“Honey in hot chocolate, it’s the shit.” - Big Daddy
I woke up late after a fitful sleep. Righteous and I were last out of camp. I usually prefer not to be at the end of the pack, but I wasn’t in the mood to be on the trail by 6am today. We climbed up a steep canyon out and over into the next valley. Both of my knees were exceptionally sore today, and it was bothering me quite a bit. When ever pain comes on, I tend to assume that it could mean the worst for me. This is the first time I really felt like my body was falling apart. I’ve lost between 20-25 pounds, most of it is upper body mass. Im burning more calories than I am able to carry or consume, and all the laborious hiking this past 300 miles is starting to show physically. I’m always hungry, too.
For a few hours I solo hiked and caught up to GoPro and Big Daddy. Most of the trail was exposed todaythe forest still has big patches of snow but its much hotter now that we are dipping into lower and lower elevations. I spent a good portion of the day stepping in assholes (mud pits) today. The lower elevation is giving way to swampier terrain and much larger trees, so its a trade off between beauty and frustruation. But I keep my head up. I say all this to illustrate that, you can really feel the Sierra beginning to fade away into the past. It just doesn’t have the magnitude and remoteness that I have become accustomed to.
We climbed up to Saddle Pass above Noble Lake at mile 1043. I was able to get more cell service and checked in with my folks and cousin. I think I can actually walk there in 3.5 days or less from today. My old comrade Emilio is going to pick me up at highway 50 on Sunday morning. The dudes are getting an airbnb in S. Lake Tahoe. Ill be staying at the north shore, Incline Village. When push comes to shove, I have to chose family over friends. I’ll just have to drive down to them to hang out during our zero days.
The valley that Noble Creek runs through is decidedly different in landscape. Red sand makes up the majority of the mountains and big pine and sequoia trees are plentiful. The trail runs along a steep drop. It is gorgeous and feels like we are in the pacific northwest. Big Daddy found a great spot for us to camp for the night on a cliff. We parked there and I made two fat dinners. I’m stuffed and ready to fall asleep before doing another 20 miles tomorrow to keep to my schedule.