This TD 28 MP 681 has been modified as of 7/4/19 to include photos.
Now for day 28:
What a great day! There is building excitement and a measure of angst approaching the Sierras, adding to the usual energy of the morning.
It seems the mornings usually start with elevation gain, nice to accomplish early when you are full of energy and the air is cool. My favorite morning treat is cocoa mixed with instant coffee and Sawyer filtered water, in my water bottle. Give that mixture a good shake and you have a double cafe mocha with froth, yum!!! Breakfast, in addition, is cold soaked beans with instant mashed potatoes, pea protein powder, nutritional yeast and garlic powder. Are you with me, here, so good! I’m thinking of opening a breakfast shop when this is over. People will flick to it, right?
I had stopped to take off my jacket when Lone Star, who I had not seen for nearly a week overtook me. Happy to see my friend again, talking, walking, catching up on people and stops, falling into a comfortable rhythm.
Some time later, still climbing, along come two new, very clean, new people. Sleeping Bear and a young man (17, with a parental permission note). They are both fresh in from Wisconsin. Sleeping Bear and completed up to Walker Pass early in the season but the Sierras at that time were all but impassable. He had flown home to Wisconsin and this was their first day back on the trail.
The four of us hiking as a loose unit as the day progresses. It’s comfortably refreshing to have companionship, a lovely change from so many reflective solo hours.
As the late afternoon progresses and we are back to elevation gain we encounter yet more people. One Gallon, so named for eating, in one sitting, a gallon of ice cream (seriously, ice cream headache!). Some section hikers and 2 more thru hikers.
We were all headed to Chimney Creek (seasonal stream, flowing well) for the night.
Feeling, amazingly, finally, strong in the evening I easily kept a good (for me) pace and was first to arrive at the lovely, large treed camp area. The creek water was clear and the flow strong. I started my gravity filtration system and set up my tent under a large sheltering tree. My dinner of dehydrated greens, vegetables, onions, protein powder nutritional yeast and noodles was nearly cooked when others started arriving.
I love arriving at my chosen camp before sunset!! It is such a joy to set up camp in the light; going to bed feeling organized and oriented.
Another good thing about today is the back and forth banter regarding the Sierras. I had been reviewing all the information I could find but much is conflicting. Talking to these other hikers calmed and focused my over-imaginative mind. I know how to travel in snow. I know how to camp in snow. The Seattle Mountaineers courses are thorough and require repeated forays into snow covered mountains. It is a paradigm shift from desert travel but I can do it.