Tuesday June 3rd, 2014
My alarm pings at 6am I press snooze until the sunlight touches my tent. I must of been more exhausted than I thought after yesterday’s snowy stomp .I fire up my stove and as the water boils I drop my tent and pack up, stuff a handful of nuts in my gob ,finish my tea then I’m away. My legs feel a little leaden, hopefully they will soon free up .It is weird I started this hike on my own and I like my own company but here with all the snow and an eerie silence I begin to feel quite lonely and I miss company ,it would be good to hike with someone, someone to talk to and spur me along . I shake off my feeling of melancholy and push on.
The trail is smooth and downhill through pretty pine forest, the sun on the pine releases that amazing scent. After 2 hours I reach the suspension bridge at woods creek and nearby are several flat dry spots, seems other hikers camped here last night. I cross over the bridge in bright sunshine and I am at the 800-mile marker whoop whoop
My goal of today is Pinchot and then Mather pass, my legs have now come to life, but I know there is going to be much more snow ahead, but I’m in no hurry as I plod on. The trail comes and goes as I keep placing one foot in front of the other. Unusually I do not see anyone the whole day which is odd as I am normally passed by at least a handful of other hikers. the loneliness returns which I quickly shake off urging myself on Come on Snail. I am now approaching the snow-filled valley beneath Pinchot pass, I do feel alone and scared at times but hey I can do this The snow is soft in the afternoon sun and I posthole my way across the surface, my legs sinking into the snow, the crusty top layer scratching and cutting my legs I’m headed in the direction of what I think is the trail, more by instinct , yes I am going the right way .I feel quite vulnerable in this wilderness as I inch my way up the trail . In front of me is a large rocky mountain OMG I utter to myself and push on, I’m begging to sound like the old stream train again puffing and a blowing, with my heavy pack and shitty shoes
The pass is up there somewhere. I come to a stream so fill up and take a 5 min rest before I splosh my way through the freezing stream which wakes me up Brr that’s cold but I need to press on , but I’m postholing again which just sap’s my energy and my feet are aching from the cold .I move on I hear the gushing of water beneath my feet this also scares the shit out of me I try to run faster across but as I look up I’m greeted with a huge wall of Rock. Fuck I am going up that OMG come on Snail you have done one you can do another, but that was in boots why did you send the boots up the trail
I begin to climb working my way over the rocks and snow, towards the pass. My feet are cold and wet from the snow and I am thirsty so thirsty – I have been out of water for a while but haven’t wanted to stop and get any. I sit on a rock, shaking from hunger and I feel so scared yes I’m scared and then the loneliness returns again .why do I feel like this is it because I haven’t seen anyone all day or the silence ? I push on urging myself forward ill stop and make tea soon, that will cheer me up The only sound is my heart racing and my lungs puffing like a train Come on Snail I urge myself on looking forward to hot tea and cold lunch lol yummy . I charge on, postholing all the way, at last I am at the pas it is 4pm it has taken me almost 6 hrs to get this far that’s really pants Snail . I stop and get out my stove and eat a tortilla, but I do not sit long, the tea warms my belly id love another, but I need to keep moving. I set off down the other side stumbling and tripping and postholing Snail slow down before you break your fucking neck or worse hurt yourself!!!! Fuck where is the trail panic I see a faint line in the snow and head towards it as I descend A wave of panic come over me again I fight it off as it is not welcome here . It seems to take forever to get low enough where I can walk on the trail Thank fuck, I say to myself… although there is a lot more snow to get through .
It can’t be far to Mather pass I say to myself and hike on the snow free trail making up lost mileage , this is good I say again to myself .At last I come to some rocks and a place to camp , I can see tent foot prints from previous hikers Okay Snail THIS WILL DO FOR TODAY . I put up my tent and soon I am eating a hot supper of Mackie cheese with bacon bit is yummy, and enjoy several mugs of tea night all