I got up at around 7:30 determined to get coffee and breakfast started before waking Nika up as I was fearful she was going to call it quits and ask to hike back. There are those moments of determination where things that should be a priority take a back seat, like relieving your bladder first thing in the morning. As breakfast was well under way I got out my device that I had managed to use once in the Sierras during the summer and found a spot a ways off where I could pee down a hill without fearing it would splash back on my shoes. Feeling very proud of myself and much relieved I went to pack everything up and proceeded to drop the rubber tube DOWN THE CLIFF. I, of course, feeling that I could not abandon such an important asset on the only day 2 of the trip began to hold onto pine sap covered branches to climb down and then I fell and slid on my butt thinking about how my sister has no idea where I am, no idea how to use any of the gear, and was probably going to drink my beautiful cup of coffee that was cooling down and then leave me here to die. Luckily, I got up and managed to make my way up the hill thankful that no one was there to see me in my height of clumsiness.
That morning was also the eclipse to which we did not have any protective glasses and were hoping that being in the 98% zone would allow us to see shadows or be wowed by the darkness. Honestly, we couldn’t even really tell so that was kind of a letdown. We did have an enjoyable breakfast and began the tedious process of packing up which we were convinced we would become super-fast at by the end of the trip. (I highly recommend making sure all parties involved know how to set up and break down the gear as it will save tons of time… but not necessarily make you lighting fast… ever)
Lunch was our precious salami and cheese. I managed to drop the package to pick it up and then drop it upside down leaving the last 2 pieces to share some microbes on the ground while gasping “not the salami!”. As this is a precious food in our family we may have washed the pieces off and eaten them anyway embracing our “out in the wild” selves.
This led us to continue our hike through rock, rock hills, and rock mountains. These were not the fun rocks my daughter enjoys climbing and jumping from, but piles of small and medium rocks that made each step tedious and many gasps and checking in with the person behind you as they slipped from one that wasn’t as stable as its first impression gave. We began to think we were never going to make it through this trip and that we were in over our heads as the through hikers seemed to pass us with speed and grace. But then we met Georgia who had skipped the Sierras with it’s snowpocalipse and would flip at the end. She stood with us for awhile while we caught our breath between rock sections and assured us that this was one of the most tedious sections of the whole trail. Her encouragement and assurance gave us the lift we needed and a huge morale boost as we charged forward.
While getting water at a creek we met another through hiker who again gave us the extra oomph we needed to keep going. I can’t tell you enough how much it is the people in this community that make it so great.
We may have been motivated but our bodies were not making it to Spectacle Lake and took the first tent site we could find after the 7-mile point. We had another epic disaster of a bear hanging and found comfort in eating a backpacking version of our mother’s spaghetti before getting into bed before dark.
|7 Miles||Ridge Lake||Campsite before Pond|
|LUNCH||Salami, Babybell, and Crackers|
|SNACKS||• CLIF BAR – Berry Pomegranate Chia
• Trail Mix