Day 56 – 6/16/16
Mammoth of 906.63 to 923.26
Total miles: 16.63 miles plus 4 miles back to trail
5 am came early. I did not want to get out of that warm soft bed. Mad Dog and Alice were coming at 6 am to pick 5 Star and I up to take us back to the trail. I finished packing up my stuff and ate my baked goods I got from the bakery yesterday morning. I sat on the bed counting down the minutes watching TV. My left foot still hurt. The top tendon was still sore even after 3 days of ice and rest.
We got picked up and started to head back to the trail. I glanced at the car’s outside temperature indicator. 33°. Brrr. It’s going to be a cold morning. Good thing the sky is clear.
We get out of the car and put on our packs. We only have two days to Tuolumne Meadows so our packs are not too heavy. I start making my way up the trail behind 5 Star and Mad Dog. My left foot is in a lot of pain and I have to move very slow. To add insult to injury my right calf has a huge knot. I’m not doing to good and I’m getting worried. My tendon isn’t getting any better and is hurting more than the walk into Mammoth. I start worrying I might have to end my hike. I can’t continue on if I’m experiencing jolts of pain every 100 feet on top of the general soreness. I slow even further. I tell my self to at least get to Tuolumne and see how it is there. I tell 5 Star and Mad Dog that my foot is in a lot of pain and I have to go slow.
We take the wrong trail at a junction and are on the Sierra High Route. Luckily it will take us back to the PCT at mile 906 instead of 903. The trail goes through an old burn. There are lots of burned trunks and new tree growth forming. A couple hours later we walk through Reds Meadow and hop back onto the trail. I’m still moving slow and have to take it easy while going down.
We come to a junction where we can take an alternate to go by the Devils Post Pile. I wanted to see this and so we took the trail. They post pile is neat. They are these hexagonal stone columns coming straight out of the ground.
We meet back up with the PCT a couple miles later and continue on. I’m listening to my audio book and trying my best not to aggravate my foot. 5 Star and Mad Dog are ahead of me most of the day and stop and wait for me to catch up every hour or so.
We get to Agnew Meadow and take a lunch break. My foot is doing better and in can move a bit faster but I’m still going slow.
After lunch we set off uphill. My foot and calf aren’t hurting but I don’t feel good. My legs feel heavy and I don’t seem to have the energy to move very quickly.
I plod along as best as I can. Gaining the altitude grants me with some views finally. Most of the day was spent in tree cover and there wasn’t much to see.
Around 3 I come up to 5 Star and Mad Dog taking a break. I sit down and rest a bit. They want to go a few more miles. We get up and I slowly walk down the trail that is getting wetter and muddier. We climb more elevation and come to lakes below the snow covered mountains. We are at 10,000 feet and starting to encounter patches of snow.
The PCT meets back up with the JMT and 5 Star and Mad Dog are standing there. I tell them I’m running on fumes and they say they’ll stop the first place we can. It’s getting windy but we are heading up into trees so we hope for a space in the trees that will block the wind. I follow a ways behind and start heading up switchbacks. I come around a switchback and see that they’ve stopped in some trees. There is a some semi flat spots within the trees. I set up my tent and get in exhausted. Even though I went at such a slow pace I am incredibly tired. I hope my foot feels better soon.