After busting a 17 mile night hike last night I had planned to chill during the hottest time of the day and avoid having to suffer under the sun. But the weather was gloomy and cool in the morning so the group decided to head for the next water source 19 miles north and tack on another 4 after that to shorten the following day's hike in a waterless stretch. The access to and availability of water completely decides my schedule. It makes doing low mile days difficult.
I told the others that I wouldn't do 23 miles today, and instead attempt to get to 19 but plan on sleeping somewhere much closer. I kept my expectations low.
I traversed through huge burn areas and rolling hills littered with more wind turbines. These ones looked way older than the big tall white ones that you typically see. Old school.
The weather took a turn for the worst and started dumping rain. Despite having a rain shell, you're guaranteed to be completely soaked to the bone. Hiking up big hills makes you sweat, a ton. That plus the rain falling on you makes a party.
After several hours of dealing with the rain I ended up in the alpine forest sandwiched between a blanket of clouds and fog. My legs were hurting, though thankfully not my IT band. So I press up several hills. After 8 hours I made is successfully to mile 19. Plus when I arrived I saw all the folks👊🏽. It's also extremely cold tonight. The Sierra is close.