4000 feet up and 4000 feet down in 16 miles. We slept late, as usual. I ate my breakfast which is typically 2 Sugar Frosted Fruit Pop Tarts. I know I should have more protein in the morning, but the sugar is my replacement for caffeine. We left camp about 10 AM. There were high clouds but it was warming up quickly on the trail. Our first target was a creek about 5 miles away. With all the steep ups and downs it took us 2 1/2 hours to cover these 5 miles. It was in the middle of this leg of trail that I finally had to confide in and Figure 8 that my knee which I had hyperextended about two weeks ago was not getting any worse but was also not getting any better. I pledged that I was going to power through to Kennedy Meadows and then we would decide exactly what to do. Our next leg today would take us up a very rocky trail along the edge of the mountains up our next target which was another 2500 ft climb. The cliff drop offs today were some of the steepest drops we’ve seen. Maybe 1500-2000 ft just a foot to the side of the trail. Along the way we came upon a big brown hairy Tarantula literally guarding the trail.
He was square in the middle, facing me, all puffed up and tail up in the air. His body was about as big as 2 golf balls end to end. Neither of us have ever seen a spider like this in the wild so it was pretty cool. We gave him a wide berth around and kept climbing. Our reward for reaching the top of the ridge was a hard and vicious wind in the face. It was cold up here at 7000 ft. Quite different than when we started. Sometimes I get caught off guard at the weather and temperature swings we go through during the day. From climbing or descending, being on the lee or windward side of a mountain or even a ridge, it can make a huge difference. Next up was the next creek 5 more miles away. It was a more pleasant rolling trail that dropped all the way back down to the elevation where we started the day. 4000 ft up and now the down part is as also complete. Right as we reached the creek a hiker named Swede passed us and another named False Start decided he would camp at the creek too. Camp food tonight was pretty good. 1/2 pound of canned ham cut up and boiled in water for the Idahoan mashed potatoes and to top it all of, a package of Velveta cheese sauce. Hearty calories for 2 hungry hikers.