Day 53: One Quarter
Saturday, May 12, 2018 8:34 pm
Location: Spanish Needle Creek (668.7 miles)

The trail magic from yesterday started up early in the morning, featuring pancakes with blueberries, strawberries, and chocolate chips, and maple and boysenberry syrup.

I got started at 7:40, which was a good two or three hours before I would have gotten started yesterday if there hadn’t been trail magic. After a shallow uphill to cross the road through Walker Pass, the trail began a steeper climb up into the mountains.

Walker Pass
Walker Pass

At one point, I passed a place on the trail where trees were growing at an angle straight out of the mountain slope. It was hard to see how stable this could be, but they were fairly large trees, so they must be in the ground pretty well.

View south back to Walker Pass. The trail’s switchbacks can be seen on the nearby mountain.

The trail continued to have a larger diversity of landscapes, as it delves further into the Sierra. Parts are still very dry, since it’s also still right near the desert, but it’s definitely turning greener on the balance.

Craggy Peaks
Craggy Peaks

This afternoon, I passed the 1/4 point on the trail: 665.4 miles. Apparently, there was a marker on the side of the trail, but I missed seeing it. I did notice the small cairn at mile 666, though.

A bit after four, I made it to the Spanish Needle Creek, which has a somewhat shallow flowing creek and quite a few tentsites. I collected water (assisted by Mr. Jimmy, who gave me two liters of filtered water from his water pump, so I wouldn’t have to scoop as much out of the creek with my new scoop formed from the top of a Dr Pepper bottle I cut apart yesterday at the trailhead), and then cooked dinner.

I had planned to move on to the next campsite after dinner, but the lack of sleep over the last few days and unexpected day-long party yesterday left me far more tired than I expected, and I wound up deciding to camp at the creek, rather than moving on. This’ll make tomorrow a longer than planned day, but then it’ll be an easy hike into Kennedy Meadows on Monday.

Today was a weird hike. Much of the morning I remembered, but after noon, time just seemed to pass and I was further down the trail without really remembering much of it. I think this may have been just because of how tired I was. One thing was clear, though: the character of the trail felt significantly different today, as I gradually approach the High Sierra.