Day Seventy Two: 1416.2 – 1431.1km

My alarm went off at 6AM.

I deflated my mattress like a good hiker girl, and replied to a few messages I’d received overnight. No one stirred, but I figured it was only a matter of time before the camp started moving, so I went all out and cooked up a dehydrated egg and bacon scramble and made myself a nice big breakfast burrito, complete with ketchup and mustard and a cup of hot chocolate.

Still, no one stirred.

There is so much beauty in the stillness of the morning, in looking out from the foot of my tent at pastel colours slowly deepening, trees softly swaying and listening to the running river just a few hundred feet away.

I took this little candid shot at 9:36AM.

The Prodigal was stoking our morning fire, Pickleback was having fun making faces at me, and Jimminy Cricket was organising an Amazon order for us all. Next week is going to feel like Christmas! We’re each getting something: the boys are ordering stoves and pots, Jimminy is getting a new puffy jacket and I’ve got a fresh set of headphones, as mine finally gave up and are only working out of one earbud now.

I was the first to set off this morning. And I CAN call it morning, because it was still four minutes before 12PM – it counts! 😉

Most of the time I’m glad I never forked out $49 for the PCT app that most hikers use (Guthook). Today was one of those days. Everyone else could see the elevation coming up, but it hit me like a wall when I turned a corner and saw the climb. It almost was up a wall! It took me nearly an hour to do one mile, and I felt like I’d been dragged through a gym session or something equivalent.

My legs were jelly by the time I reached the top.

I sat down, and that’s where I went wrong.

Generally, I get tired with climbs. Obviously. They’re flipping mountains. I’d be Superwoman if I wasn’t worn out with all this walking we’re doing.

This time, however, was different. It felt to me like I’d just done a BodyPump class at the gym, followed up by Spin. I had nothing left in me. It was a new feeling, which also seemed a bizarre thought. I’ve been tired and wiped out plenty in the past seventy odd days, but to actually physically not be able to get up again? Crazy. It wasn’t that I was sleepy tired; my body just didn’t want to move.

I’d crumpled onto a nice rock just a mile from the lake where we wanted to have lunch. Normally, no problem. I might get hangry or tired and just wish I was there already, but it should still take 30min at most. This time, it took me over an hour. My feet dragged, I had to will my legs to work, and I think fighting with my body to keep on going only served to use up more mental energy.

I did get to the lake eventually, and just about collapsed.

This Hiker Biker Gang we’ve got going are phenomenal. I can’t praise them highly enough. Jimminy and I often look at each other and ask, “Where did we find these guys?!”

I was lying there, half comatose, and they loved me back to life. The Prodigal encouraged me for being a machine and pressing on. Jimminy helped me cook up some couscous for lunch, and we added in bone broth tumeric protein powder (thank you again to the Muir Trail Ranch Raid!) and mushrooms and herbs and it was one of my favourite meals I’ve had out here. Pickleback boiled water and passed me a mug of hot apple cider, which felt like exactly what my body was craving. I didn’t even know why I was so wiped, but Nemo piped up that we all have good days and bad days and we’re in this together to help pull each other up on those bad days.

They are so good to me.

It was 3:06PM when I first got there, so I was under no obligation to go for a lake swim. The others all jumped in while I slept, and then they came and dried off on the bank and slept too… We woke up nearly three hours later, as the sun was setting. No surprises why we’re taking so long to get through the Sierras. At least we’re all on the same page, and are loving taking our time and soaking it up!

We still had to get over the pass – and I don’t think we could have timed it better.

As we climbed higher, we got to see the sun again and watch it sink down into the mountains ahead.

It was one of my favourite sunsets I’ve had yet.

And despite me feeling so flat in the middle there, I’d say it was a great day overall.

The crew I’m rolling with make all the difference, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

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