I’m currently sitting next crystal clear creek running over its small banks from all of the snow melt. We are in a pine forest with many small medium and large snow drifts in every direction. There are lots of little baby pine trees too growing in and around the creek, helping to give it form as well as it’s beautiful and curvy shape. This is a good rest spot because today was exhausting. Good exhausting. The altitude stated to affect me before we even got to the trailhead. As we were driving up the mountain I rolled my window down to get some fresh air. I was getting queasy. The altitude has affected me before on trail, but today the effects hung around all day which was a first. We were both a little nauseous when we started hiking but that passed pretty quickly.
What set in later was just a light headedness that is still with both of us, making us both pretty tired. Being 5:45 and having the tent set up and dinner cooking means we should be asleep soon. We could both use it. Today was stunningly beautiful though. There are creeks and streams everywhere which is a welcome change for both drinking and hearing the sounds along the path. And speaking of path, we lost it a lot today in the snow. We are going to need to get better at that because we wasted a lot of time and energy losing the trail. But even when we lost it, we are still wandering around this postcard like scenery. Today was hard, but it was fantastic too.
It feels really great to be back out on the trail this morning. Couldn’t get a ride as early as we wanted at 6:30 but we’re still in the cooler part of the day. At least 20° less than it would be if we would’ve left late yesterday afternoon. I write this as we’re hiking up the hill. We should have trees between 8000 and 10,000 feet. That helps a lot with some shade as we gain altitude under bright sunny skies. We climbed up a snowy ridge above Chicken Spring Lake which had just begun to thaw but was still mostly frozen over. The view from the 11,400 ft ridge was our first true sense that we were in the Sierras. For the first time we were looking at snowy valleys from a few thousand feet above. We sealed it with a kiss. Along the way today we managed to have a hiking pole and tent pole malfunction. Duct tape, paracord, and a bobby-pin later we were back to normal. We made lots of rice and lentil curry for dinner. Hiking with a huge bear can full of 7 days of food was lighted a little by eating our heaviest food first. Cookies of course for dessert.