We took a quick break for our 1000 mile selfie! This milestone came 110 days after we started, but really only day 77 of our actual on-trail journey. Since we lacked an official mile marker we had tried to convince the 1,000 mosquitos that were swarming us to fly in the formation of the number 1,000, but they listened to that just as well as they listen to me shouting, “get the hell off of me!” 99% of the day. Ugh.
At the lake we met Danger Poles, a true NoBo hiker who actually had hiked through the Sierra- he said it was terrible, but he is glad he did it, but he is also surprised that he survived. He told us stories of days they had to walk NINE miles off-trail along a river to find a safe place to cross and he said that in his group of 7-9, each person was almost swept away at least once in a river crossing. Oh hell no. He said they would strip down to their underwear to cross, and that his deepest river crossing was up to his chest. Also hell no. He said that they woke up at 2:45 to leave camp by 4am (he said breaking down camp took longer than usual because everything was frozen: your tent, the tent stakes, your hands, etc.), and it would take them on average 1 hour to go 1 mile. So many hell nos. Of the 7 people he entered the Sierra with, only 2 or 3 actually made it through: some decided to flip, some left due to injury, and one decided to quit the trail entirely. Yep, nope.
Just as I started to feel better we had another mosquito ambush- and apparently the evening skeets didn’t give a fuck if you used bug spray or not- I felt attacked and violated and don’t think I have ever cursed so much in my life or have wished death upon anything more strongly than those fuckers. It was miserable!!!
We took a quick snack break with 3 miles to go and ended up pulling into camp around 9pm. We saw a tent set up and a man called out to us- he was making sure we aren’t a bear! I called back, “nope, just me! And clearly I’m not light on my feet!” To this, another man up-trail called to us. At first I thought we were getting yelled at for being loud so late at night, but then we heard, “it’s me, Danger Poles!” Danger Poles still had another 7 miles to go for the night, but had stopped to eat dinner. We set up our tent and ate dinner with him before he carried on and we went to bed.
Happiness is: new growth in burn scars and beautiful sunsets