I iced my ankle ankle off and on during my stay at the hostel, and while it wasn’t 100%, I decided it was worth trying to hike on. But, as my time was getting shorter and I didn t want to stress it out too much, I would skip some miles.
I packed up, wishing Tom Tom, Spider Bite, and Purina a good hike as they hopped back on the PCT, and went to a nearby cafe for breakfast.
Made myself a hiching sign, and walked to the edge of stateline to try and get a ride, and wouldn’t you know it, after only a few minutes an awesome couple and their dog Blue pulled over for me. I love how great people are here! Giving rides and helping you out. Love it.
I disembarked at Spooner Summit and began to hike up. Someone had been through today, it looked like 2 sets of footprints on the snow. I didn’t put my gortex socks on, a figured cold feet might help the swollen ankle…
The first few miles were in the trees. I slowed my pace considerably to not put too much stress on the foot, and slowly plodded through the forest. At one point I decided it was time for some music. I hadn’t listened to any music yet on this trip, so when Ben Harper’s She’s only Happy in the Sun came on, I practically burst with joy. This song was on heavy repeat when I hiked the Colorado Trail 10 years ago, and could be my antham. I love it. I love this. I love hiking. Suddenly nothing else mattered except the fact that I was walking through a gorgous landscape, exactly where I am happiest. This is me. This is happiness. It doesn’t matter that I won’t complete the TRT on this trip. None of that matters. I am here, and that is the most important thing.
I was getting glimpses of the Nevada valley to the east, and Lake Tahoe to the West. Then I was above treeline and on top of the world. It was overwhelming.
I spent the rest of the day in a state of bliss. I worked Spotify to play me all the albums I had on the CT hike a decade ago, and remembered how wonderful that solo hike had been.
My feet were getting cold and wet by this point, but I didn’t care. I met 2 day hikers, and a young couple with their tiny baby in a sling on the dad. Yes! They are doing it! That kid is one lucky dude.
By late afternoon I was back in the trees and got to camp pretty early. Again, I wanted to take it easy, and do some reading. I haven’t read as much as I would have wanted, so now my slower pace and shorter days would give me more of what I want.
A group of 10 came in not long after I stretched out in my sleeping bag, cowboy camp style. They were a guided group doing the TRT together. Nice folks. I’m not used to so much company, but this was an established campsite and was recommended that hikers camp here instead of on their own in this area. Maybe bears? But it was ok. We were all in bed fairly early and sleeping towards another day on the trail.