Saturday, August 30, 2014

Losing the Forest in the Trees

We are up before the sun, we have a long way to go. As soon as we can see without headlamps. We are on the trail before seven. We are climbing, climbing, climbing. The trail from Gilmore Lake to Dick's pass is only one way, up. We meet the sun about halfway. The brilliant blue of the sky is startling to the eyes. The clouds from last night have dissipated to where ever they go.
In the light of the morning it is stunning to see how close we camped to the lake. We walked big circles last night when a straight shot from our tents to the lake could be reached with the toss of a rock. 
Today we walk north for halfway the distance to Donner Summit. Depending on your source that's twenty five to twenty seven miles. 
It's the middle of the day. We are traversing the supposed eight miles from Fontanillis lake to Richardson lake. Traipsing through the forest without views or scenery becomes boring. The miles seem to grow longer. The day slows down. The only indication of time passing is the tired and achy feeling that brings to seep throughout my body. 
Snacks, I need snacks. I have my pockets stuffed with all of my favorite snack, M&Ms, cashews, almonds, Oreos, pretzels, dehydrated fruit. I have portioned them out into hour-sized portions. As the hours pass so to does my stash of goodies. 
Richardson lake is unappealing I don't want to get water there. It's green and stagnant looking. This means another half hour without fresh water. 
Miller creek is a huge disappointment. The water isn't flowing and there are only a few puddles remaking. The water is cool and we camel up enough to get us to the next watering hole at Bear creek.
The climb to Barker pass is breezy and exhausting. I seem to have run out of energy. Our pace has has dropped to maybe two miles an hour. My legs ache, they feel like they will not move again of I were to stop moving. So I don't stop. It doesn't matter how slow you go, it's still faster than sitting still. We'll never get to camp if we stop. 
We are at Barker pass, only another mile and a half or so to camp. A generous guy on a day hike asks if we want some Gatorade. I chug my thirty two ounces and hand him the container. After a quick thanks and a visit to the only pit toilet on the route we are back at it. Let's finish this thing. Another forty minutes and with twenty seven miles for the day we are at camp. There is cold flowing water here. One of the few places on the route with moving water. 
Ah, dinner is bean burritos and cheese with Taco Bell Fire sauce. For dessert I have my favorite trail brownies. Wow, what a long day without any chance to build up to it. Just ten miles yesterday then Bam! Let's crank out twenty seven miles. I don't think I have ever been so happy to be laying down as I am right now.
Good night!

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