When I woke to Leaky and Moonshine packing up and making breakfast I felt like I could have slept for at least three more hours. Not having the opportunity to catch up on lost sleep from the last section is really taking its toll on me mentally and physically, so tonight I’m going to try to be ready for bed by the time it gets dark.
Moonshine made coffee before we left camp and I tried a new combination of oats, Carnation Breakfast mix and granola. It was delicious! Then it was time to hit the trail and climb 3 miles up to Dicks Pass. I had the sneaking suspicion that I might get cell reception at the top which was definitely a motivator, and I was right.
I took a break at the top to send out my last blog post. When I was in Tahoe I had a chance to check emails and comments on my blog, but I simply didn’t have the mental capacity to respond to most of them. Sometimes it’s really hard to even digest the events of each day and in town the sensory overload often gets the better of me. I was particularly brain dead in Tahoe so please forgive the delay. I definitely needed some words of motivation and inspiration so thank you all so much!
Leaky and Moonshine soon caught up and took a break too. Leaky had carried extra water up which meant we could have another cup of coffee! Heaven. Then Fuller arrived on scene, beaming from ear to ear and looking like a new hiker after our chat yesterday. That absolutely made my day!
From the Pass it was 3 miles to the next water source, from there it was 4 miles until lunch, and from lunch it was 10 miles to the campsite. Sadly this is how my brain now operates on autopilot. I listened to Missy Higgins coming up the pass which has become my morning ritual. Then I rode the caffeine high to the water. Between water and lunch I was counting miles, getting upset at my new shoes which are not only a size too big (I think), but are too lightweight for rocky trails like the ones through Desolation Wilderness. I think the insoles Dirty Girl has forwarded to Sierra City will help, but it’s still a long way to go and my feet are hurting like the first few weeks. Not good!
The boys had stopped off trail in the shade for lunch with Mehap who I met in Yosemite and Noday who I only just met today. We did a little bartering of food over lunch. I swapped a drink mix that Chris gave me for a handful of starburst jelly beans, and a peanut butter and jelly bagel for a salami, cheese, avocado and coconut oil tortilla. I also swapped one Carnation Breakfast packet for two packets of oatmeal. I think I did well. When Fuller caught up we had a good reminiscing session about the early days of the trail. He also said he wanted to learn the Canadian National Anthem so he can sing it when we crosses the border. I gave them a rendition of the anthem I almost know better than my own after singing it at least 100 times during the torch relay across Canada in 2009/2010. I still need to learn the French version!
I had a decent lie down after lunch to let my food settle. I still feel ancy when I rest on the trail, but my only hurry is making the post office in Sierra City by Friday afternoon which I will do easily providing I walk 20 miles each day. The physical challenge of walking 20 miles a day from this point seems to be easy enough, it’s the mental challenge which is really starting to take its toll. The 10 miles after lunch were relatively flat and mainly through the forest where the only real obstacle was the number of trees fallen across the trail. I listened to music most of the way but started getting frustrated at the repetitiveness of the same music over and over.
Just when I was about to whip out the video for some mental relief I saw the boys by a lake. They had just been in for a quick dip which is exactly what I needed to spice up the afternoon, refresh and wake up from the afternoon slump. The water was quite warm and had the desired affect on my mood, but the last 4 miles were still a battle. Especially when the campsite we hoped to stay at didn’t really exist. Even worse, the one another mile up the trail wasn’t any better, but none of us had steam left to go any further so we made do. Even the mosquitos here are bad. I cooked from inside my tent but have hidden my food under some logs so hopefully no bears are in smelling distance. It’s the first night I’ve slept in my tent for a long time. Speaking of which it’s 21:45 and already dark, so goodnight from mile 1125, until tomorrow!