Dove Springs Canyon Rd(621.9) to Tentsite(641.9) 20 Miles
The great thing about hiking for ten to twelve hours a day is you get a lot of time to think. Yesterday I was thinking about how each day is a product of what you choose to make of it. I knew today was going to be a rough day so I decided to make it a good day. I struggle with my self esteem. I tend to get down on myself over minor things. I committed to staying positive no matter what may come. As a result I had a fantastic day. I left camp a little later than I wanted to because we had to figure out the logistics of packing out our water cache. I volunteered to pack out one of the empty 2.5 gallon jugs. I strapped it to the outside of my pack. It was like a giant wind sail flapping around all morning. I barely made it out of camp when, Raging Pineapple, stopped ahead of me and announced that there was cell phone service. I stopped to upload my blog post from two days ago and then I carried on. It was really windy and cold out, but instead of being annoyed I reminded myself that at least it wasn't hot out. There were a lot of short and steep climbs through deep loose sand. It was very slow going. Every step was one step forward and half a step back as my feet slipped through the sand. I tried to pretend that I was walking on the beach, but my mind wasn't fooled. Instead of getting upset about how much it was slowing me down I put on my mp3 player and deliberately slowed my pace. If I was going to go slow it would be my decision, not the terrain dictating my pace. I barely hiked one mile when my mp3 player ran out of battery. Once again I just let it go. I listened to a podcast on my phone instead. I'm listening to, Sounds Of The Trail, which is all about thruhiking. It was the perfect distraction.
The temperature quickly changed. It went from windy and cold to steaming hot in a matter of minutes. It was getting more difficult to keep a positive attitude. Just as I was beginning to lose my cool the most magical thing happened, I came upon a wonderful water cache. The same trail angel who gave us a ride from Ziggy and the Bears hostel to the bus station, DevilFish, had put together one of the best water caches/trail magic I've ever seen. He had at least 50 gallons of water, a cooler full of snacks, medical supplies, and three charging stations. He even had a GoPro charging cable, which was amazing because I lost mine at Hiker Heaven.
I thought about taking a siesta at the water cache, but I couldn't relax because we had a big climb coming up. It was starting to get hot out and the climb was very exposed. In the end I decided to get the climb over with and then relax at the top. Since there was no water for twenty two miles I had to carry five liters with me. Man, was my pack heavy. The climb was much easier than I thought it was going to be, never underestimate the power of positive thinking.
Once I had the climb behind me I found a nice spot in the shade to take a long break. I was excited to finally get good cell phone service. My excitement quickly faded when I heard the sad news about the shooting in Orlando. I'm glad that I don't have access to the news. Our media and the way they cover the news is disgusting. Since I could no longer enjoy my siesta I packed up and hiked on. I was sad and disgusted with the news and hiking is great therapy. I was letting my mind wander when I caught my first sight of the Sierra mountain range. I instantly felt better and got super excited for the rest of the hike. We will be beginning a new chapter of the hike in just a matter of days.
I remained positive throughout the remaining miles. I had a couple of difficulties when I got into camp, but I didn't let them drag me down. I had a green pepper explode/rot all over my food bag. My thoughts were, "Hey, I needed to clean out my food bag anyway." I also managed to set a small fire to some shrubs while cooking dinner. I looked away from my stove for one second and the next there was a small fire. I managed to quickly put it out. I shouldn't have been so careless about cooking so close to dry shrubbery. It was a teachable moment for us all. I doubt that every day I will be able to keep up such a positive attitude, but it was a great experiment towards becoming a better person and I can't ask for more than that from myself.
"A day without laughter is a day wasted.” - Charlie Chaplin