June 12, 2015
Tentsite after Cow Creek (722.4) to Tentsite near Mulkey Pass junction (744.6)
22.2 PCT miles today
757.6 miles total
Today’s Elevation Gain/Loss: + 3,628 ft, – 3,181 ft
Today was another stunningly beautiful day of hiking in the Sierras. Our feet hurt less today than they ever have, the weather was a perfectly temperate 70 degrees with cloud cover, and we managed to complete 22 miles by 5pm, so we’ve had a nice relaxing evening at our tent in the middle of the forest. It was still a challenging day, our bodies haven’t completely adapted to walking so many miles, but we also think we felt a bit more tired and worn out since we spent most the day at around 10,000 feet elevation. Pickles and I love elevation, but it definitely takes a toll on our energy levels, and we have to be sure we’re resting and drinking enough water to stay healthy at this altitude.
From the minute we stepped out of our tent this morning, right up until we climbed back in, we were constantly hiking past or near other hikers. This section of trail feels a bit busier than the previous sections, but we also can tell that our fellow hikers are on a similar schedule to us and therefore, we’ll probably continue to see a lot of one another. It’s okay because everyone is very nice, but it certainly takes away some of the “solitude” that you’d hope to find hiking up in the mountains. Mostly I am just constantly impressed by what all the people around us can accomplish. I’m amazed at the end of every day by the progress Pickles and I make, and I know how much effort and willpower it took us, so when we stop for a rest or to collect water, and all our fellow hikers walk past, I can’t help but feel in awe that they are also putting in the miles and keeping up, or oftentimes passing us.
Besides cranking out the miles and chatting it up with other hikers, we spent most of today taking in all the views and sites along our trail. There is so much more to look at now that I actually make myself dizzy sometimes looking side to side and up and down too many times on a climb or descent. The trees themselves are all uniquely shaped works of art-twisted trunks, scaly bark, multi-colored wood, and every shape and size imaginable. The rock formations are equally as impressive. Huge boulders stacked right on top of one another, or split perfectly down the center, or perched perilously on a cliff’s edge. And then there are the vistas. Layers upon layers of mountains, surrounded by multi-colored valleys, and speckled with an array of sharp granite spires or blanketed in pine trees. I’m not sure I could ever get tired of taking in these views. I actually feel a bit of concern over how I will ever manage to take in, let alone describe, the kind of beauty that our next few weeks will hold. It can’t really be captured by a camera, and words only go so far, so my only hope will be to soak it in as completely as I can, and hope it infuses my very words and actions in the years to come.