mile 369.5 (Inspiration Point) -mile 378.34

8.84 miles

It was nice to have time this morning. Time to wake up. Time to hang out. Time to get done what needed to be done before getting back to the trail. 

I met Sita for breakfast this morning. I like her so much. We ate and talked, then walked over to the coffee shop for better wifi. There, I worked on fixing my blog posts and we chatted some more. Then we went for the buffet at the Mexican place. I only had a margarita. 

This is something I love about thru hiking. We go to the Mexican restaurant and there are a couple of other hikers there, so we join them. Then another hiker shows up and joins us. By the end of brunch, we have half the patio full of hikers. It kind of reminds me of home and how we always seem to see people we know no matter where we go. 

I left brunch around 1:00 and went back to the camp to pack. Heartbreaker was still there, but all packed up, and he waited for me to get ready. Then, we walked down to the road together and managed to get a hitch right away with a colorful biologist and his sweet dog.

Once on trail, we were immediately above the clouds and it was breathtaking. We walked above the clouds the rest of the day. We came down and touched Highway 2 again at a parking area and had dinner there and watched the clouds climb up the mountain and spill over into the parking lot. Have you ever seen a cloud climb a mountain? It started getting cold then, so we packed up and began our very intense ascent up amount Baden Powell. 

Straight up we went. I think we gained 4000 feet over four miles. We were trying for a sunset summit. When I thought we must be getting close, we had only gone three miles. We kept climbing. When we had gone about 3 miles, my legs started to give way. That’s when we ran into snow. 

We crossed one or two small snowy patches and I went across fine. Then we came to a longer snowy patch and on my fifth step in my foot started to slide. I sat down and scooted back to the beginning. I was terrified. What am I going to do in the Sierra?! Heartbreaker was a gentleman and carried my pack over and coached me over the ice. I made it, but was shaken up. Snow!

By the time we got to the spur trail to the actual summit, the sun had mostly gone down and the wind had kicked into high gear. We decided not to summit. Fine with me. I’m not a peak bagger. 

Our main concern at this point was to find a sheltered spot to sleep. We ran from tree to tree as the wind whipped around us. It was dark when we walked up to a fallen tree, or it looked that way in the dark. “This looks like a good spot!” Heartbreaker yelled over the wind. “Boo!” said someone, and I jumped and yelled. Ha! There were two people laid out in their bedrolls next to some bushes and maybe a fallen log or some rocks. I still don’t know. We laid out our bedrolls, my tarp just wrapped right around me, on this ridge in the dark in the wind next to these mystery people and tried to sleep. Fat chance!