Started: 07:15 @ MM 190.5 – Fuller Ridge Campsite (Elevation 7,748ft)
Finished: 16:15 @ MM 210.8 – Ziggy and the Bear’s (Elevation 1,519ft)
Water: Drank 3L … Definitely not enough.
Food: Cliff Bar, Protein Bar, Ritz & BabyBell Cheese, Gummie Lifesavers, Trail Mix, Spaghetti, Cracker Barrel.
Wildlife: 1 Woody Woodpecker and lots of Chipmunks
Health: 0 Blisters. Wind Burn! Unbelievably I managed to sleep and stay reasonably warm. Getting up, out of my downy nest and moving was really tough. Thankfully I was already fully dressed so I just changed socks put my shoes on, packed up and left. I was dreading more challenging snow crossings and now that everything had iced over again, it would be even more perilous. I gritted my teeth and pressed on. Much to my delight, when I dropped down below the boulders of the campground there was pretty much no snow. I still had to deal with blow downs but the slippery stuff had all but evaporated. I scuttled joyfully along. Within an hour I had dropped about 1,000ft and the air temperature had warmed up sufficiently for the disrobing process to begin. By the time we stopped for second breakfast I was back into my desert dress and so grateful to finally be warm again. I couldn’t fathom how I had experienced an almost 100 degree temperature fluctuation in the space of about 6 hours. I concluded that these dramatic changes were unhealthy and I became genuinely concerned about the possibility of contracting Botulism!
Around noon we reached another significant milestone, passing the 200 mile marker. The downhill was long but the gradient was comfortable and I was making good progress towards the desert floor below and trail angels, Ziggy and the Bear. At some point during the hike it became windy and then it got really windy and then it just went absolutely mad and the desert seemed like it was trying to self destruct. At times it became hard to make any headway at all. After an hour of staggering and struggling across the wind swept valley floor we finally made it to Ziggy’s where there was a shower, food, fresh coffee and a respite from the wind. From here we could also arrange a shuttle to get us around the Lake Fire closure. Tomorrow would be a travel day. It seems that we had chosen a good day to be off trail … a storm was coming!