Today (6/6) was honestly just another day of hiking. Nothing too extraordinarily – just kinda blah actually. I guess I’m just anxious to hit Kennedy Meadows, and this is somewhat “filler” material. Still beautiful, don’t get me wrong. Great smells of moist pine forest and rich earth. I also was a bit on edge today. I hiked alone all day yesterday and all day today, except I did pass 7 other hikers throughout the day. Where did they come from? Oh yeah, back to why I was on edge.
This morning, just before I hit the first crossing of Spanish Needle Creek about 5 miles from where I camped, I spotted fresh bear tracks! I looked around, and saw nothing. The first hiker I ran into today at that first crossing and he was just getting up from camp. I told him about the bear prints. I kept walking to the next crossing of the creek, where I filtered my water for the day (4 liters) and ran into Toyo, and older Japanese man I had met before on the trail. He is very poor in speaking English, so I haven’t really gotten to know him yet. I told him about the prints too. I think he understood me … So, I walked on, keeping alert for bear activity. I am really nervous about seeing one by myself. I know they aren’t aggressive, but still. I haven’t ever had to scare a bear away. I got to the first saddle at lunchtime, after lots of climbing, and found a great spot under a tree, took my shoes off and fell asleep before I even ate lunch! I fell asleep there for 2 hours! I left around 2:30 pm. I must have needed the sleep, since I didn’t sleep well last night. Not only was there critter activity on and near my tent (mice?) but I was slanted and kept sliding to the side of my tent 😦
So, after lunch the hiking was pretty easy and very pretty. I walked through lots of giant boulder fields and crossed a very pretty meadow. It wasn’t until then that I saw a few more hikers. Glad to see them, and know there are a few other people around me. I got to the next water source just before camp and it was a [?]spring, although the water tastes a bit funny. Hopefully my filter does its job because I had to get 4 liters for the next 10 miles and cooking tonight. I hiked past the spring to a campsite since I knew there is more likely to be bear/animal activity near water. I found one not to far easy, but it was covered with ants, so I decided to move on. I found another one just as it started to rain!! Not much, but enough to dampen things. It was pretty hot today, so the rain was actually nice (and smelled amazing too!) even though it lasted only about 15 minutes. I got my tent up and everything put inside just in case. i ate my dinner of top ramen (PCT style w/ bean flakes, potato flakes, spinach flakes, parm cheese and garlic) and protein powder and got ready for sleep. I want to get up early tomorrow so I get to Kennedy Meadows by 6 pm, with enough time to do my chores (laundry/stove/shower/ post office) so I can hike Saturday by noon — no later. I am on schedule to make the first 90 mies of the Sierra by Thursday! Yikes! Frazier is picking me up on his way home from Nor Cal (work trip) to take me home for 2 days (nephew graduation and rest, time w/ family etc.)