The day got off to a less than ideal start before we even got out of the tent. Daddie Gizmo was able to catch the sunrise since he was awake and annoyed about his pad losing air all night. Mosquitos were swarming the tent first thing and we knew we were going to get bit while we packed up. In the rush to get ready I spilled half of our water for the morning. Starting the hike today by rationing a 1/2 liter each for a 3 mile stretch uphill when the sun is already out started the day off on the wrong foot.
Fortunately we survived and after getting properly hydrated began to feel better. The day was getting hot fast and we still had over ten miles to get to Horseshoe Meadow and hitch a ride to Lone Pine. There was a lot of elevation today in the sun and it was draining. When we finally made it to Horshshoe Meadow we were very impressed by the view – lush green meadow with a river running through and the tall snowy mountains in the background. We had to take our shoes off and cross the river.
When we got off the trail and to the road where we need to hitch from we saw three guys waiting for a ride. We became a little discouraged when they said they have been waiting for 4 hours already! Originally, before the sleeping pad issues we were just going to come into town, resupply and get out the same day. Now our plan is to stay this night, try to repair the sleeping pad or replace it and get back on trail tomorrow. It was about 2:30 so we weren’t in a huge rush but we definitely didn’t want to sit around waiting on a ride all afternoon. Thankfully, Daddie Gizmo found us a ride within 30 minutes and shortly after we arrived at the Timberline Motel. Today’s hiking was hard and we were exhausted so what else could we do but go grab a beer. We sat at the back bar of a local restaurant and chatted with a bunch of other hikers who had just completed the 6 day leg we are going to start from here. It includes passing the tallest point on the trail, starts the big snow and includes some big creek crossings. They gave positive feedback which gave us some confidence about the trail coming up. A few cocktails and pasta later we were sleeping in a real bed and hopeful of a good nights sleep.
PS- my camera turned on in my bag and killed the battery!!! All my photos from yesterday are inaccessible until we get our bounce box with the charger in Independence in a week. The scenery was SO BEAUTIFUL today so I’m really disappointed I can’t share it with everyone. I’ll post a lost photos update next week. I won’t be able to use my camera for the amazing scenery coming up…and I’m carrying the deadweight of my camera all next week 😦