Daily mileage: 22.75
5am rolled around and no one was moving. My sleeping bag was toasty and it wasn't actually that cold out and somehow we slept in and left camp 45 min later than usual. It felt so luxurious. That campsite was amazing, over 10,000 ft but no wind, no few, over 30 degrees and great stars. What more could you want.
Started heading down the mountain and had breakfast at a trail side spring (that water was beyond delicious). We wound down into Gomez Meadow.
Grabbed some water from Death Canyon Creek (a tad dramatic perhaps?). Then it was back to climbing. Great trees and nice trail but I was having a tough time. I felt like molasses, my head wanted to go but my legs were having none of it. So it was a very slow climb up and over. Had a small meltdown related to the frustrating slowness and some lovely shoulder/back pain that my heavy pack seems to have exacerbated. Pulled myself together and turned the corner to see my little group stopped much earlier than I had expected. Turns out each one of us had some kind of emotional low at about the same time today and break time was needed. Very strange, but we figure it was some kind of combo of change in routine, the physical stressors of heavy packs and high elevation, and of course hunger. So keeping those in mind I have high hopes for tomorrow.
There is something comforting about having other people in the same emotional boat as you. So with that we decided to hike just a bit farther and take a nice siesta with only 6 miles to go after. Which is a pretty perfect mileage for evening hiking.
Siesta was fantastic, just what I needed. We even saw some non PCT hikers which is always fun. They asked us about the water situation the way we had come and we all stared blankly because to us a 5-6 mile waterless stretch is heaven compared to the 20-25's we just left behind. It's funny how my perceptions about things like dry camping and carrying water have changed with this trip.
Skipped one water source because a note left on the trail said the next one was better. The thruhiker community cracks me up, we've been seeing notes like these for ages and they can be surprisingly helpful. Anyway we listened to the note used a different creek meadow and then climbed our way up past Trail Pass (an intersection out to Lone Pine) enjoyed the sunset and meadows below as we set up camp on the trail. Camped just a little short of the next stream in hopes that we can avoid a few more mosquitoes.
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