Daily Mileage: 22
Today was an odd day, at least for me. It was filled with a few to many mood swings for my liking.
Started off heading up bear ridge, chilly but fine as long as you are moving and it was a great view. The trail leveled out and then started heading down. 41 degrees in the shade when going downhill however was a little colder than I was happy with, especially since I seem to have lost my hat between Selden Pass and our campsite. At least there will be a store in a few days. The descent on that ridge was surprisingly tough. You see descent on the map and I usually assume its not to bad but the miles of steep switchbacks, the cold, and the downed trees were really getting to me. It's frustrating to feel so beaten down by 8:30 in the morning.
At the bottom the guys were waiting and I told them not to worry about me today, I would see them tonight and proceeded to sit on the bridge feeling sorry for myself.
A few minutes later a girl walked up to me and asked me if I wanted breakfast. Umm okay? Turns out she is part of a trail shots crew who has been working to clear up all the blow downs. It's their last day this week and were feeding any hikers they could find their extra food. I got hot breakfast and snagged some apples, oranges, string cheese and cliff bars to surprise the guys with. It was a much needed bit of trail magic and I was happy as can be for hours.
Up the 3000 ft to Silver Pass I climbed grinning like an idiot. All the John Muir Trail Hikers I met today seemed very amused by me. It may not be one of the more dramatic climbs but wow does Silver Pass have some great scenery.
Coming down I got to play mood swing again. I'm finding that climbing passes while tough always seems enjoyable but descending really wears me down. Losing the trail, constantly slipping and the down trees really get to me.
I mean really, these trees get tiring. The trail goes somewhere through that.
Finally made it down to the bridge crossing Fish Creek after what felt like hours. I was going so much slower than usual and was feeling really down. After a small self pity fest I sucked it up and started hiking again. Luckily it wasn't long before I found the guys and it was siesta. It was so much fun surprising them with the food I had carried up. Turns out everyone really needed a little bit of a pick me up. Plus a little extra food on a really physically tough section was genuinely useful for our poor tired bodies.
Met some new hikers while napping in the trail. Clay officially named us the siesta crew, so there you go. Our group finally has a name, not just "oh yeah those three guys and the girl". So that's fun.
Climbed up past Virginia Lake and then it was down towards Purple Lake.
Based on some southbound hikers I just skipped the switchbacks down because the downed trees were so bad. It's not even worth trying the trail at this point. But the real craziness is leaving the lake and finding the PCT. I think every single gigantic tree above the shoreline is down, it's unreal. I'll admit it, I was tired and cranky and that section took me longer to get though than it should have. I even half fell into one of the giant root holes from an upturned tree. Not fun. Kept walking, up a ridge line I went and some icy cold wind kicked up. Trudging my way into the wind I was pretty relieved to see Caveman waiting for me near Duck Lake. Camped literally under a small tree in the hopes that it will shield me from the wind. I am so glad to be warm in my sleeping bag right now.
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