My sleeping pad was slightly tilted to the side so I woke up at least every hour all night to pull myself back up after sliding down. I was so concerned with picking a slightly tent sheltered spot that I guess it wasn’t level.
I hit the trail at 7:40 and my brief delusions of hiking 27 miles today were quickly squashed when it became apparent I can barely move uphill and breathe at the same time above 12000′. I only did 8 miles by lunch. Back to the original plan of 19ish miles, although sobo hikers let me know that the spot I was aiming for didn’t have campsites or level space. I hiked 17.5 miles to a good campsite just before a creek instead.
I passed through a flock of sheep this morning at the edge of the Wilderness, being casually watched over by two Great Pyranees. It’s so amazing to me that the dogs are just out there doing their jobs completely on their own. One of them came up to me looking for pets but you’re not supposed to interact with them. I gave him a quick pat on the head and an apology I couldn’t do more.
The trail was up and down all day long, 3600′ up and 4200′ down. The climbs and descents seemed to become more gradual and less steep in the afternoon so that helped me move a little farther before stopping to breathe. I also made myself stop for breaks to eat and drink more, which helped. I am feeling very hungry but just not wanting the food I have so eating hasn’t been very appealing.
I still am not a fan of being above treeline so long, with nowhere to hide from weather, so that makes me want to just keep going to get out of here as quickly as possible. My luck continues with the weather though, blue skies all morning and some puffy white clouds this afternoon, and not even a hint of a storm.
I was sorry to not camp at Cataract Lake because it was the first valley I’ve been through in this section that actually has low bushes and other things that would make my tent not the tallest thing around for lightning. Also it’s a pretty valley and I’ve heard there are moose there. I wanted to get one more climb over with for the night though. Luckily, the valley I ended up in is even better, with even some trees here and there!
I have a level tent site tonight and hope to get much better sleep for an early start tomorrow.
My high point today was just about 13000′ and I am camped just below 12000′. I’ll be glad to be back at slightly lower elevations soon.