Monday 7/1 Start 8:30am End 6:30pm 17 miles total
Day three with Frazier, Matt and Kim. First thunderstorm of my whole trip, mile 1000 and Sierra skinny dipping.
It has been extremely buggy the last two days. Last night and the night before (at Benson Lake) we were totally swarmed by clouds of mosquitoes most of the day and most of the night. We all have about 100 bites and are pretty much miserable. But, it’s the Sierra and it is still just breathtakingly beautiful and we have been blessed with many glorious swimming spots along the way. It has also been hot and humid, so a dip in the waters here throughout the day is mandatory. Since I have been with Frazier and our friends, we have done ~ 15 miles per day and sleeping in, and taking nice long breaks at the lakes and rivers to swim. I am not sure I would have done much more than that even by myself. The heat, humidity and terrain has been challenging for me. I also feel myself requiring more and more food each day. I pretty much need to stop and eat every 1-2 hours on the trail.
But I feel pretty good overall. My feet began to hurt again leaving Tuolumne. I had ordered some new shoes online, and Frazier brought them for me to switch into. I thought they would be fine since they were very similar to my old ones (which they stopped making) but they are not, and my feet didn’t respond well to the change. i also noticed that I have some athlete’s foot developing, because my feet/socks stink really bad, unlike ever before. i think it’s due to them being hot and moist and in dirty socks for a long period of time. So, I will be more diligent about hygiene and dryness from here on out. In the meantime I have some anti-fungal cream. I also am suffering from a ton of itchy mosquito bites, and the mosquitoes are just getting worse every day. It’s insane. We have to put on rain gear every time we stop, and head nets and DEET, unfortunately. It’s really bad. oh, and did I mention, i also have my period this week? Ugggh. But despite all that, I’m still having fun and really enjoying my time with Frazier. It’s good to have our friends here, too. I haven’t spent much time with them before this, so it’s great getting to know them. They are great people, and they love to backpack too. They are doing really well considering they haven’t been hiking in a while.
I the last few days we have seen and swam in Tuolumne Falls near Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, had a campfire every night (mainly to deter bugs), hiked with Messenger at bit (the young Israeli thru hiker), skinny dipped in 4 lakes and 3 rivers, enjoyed lots of food, and killed about 1000 mosquitoes. Life is good! Tomorrow we will do a big climb to Sonora Pass, mile 1018 where we will hitch into Bridgeport so Frazier can get back home, and I can resupply for the next leg (to S. Lake Tahoe). We will stay the night in BP — finally some relief from the mosquitoes — and then I will get back on the trail Weds morning 7/3, and hopefully reach Tahoe on the 7th.
Things I would like for hiking, but really don’t need (but really want 🙂 )
– A hiking skirt
– Thermarest neoair
– New gloves
– Pack cover
– Sun gloves
– Pillow (down)
– More good socks, Injingi and Smartwool arch support