Started: 12:30 @ MM 906.6 Reds Meadow (Elevation 7,718ft)
Finished: 18:15 @ MM 920.0 Ridge Camp (Elevation 9,677ft)
Elevation Gain/Loss: +3,018/-1,061ft
Food: Tortilla w/cheese & salami, Crackers, Snickers Bar, Couscous & Tuna, Protein Bar
Health & Hygiene: 0 Blisters, Days since last shower 1, Days since laundry 2
I was struggling to think of a good reason to leave the luxurious comforts of my Motel 6 room. I can’t deny, there are many basic things that I really, really miss … hot running water, a flat surface to sleep on, a toilet that you can actually sit on and the good old GoggleBox! I am almost a little ashamed to admit to this last one, but it’s the truth. I often spend my hiking days fantasizing about the marathon sessions of GOT and OITNB that I intend to indulge in when I return to the real world … No spoilers please!
By the time I’d finished procrastinating, found the motivation to leave and finally made my way back to the trail, it was way after noon. The air was hot and humid, my pack was ridiculously heavy and I was all alone for the first time in weeks. All alone, apart from the droves of day hikers that is. I picked my way through the great washed and eventually came upon yet another of America’s satanic geological formations. I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the Devil’s Postpile, but as soon as I saw it things made perfect sense. However, what I was struggling to make sense of was America’s somewhat odd fascination with Lucifer. So far I’d seen the Devil’s Chair, his Punchbowl and now a stack of his letters … What next?
I would have liked to have lingered a little longer at this unique National Monument but it was heavily guarded by vicious bloodsucking insects who were definitely doing the work of the devil! The northern half of the Sierras are notorious for mosquitos. I had long since learnt to take fear mongering trail rumours with a pinch of salt. I mean how bad can it be, they’re just tiny little flying things … Right?!?
I plodded on, mostly uphill. My mind was preoccupied by thoughts of bears. Deluxe had been constantly bleating on about how badly behaved the bears are in Yosemite and this information was messing with my head. I stopped for a snack at a beautiful spot alongside a stream, but my over active imagination wouldn’t allow me to relax. I hiked on. Once I’d shaken off the day hikers I saw nobody. I missed my “Tramily”!
The trail took me through the spectacular Ansel Adams wilderness, but even the breathtaking views failed to lift my somewhat flat disposition. I put it down to “Town Lag” and pressed on. There weren’t too many camping options, even fewer with water. I stopped at a small stream and filled a few litres in preparation for my dry camp. I reached the indicated a spot and much to my delight found Curious George already there. I liked Curious, he was only 21 and we had pretty much nothing in common but at that moment I really liked him. I was very happy for the company but more importantly, Curious had more food than would fit in his bear thing. Basically, this meant that he would be first on the bear’s dinner list. I prepared my bland supper, watched the sunset from my tent and tried not to think about bears!