Hi Sierra!

What an amazing place! The high Sierra have been treat after treat. That’s even with going to fast, like a moron! I left Lone Pine, and said goodbye to Eric with a 42 lb pack and a heavy heart. I knew I had my work cut out for me. The elevation profile for the next stretched very much resembled shark teeth. I was planning 25-27 mile days through it, even knowing there would be snow and river crossings, even knowing there were 7 high passes, including Forrester Pass, the highest point of the PCT at 13,200.

On I went. I must admit, it was a bit of a slog. Hadn’t seen the trail so steep before, and my legs were already pretty tired from the big climb up Whitney. But slog on, I did. My mood completely shifted when I came over the first and highest pass. On the other side, was a dreamland! Bright blue alpine lakes, carved valleys, and epic ridgelines. Kings Canyon has officially made my top 3 national parks list. It’s an amazing place, a lot like Glacier.

It was a shame to have to rush, but the motivation of making my flight to see Eric was strong enough to get me through it. The biggest shame was running out of water treatment. I ended up having to use iodine tablets. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. It’s yucky! I was walking by the clearest, most refreshing water I’d seen just about anywhere, and drinking redish water that tasted like it came from a disgusting rusty sink in NYC. Bummer!

The bugs have began their summer season as well. It was insult to injury, rolling into camp, hobbling and exhausted, pushing through to the last bit of daylight, just enough to pitch the tent and climb in. And when it’s finally time to stop, they jump you! I’m talking Minnesota style, where one swat takes out 5 mosquitos! And there you are, swatting at yourself, exhausted and defeated, swearing and squirming like a crazy idiot in the woods (which you are). Can’t help but admit that it would be quite humorous to plant a camera at a stream crossing, just so you can watch all of us thru-hikers act like spazing children.

Had a great day of hiking with a kind fellow called Thirsty Boots. He’s been on many thru-hikes and had all kinds of great advice to share, not just on hiking, but life choices too. Having him was great! Especially since we were going over the snowiest pass. Every time I find myself in a risky situation, or almost in one, I think of my poor mother. I think of how she could have just had a normal daughter, who like, works at a bank or something, and I try to do things smarter. Company over a pass is a good one to do for Mamma!

That’s it for now, it’s off to Yosemite. This life is so incredible!

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