Forgetting that caffeine keeps me awake, and having plenty of it during dinner last night, I couldn’t get to sleep until nearly midnight, which meant I didn’t wake up until after 8 am today. I was quite happy to get the sleep, even though it meant we were later for everything this morning than we might have preferred.
Quoi found the sock I was missing last night; it had buried itself at the bottom of her sleeping bag liner.
We had breakfast this morning with Outlaw and Tenderfoot. We would have sat there and chatted longer, but check-out time was 10 am, and with only half an hour before check-out, I still needed to pack everything up.
One of the great services Kennedy Meadows North provides for hikers is sending bear cans home (or wherever), for a (I think) reasonable fee given there’s no post office nearby. So, I was quite happy to send my bear can and microspikes home today. The bear can weighs about 2.5 pounds, and the spikes about three-quarters of a pound, so that’s a little over three pounds of weight I won’t have to carry for the rest of my hike. My pack felt noticeably lighter, and because I now had a better weight distribution in my pack, it felt better on my back.
Quoi and I walked down the road from the resort to CA 108, and after a little while, got a ride back to the trailhead from an older couple who were driving to the next town over to pick up their kids to bring them back to their cottage in the woods.
After we got back to the trailhead and were about to get started, I realized I still had the ice axe tip cover I found on the trail the other day. I had meant to put it in the hiker box at Kennedy Meadows North if the hiker it belonged to wasn’t there, but forgot. I’ll have to remember to do that when we get to South Lake Tahoe in a few days.
From Sonora Pass, the trail headed upwards, entering the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness and giving some incredible views of the landscape around the pass.
As we were nearing the end of the uphill, we ran into a gentleman (and his friend) who was out hiking only 160 days after having a stem cell transplant in his bone marrow for cancer. Having been declared to be in remission, he was apparently a medical miracle, as the doctors didn’t think he’d make it to 100 days post-op.
On the way down the back side of the mountain, we had to deal with a fair amount of snow. Trudging through the snow on this mountain was a pain, with the “trail” we were following cutting through rocks, small trees and shrubs, and an awful lot of water. It began to get tiring, even (not so much physically, but mentally, and after about four miles, we took a break on a rock island in the snow.
After some more snow, we made it to the tree line, entered the forest, and the snow largely stopped. On a rock next to the trail, I found an iPhone power cable, slightly rusty and so probably not worth keeping. I didn’t want to just leave it there, though, so I picked it up and put it in my pack. Guess I’m stuck with it until the next trash can.
We got to a campsite near the East Fork Carson River, right before the next uphill, a little after 5. A little over 9 miles, I suggested that we stop here, a good half-days hike. Quoi initially wanted to go further, but as she stood there, she started to feel a bit nauseous, and decided stopping was a good idea.
Gandalf, whom we last saw at Kennedy Meadows (south), stopped to chat. He had flipped north and was now hiking southbound, and reported having a bad time: overgrown trail, lots of poison oak, and a green tunnel (and limited views). I suggested (and hoped) that the trail crews just hadn’t gotten there yet, since it was still early season for Northern California.
Quoi‘s nausea got the better of her, and she went off to an early sleep. She thought perhaps it was from eating too much meat at Kennedy Meadows North; a cheeseburger for lunch, the steak last night was pretty large, and more meat with breakfast likely didn’t help. (I had at least as much meat, and appear to have suffered no ill effects. But, I’m also a much larger person than Quoi is, so, who knows?)