Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Day 10 : PCT Mile 810

Tuesday July 8, 2014
12 Miles Today
183 Total Miles

I woke up to blue skies! The storm blew itself out over night and the day promised more of the Sierra sunshine for which my dwindling supply of sunscreen must somehow cope. I was out of the tent and packed up long before the sun reached my campsite. In fact I met the sun when I arrived at Mather Pass. 

One of the things I enjoyed about hiking in yesterday's soggy, wet air was that it seems that my sense of smell is heightened. Fortunately for me I don't really smell myself. What I did smell was fresh air. When I walked past a decaying tree stump it smelled like fresh cut lumber. Go to Home Depot and stand next to the new fence boards to get the same smell. I smelled onions, wet grass, scents from various flowers. I smelled something similar to the smell of rain on concrete, I presume it was the rain on the rocks. Even the dirt smelled fresh and clean. It reminded me of the trips I have taken in the the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

The climb up over Mather Pass really took a lot of huffing and puffing. There is just not as much air at twelve thousand feet than at sea level. The climb down was much easier and faster. I stopped in the Upper Basin to dry out my ground cloth and tent from the rain and moisture over night. I also retrieved my moist socks from within the tent. I hung them on my clothes line but forgot to remove before packing the tent. The last time I did that my tent smelled like stinky socks when I set it up. 

I didn't meet a whole lot a people today, maybe ten. Of the ten I only talked to three of them. The couple that I spoke with started at Mt Whitney and are hiking the JMT Northbound. I asked them isn't it hard to start and the highest peak? The woman replied, "You just focus on the next step." That is good advice for just about anything you are trying to accomplish, Just focus on the next step.

The clouds have returned this afternoon. My opinion is that these are not storm clouds from a weather system, but are afternoon thunderheads. Fortunately I got my twelve miles of hiking in and my tent is all setup, if it starts to rain I can just slip inside and take a nap...

... No rain, but I still got the nap. Twelve miles used to be a long hard slog. Today it was a relatively easy morning's work. I arrived at this unnamed lake that is twelve miles from my last camp and said, "That's far enough for today."

The clouds have dissipated and the gibbous moon is waxing in the east. Everyone is out enjoying the last rays of the dying day. On tomorrow's agenda is crossing Pinchot Pass.

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