Day 164: Back in the Snow

September 25, 2017: Hiked Miles 1016.9 to 998.8 (18.1 total)

Last night was the worst nights of sleep I have had on the entire trail. I was freezing, every part of my body ached, my stomach kept twisting in knots. I tossed and turned and felt like I woke up every few minutes for the entire night. When Colton’s alarm went off at 6:00, I was anything but rested. Luckily he hit snooze a few times and then turned it off and let us sleep until a little after 8:00. I finally got up and felt so weak and dehydrated. This cold is really kicking my butt. But we had to start hiking at some point so we packed up and drove back up Sonora Pass. We left his truck in the parking lot at the top of the pass and started hiking around 9:30. A little later than we had wanted, but at least we were finally on the trail. 

The morning was bright and sunny and very cold. The wind was strong and whipped at our faces whenever the trail hit an exposed area. We started climbing right off the bat, back in the snow. Luckily there were footprints to follow so we didn’t have to find our own path like the last time we were in the Sierras.

The scenery was gorgeous and I remembered why the Sierras are some of the best miles on the trail, even if they are some of the hardest. 

Sometimes we hit some dry, rocky patches and got little breaks from the snow. 

But for the most part, it was a winter wonderland. 

We entered into Emigrant Wilderness.

And we had the best morning soaking in the sights. 

It feels so good to be back on the trail. The first 5 or 10 minutes of the morning were a little rough, getting used to carrying a heavy pack after not doing so for over a week. But after that, everything felt right. The cool, crisp mountain air blowing in my face, the feel of muscles propelling me up the hill. Even my cold couldn’t keep my spirits down. And hiking all day just feels so much better to me than sitting all day. I don’t know if I am just meant to hike all the time or if my body has just got so used to being in constant motion, but already I feel a million times better than I did yesterday and last night. 

We started to pass by some icy mountain streams.

And then we dropped significantly in elevation and the snow suddenly became much more sparse. 

We stopped for a late lunch around 2:30 and the sun came out in full force to warm our bodies and put Colton right to sleep.

I stood up after lunch and instantly felt super nauseous. Food is not my friend right now. The afternoon was a struggle for me. I felt like my body was full of poison and every inch of me ached. With the added weight of the bear canisters and our sleeping liners, my pack was really pulling on my shoulders and it gave me a headache that would not go away. 

Luckily the trail wasn’t too hard after lunch. Mostly snow free and not too steep.

The landscape changed to a much rockier setting and we started crossing over lots of streams.

When we finally stopped for the day I was more than done. I took some ibuprofen to help with the headache and stretched a ton and cracked all the pressure points out of my back. I started to feel a little better after that. Neither one of us was very hungry, but we forced ourselves to eat because we’ll need the energy for tomorrow. It was the first time in a long time that I was absolutely disgusted by my dinner and had to force myself to finish it. I love to eat, I’m always hungry, and will never say no to food, except for when I’m sick. We might finally have exhausted our cravings for potatoes and ramen. But we still have to eat it for another two days. 

It’s 8:20 now and it’s dark and cold. We’re both double-socking it tonight since our toes froze last night. But luckily our shoes dried out this afternoon from the snow this morning so at least we’ll have dry shoes and socks in the morning. We’re praying we will wake up and feel much better and can have a good last few days on the trail. 

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