I have officially hiked one quarter of the trail! Only 1,995 miles to go. Ironically the quarter way point was at mile 666.
We had to get up early this morning to get back to the trail. It was very logistically challenging. We were up at 4:45 to catch the 5:30 bus into Lake Isabella, where we had to transfer to another bus to get into Onyx, then we had to split up to catch a hitch back to the trail. Outro, Evac, and Wolf took the first car that stopped. Zuul, U-Turn, and I had to wait another fifteen minutes before another car stopped for us. A very nice retired woman picked us up. She was an avid hiker and was delightful to talk to. I was hiking north once again at 8 am. I started off with a gentle 1,800' climb. The weather was cool and breezy. After our zero day yesterday my legs felt well rested and the climb was fairly easy.
I caught up to Evac around the six mile mark and we had second breakfast together. The trail was very exposed with not a whole lot of options for taking restroom breaks. We had to get pretty creative. For some reason every time I go into town my feet swell up. When I get back on trail and start hiking again I have to take frequent pee breaks. I guess it is all of the excess fluid from my feet coming out. Weird!
I stayed up way too late last night and as a result I was very tired all day. My early morning energy quickly faded away. I took way more breaks than usual.
Crossing over the rock slides was not very much fun. They beat the crap out of my feet and make my ankles sore. We had a lot of elevation gain and loss as well. We would spend several miles climbing mountains only to turn around and lose all of the elevation we had gained. It really made for a long day. I wasn't even aware that we would cross the quarter point of the trail today. I came upon Evac standing in the middle of the trail with a big smile on her face. I asked her what was up and she told me the significance of mile 666. We took the time to make the mile marker and took funny pictures next to it.
Our next stop was for water. I really struggled to get there. I was taking so many bathroom breaks that I had forgotten to eat during most of my breaks. I decided to cook dinner at the water source so I wouldn't have to carry an extra liter of water up our last big climb of the day. After eating my ramen noodles and cheetos I felt much better and crushed out the remaining miles. We found a nice sheltered spot to camp. Everyone ate some more food and went to bed early. We are only thirty miles from Kennedy Meadows and everyone is getting more excited by the mile.
"What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well."
- ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPÉRY, The Little Prince