July 11, 2017: Hiked Miles 1213.5 to 1234.4 (20.9 total)
We slept in until after 6:00 this morning. Our bodies definitely needed some rest after our eventful week off and our first day back on the trail. We felt a little sore when we got up, but not nearly as bad as we expected. Stretching a lot last night must have saved us.
The morning was warm and it felt good to get back in the routine of starting the day early, cooking breakfast outside, and hiking during the cool morning.
We started hiking around 7:40, but not until after Colton left a message in our campsite.
Our morning started off gorgeous with some pretty views from the top of a ridgetop.
Colton is obviously delirious because he thinks the snow is easier to hike on. He even commented ay one point that he missed the snow. He must have forgotten the million times he cursed the snow in the past month and a half.
We passed over a ton of little springs, so at least the plentiful water hasn’t disappeared with the snow yet.
The day got warm and with all the climbing we were sweating like crazy in no time.
We ran into a ton of southbound hikers who had skipped the Sierras and went up to Ashland and were now hiking back down to the Sierras. We even passed one guy we had hiked with from Day 3 on the trail who we hadn’t seen in months. It was weird to see so many people all the sudden, especially since they were all going the opposite way as us. They gave us lots of reassuring news about the lack of snow from here on forward to the north which we were very happy to hear. They all wanted advice about the Sierras so we told them everything we knew, although who knows how the trail conditions are now that the snow is melting a lot more. I think the best advice we could give them is bring extra food, plan for shorter mileage days, and try not too let the lack of a trail frustrate you. I think that last one is pretty much impossible, but I’m sure there are a lot more footprints now, so it should be a little easier to navigate.
We kept seeing these metal markers on lots of trees with different numbers on them.
One thing there is not a lack of is downed trees on the trail.
We crossed a couple paved roads and took a break at one where Colton was convinced someone would bring us trail magic.
The trail switched on and off from dark forests to flourishing ones.
Eventually we made it to our campsite, right as our feet were getting ready to start hurting really bad. Hiking on dirt and rocks all day instead of soft snow definitely pains the feet a bit more. We threw our packs off and walked a little ways down to a nice piped spring where we filled up with some great cold water. We came back to camp, set up our tent, and stretched for as long as possible until my stomach started turning knots from being so hungry. We made more Mountain House meals for dinner from our awesome trail angels. I tried a new one: Mexican Rice and Chicken which is probably one of my favorites so far, especially when I added it to tortillas and made burritos out of it. Colton devoured his beef stroganoff, which he loves and I think tasted like vomit. It even looks like it a little too. We even had a raspberry crumble meal for dessert. By far the best of all the Mountain House meals. I got creative and cooked one of our yummy mint marshmallows over my stove. Colton doubted me, saying it would taste like propane, but it actually tasted amazing… warm, gooey, minty, creaminess, yum! These marshmallow things might be my new favorite trail snack.
Now it’s 8:00 and Colton is snoring and my eyes are already feeling heavy. Looks like were officially back into trail lifestyle. And it feels so good.