Mile 150.3 to 169.2
I wake up to a spot light being shown into my tent. I look over and see Songbird shining her light all over her tent. I turn on my phone and it says 445. Way too early. I lay down and hope 5 Star doesn’t get up. 5 minutes later I hear him shuffling around. I wait for the releasing of air in his sleeping pad before I sit up and start getting ready. I quickly pack up and gracefully exit my tent.
We start heading back to the trail and make our way downhill. It is very steep and rocky. I pull out some ibuprofen because I sense sore knees in the not too distant future. We drop about 200 feet before having to head back up 500 feet. We come across a patch of snow just as we are about to reach the top.
Once at the top it is another steep decline on a rocky trail. Apparently, switch backs were foreign to the designer of this trail. We dropped about 600 feet before going right back up. We get to the saddle and decide to take a break. It is a bit windy but it helps keep the mosquitoes from completely swarming.
I pull out my Cheetos and finish them off. I think Cheetos may be the best trail food. Tasty, right amount of crunch, and all the sodium you need to keep your electrolytes up. It’s got what hikers crave.
After about 30 minutes we get up and once again make a large descent. We drop about 1,400 feet. We come to a creek just before a trail head and get some water for the 1,000 foot climb coming up.
We hike up a bit and come to a big creek with a foot bridge. There are definitely a lot of nice creeks on the trail. The sound of rushing water is very peaceful and relaxing.
I put in my headphones and listen to my audio book. I plod along uphill. 1,100 feet over 2.8 miles. It is quite steep and tiring. Almost immediately I come across a lone sandal. Probably used for crossing creeks so their boots don’t get wet. Although, I have yet to ford a creek and get my feet wet.
The last 400 feet of climbing I start to fall behind. It is getting warm and I can feel that my back is soaked from sweat. I finally reach the top and round the corner to see 5 Star and Songbird. They have their stuff laid out drying. Including 5 Star’s shirt. I check to see which direction the sun is moving and find some shade. I take off my shirt and hang it on my trekking poles.
I see we have 4G service so I upload the post of our zero day in Frisco. I try to upload pictures from there last couple days but it doesn’t want to upload. Oh well guess I’ll just relax. Posting each day is a lot of work. I make my Mountain House chicken and dumplings. It is pretty good. Better than the salty mess from last night.
We relax for about an hour before we start to pack up and leave. As Songbird goes to collect her sleeping bag she has to fight off a chipmunk that has laid claim to it. It was close but the 2 pound chipmunk lost. Barely. There was some screaming.
Songbird goes on ahead as she has to see a man about a horse. I tell her that I hope it is just a pony and not a Clydesdale. I finish packing up amd 5 Star and I head out. We have a 700 foot drop over a couple miles before climbing another 1,000 feet. I put it my headphones and pound down the trail.
I keep up with 5 Star until we start to head up. I stop to take a picture of a creek and he slowly pulls away as we head up the steep trail.
I get about 700 feet up and I am drenched in sweat. It is a warm day and the sun is straight over head. I’m slowly moving my legs that feel as if they have ankle weights on when I see a smelly creature come out of the trees. At first I think it is the elusive squatch but quickly realize it is just a tired hiker that just got done leaving a deposit.
I walk up to 5 Star and take out my head phones. I sit down on a rock and groan. “It is so hot” I tell him. 5 Star is definitely feeling the heat and steep climb too. He mentions that he is done with the big cooked meals for lunch. He said it feels like a lead weight in his stomach.
We sit and wait for Songbird and wonder if maybe she somehow was ahead of us. As we are comparing how sweaty our shirts are I see her coming up the trail. We all look pretty beat. It is only another 300 feet so we get up and make our way up the hot trail.
They both leave me to my waddling and I quickly lose sight. After 30 minutes or so I round the corner and see them sitting on nice flat rocks. Songbird points to the only other rock and says she saved me a seat. Except, the rock is wedged shaped with the wedge pointing up. I tell her no thanks and just sit on the ground.
It is only 3.8 miles to where we plan to camp and it is all downhill. Mostly. We get up and start heading down. The 3.8 miles goes by pretty fast and we make it to the Mount Massive trail head. Just before the parking area are some spots for tents and a creek only 50 feet away that is flowing nice. We finish setting up our tents just as it starts to drizzle. I situate my self and slowly blow up my pad.
The rain stopped and the sun was out so I get out of my tent and walk over to 5 Star. He gets out of his tent and we are talking next to Songbirds tent. We get real close and I put my feet just under her rain fly. She starts laughing and says her face is right there.
5 Star walk over to where there is a rock and fallen tree to sit on. We talk for a bit before we start throwing sticks at Songbirds tent. After a few minutes she gets out and walks over to the creek. She says she is going to get in. She gets in and lasts all of 15 seconds. She walks back to her tent and changes into some sleeping pants.
We sit talking for awhile and joke about this guy that was relaxing nearby. He was just putting his shoes on to leave when a cute girl walks over and starts setting up next to our tents. He is right next to her and starts talking to her. They talk for a bit and she finishes setting up her tent. He slowly finishes puttimg his shoes on, checks the data book, and takes off his jacket. We kept looking over and laughing because it really looked like he was going to change his mind and stick around. He eventually grabbed his pack and took off just as she finished setting up her tent.
It started to rain a bit and we heard thunder off in the distance so we retreated to our tents. I left my tent open and had to kill a couple flies and two spiders.
Tomorrow is a short day. We have 6 miles to a trail that will lead us to Twin Lakes. We are staying the night at Twin Lakes at an inn. Apparently, all that is there is the inn, small general store, and visitor center. 5 Star says an old lady may be selling hamburgers and frys out of a food truck. Here is to hoping!