Gotta Gotta Get Up to Get Down
Weather: Sunny/warm morning turned cloudy, bit rainy, afternoon Elevation Profile of the Day:
Everyone seemed to be early risers around us this morning. Dad was up before me around 5:30am, then I started moving around 5:45am. We were packed up and hiking at 6:30am. Dad stopped by Kool-Aid’s tent (as he’d said to do) and told him we we were starting. He said he’d probably catch up maybe at our breakfast stop, but still wasn’t feeling great.
We cruised in the morning hours going down right away. The conversations ranged from potential food truck ideas that we may put into action some day (all-day breakfast was agreeable for both of us) to debating a certain flowers name (dad is adamant that the flower we’ve been seeing is related to the species Queen Anne’s Lace that we find back home).
As always, had pretty views…
I think we made it to our breaky spot around 8:45am, which was Chimney Creek. We struggled to find a spot to sit at first (lots of other hikers were around and we were looking for a bit of shade and quietness). But found a nice spot with some backrests.
Dad had a new breakfast for us to try out…granola/cereal with rehydrated milk. It was hit. I’ve always been a big cereal fan.
We waited over an hour, but Mr. Kool-Aid never showed. Prior to leaving, we stopped and chatted with another hiker (Island Time) who had just shown up to the creek. We asked if he might pass on the message if he saw Kool-Aid that we’d gone on ahead. We also signed the trail registry and put the time too, so he could see when we’d passed by.
After leaving Chimney Creek, the trail began it’s ascent to 8,000 feet. We took it slow and steady. The clouds were becoming darker as we walked.
And after reaching the next water source, Fox Mills Spring, which was two miles ahead, a surprise hail episode caught us off guard!
We rallied and stayed hunkerd down for a bit. We took cover under a juniper tree. The “cooked black bean” sized hail (that’s what we decided was the best size description of it) turned into rain and went pretty heavy for a half hour ish. Once we got brave enough to dig into our packs for our full rain gear, the rain started letting up.
We quickly finished getting our water and filtering and then packed up and continued on our way. It was quite cold now, especially in the hands department. Luckily, the sun came out a bit down the trail and we slowly got warm again.
An hour later or so we stopped at this little nook for lunch.
We had venison tacos! Very tasty indeed. I’d bet good money we’re the only ones eating venison tacos on the trail. Their loss.
After lunch, we trudged upward and eventually made it to the “peak,” the highest point of our walk for the day. It had been a long slug of a climb and I hummed the Chariots of Fire theme as we crested the ridge. It wasn’t what I expected though for 8,000 feet, it seemed the whole area must be uplifted seeming as this particular point didn’t stand out among the surroundings. I guess that makes sense as we’re ascending into the Sierra Nevada.
The area was also quite open having experienced a burn sometime in the relatively recent past. There were some of the ghost trees I’ve seen previously on the trail, but which were new to father David.
Rather than rest at the top, we used the momentum to keep hiking onward. Down the canyon we went. Dad led the way and seemed to have been given a second wind. He is faster than me on the downhills with his longer strides. This was familiar territory for us as we wound our way in and out of various side canyons.
We both seemed to get some sore feet towards the end of the day. And thus began looking for a spot. It was one of those areas where both sides of the trail were steep slants, and so we didn’t find a flat area to tent for a while, hence the 15.5 miles we ended up getting today.
This was our tent site…
We enjoyed our dinner of venison chili. We were pretty drained though. I had to fight of a couple ant colonies, but I overcame all obstacles.
After dinner I thought I’d try to do a time lapse using my phone’s camera. I’m pretty sure it got added in a recent upgrade since I didn’t see the option on there before. So here was my first attempt. I thought it turned out pretty cool, but definitely room to improve my skills! This is over and hour time period, reduced to 30 seconds.
Afterwards it was rest in the tent time!