Saturday, July 23, 2016

Day 78- Taking Time To Stop And Smell The Wildflowers

July 19, 2016
Tent Site(1070.2) to Campsite(1087) 17.2 Miles
Total up/down: +2682/-3105 feet

Since today was going to be a low mileage day I decided to sleep in a little. I didn't wake up until almost seven o'clock. I even took the time to make coffee before leaving camp. It was the complete opposite of yesterday. I took numerous breaks and enjoyed the crisp cool temperature. The wind was mildly better today, but it was still breezy. After leaving camp the trail dropped down sharply only to climb back up a talus field. I'm not crazy about walking across talus. The rocks are sharp and pointy and hurt my feet and tear up my shoes. I think it reminds me too much of hiking in Pennsylvania. I must have PTSD. 
Talus field

I really enjoyed the uphill climb after the talus scramble. It was beautiful and the cool weather made for a pleasant hike. I was surprised to still have to hike across a few snow fields. Everyday I think it will be the last time I have to contend with the snow. It is not difficult or dangerous, it is just awkward and slows me down. 
Unexpected snow field

I took a long break at the top of the mountain. The view was nice so I had my second breakfast there, gazing into the wilderness. 

Lost in thought

While I was taking my break Shimmy and Cupcake passed by me. We decided to meet one mile farther down the trail for a second coffee. I took a little too long on top of the mountain(called Elephants Back) so I hurried off to meet them. On the way down I passed by at least twenty day hikers. They all wanted to stop and chat. I took the time to talk with most of them. People always seemed amazed to see a female hiking solo on a long distance trail. I patiently answered all of their questions, all the while wondering where they were all coming from. I thought that I was a good ways away from civilization. 
Elephants Back(I don't see an elephant)
The Nipple(I do see the resemblance)

Once I finally caught up with Shimmy and Cupcake they informed me that there was a trailhead about a mile away. Mystery of the day hikers solved! The trailhead parking area was fantastic, it had a great visitors center. The nice volunteer inside provides sodas, cookies, and fresh fruit to thruhikers. I think she does this out of her own pocket and I greatly appreciated it. 
Trail magic(Thanks Shirley)
Getting closer everyday

Shirley told us that all of the day hikers are wildflower enthusiasts. This is the prime time for wildflower blooms in central California. I wasn't too impressed by what I saw. You should see southern Virginia in late May, but it was nice to see so many people out enjoying nature. 
Pretty, but not a lot of them

The remaining seven miles passed by quickly. I got lost in my thoughts for most of those miles. By lost in my thoughts I mean dreaming about all of the things I'm going to eat when I get to Tahoe. I have everything planned out. Breakfast will consist of a large glass of chocolate milk, eggs over easy, hash browns, sausage, and pancakes. Lunch will be a beer and free personal sized pizza from a hiker friendly establishment called Basecamp Pizza. Since a personal sized pizza isn't very big, I'll finish lunch off with a pint of ice cream from the Ben and Jerrys store.(Hey Airlock, can you guess what flavor of Ben and Jerry's?) If the hostel has a grill I'm going to grill steaks and fresh veggies. I have put a lot of thought into day one of food, I will just have to see where my stomach takes me for day two and three. It is a pretty safe bet that the all you can eat casino buffets will factor into one or two of those days. Life is good on the trail! 

"Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared."        -Buddha


  1. Glad you had a pleasant day and could commune with two of your pack friends as well as the day hikers. I'd bet you inspired several of them much as you do many of us out here in cyber space. Good on ya for the blog and the pics. Keep on kickin'!

  2. You might just overeat at the AYCE buffet. Enjoy the food and a room to yourself for a couple of nights. Good article for where to hike. LY

  3. Coffee Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz! The food musings cracked me up. :)