Whooie! That was quite a climb this morning. The trail itself was great but my legs weren't quite up to snuff. I'm not sure but I might have still been asleep. From the map it appears I have right around 11 miles to go to get to Horseshoe Meadows. As it's now 9:30am I should have no problem getting there. One interesting thing to note, is that there is no on-trail water all of today... the first two water sources are springs and they are all down side canyons, or so it looks via the map.
I had dinner tonight with Soup and Desert Rat. A chili size kind of thing... not that great but filling. Mother Goose is in Independence - she and Soup will go back into the wilds tomorrow. He showed me images from the high country and there is no appreciable snow, even on Forester Pass, the highest spot on the trail. I'm sending my micro spikes and ice axe home tomorrow. Empty weight go bye bye.
I had an interesting experience today. After my midmorning break I got this image of myself as a living machine, with pistons for legs and oxygen for gasoline. All of a sudden I was pumping up the trail at more than my normal pace. Now for you science types I know my analogy is simple, simple, simple. Of course there's lots of other stuff going on, like, well glucose and liver secretions and insulin production, etc. I just don't want to muck up my metaphor with too much fact. All I know is that I made six miles in just about two and a half hours. It helps that the trail wasn't steep but just rolling along. Six more miles to go.
Amazingly enough I managed to maintain that strong and steady pace for the bulk of the day, even when it got hot and steep. I wonder of I'm finally getting stronger? Must be. The final miles for today were in the 18-19 range, mostly due to a zig I did, instead of a zag. I got a ride to town from two guys who live in Portland who were here climbing Mt. Whitney via the mountaineers route. They kindly dropped me off at the Dow Villa Motel where I have an expensive room, with a bath! A bath I tell you! Bliss.
Hope you enjoy the pictures. BTW, all those springs were dry today. It's gonna be an interesting season.