June 21, Day 61 – Hiking alone to set the tone

Camping alone can be good or bad for me when I wake up. I can convince myself to sleep in since there is no one else around me. Or I can convince myself to get up and get going since there is no one around. Luckily today it was number 2. I also saw Fly walk by right as I woke up and that inspired me a little to get going. I was walking down the trail by 6:15. My first task of the day was to climb Selden Pass. It stands at 10,913′ and I camped at 8,043′. It was pretty gradual over 8.5 miles so I was able to move relatively quickly and enjoy it. I was on top by 10:30 and down by Marie Lake for lunch soon after. It was pretty windy at the lake so I decided not to go swimming but the wind meant there weren’t any mosquitoes so I didn’t mind. After lunch, I had a really nice afternoon. All until I had to do 48 switchbacks over 2 miles. My knees and ankles could barely take the 2,000′ descent. I found a few good sitting rocks on the way down and took some breaks. I had some string cheese in my pocket that proved to be a great snack. The day ended with a couple miles of climbing up about 1,000′ to a nice spot on a bluff overlooking the valley. It was a little chilly and windy which I was very excited for. I was hot last night and needed a cooler night to get some better sleep. The valley at the bottom is one of the most beautiful forests I have ever seen. It had the biggest and I think oldest trees I had seen yet and also the first sign of Aspens. It reminded me of the Aspen groves in Colorado. I finally cracked into my peanut butter jar tonight. I forgot I had it every night before this so I went ahead and ate an absurdly large amount of it. It was probably close to 800 calories of peanut butter. I hope to repeat this disgusting act in 10 hours for breakfast.

I broke off the plan I had set in Bishop and decided to start doing more miles each day. We originally planned for 20 but my legs were feeling good and 25 per day was attainable. It felt good to push myself a little and spend the day thinking. My mind wandered a lot and several times I put headphones in to let my mind go blank and focus on walking. Sometimes I find myself a mile down the trail with no recollection of where I was. I try not to let this happen in the Sierra too often since it is so beautiful but I look forward to using this skill in Northern California where the views aren’t as magnificent.

Miles: 24.5 Total Miles: 880.6

The view from the top of Selden Pass
Trail this smooth and a view this nice keep my feet and mind happy.

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