully, it wasn’t us. I’m headed out of Reds Meadow today and won’t connect with Noelle for 11 days. I’ll stop at VVR in a few days for a light resupply, so I’m actually taking food for about 8 days instead of 11 days.
It’s odd to look at this sign and recognize that I’ve been to both ends of this trail. I’m getting close to closing the gap in the middle. I tell folks what I’m doing this year, and most offer congratulations. It’s odd, I don’t want to jinx it. I still have a long ways to go.
I bumped into a SBTH who had skipped from Ashland Oregon to Truckee California to avoid the Oregon and California forest fires. This is the first SBTH that I’ve seen. I think…. He was planning to hit Mexico and then bounce back up to hike the sections that he’s stilling how. Sounds familiar eh?
There are some days when it’s just gonna be a slog, and today was one of those days. I climbed up, and up, and up. When I was done climbing, I climbed a bit more.
The weight of the bear canister, plus 8 days of food, snacks, Gatorade powder and extra fuel is downright oppressive. Stopping for lunch is mandatory. I must give my feet and knees a bit of rest. Hot spots/blisters are much quicker to appear when I’m loaded down with all the extra weight. When I stopped for lunch I ate under a tree after spreading out my tent ground cover. I took a short nap. A 60’ish hiker passed by while I was half awake and half asleep. Thankfully he kept quiet and continued on his way. Too many hikers want to talk when I’m trying to doze. Just keep moving, there’s nothing here to see, other than a very weary hiker.
I didn’t sleep all that well last night. We stayed in a campground and the campground sounded like, well, a family campground in the summer. The sound was both soothing and grating. Most nights on the trail there aren’t so many noises. A deer banging through the brush, a squirrel darting through tree branches, but no real human sounds.
Tomorrow I’ll continue to climb. If 2019 was an experience in the joy of thru-hiking, 2021 is all about resolve. I’m lonely, a bit bored at times, and my body truly aches. This year is all about finishing what I started. Leaving Noelle at Red’s was difficult. It was easier to hike when we knew folks in our own hiking bubble. This year we’re both largely on our own out here.