Miles - 20
I wake at the crack of dawn feeling excited to be getting back on the trail. It’s still dark and quiet. A golden haze lingers on the horizon through the trees trying to overpower the dark blue sky. I get up and pack up quietly as not to disturb Snakebite and the others. It’s a little after 5am by the time I get walking. I refind the trail and have fun walking on the sand. Everything is so still and quiet. Only a few birds are up. After a mile I come across a campsite which acts like a gateway into the Sierras. Cars, tents and campervans are dotted here and there. I nod at the lone early risers of the day and hike on.
I enter the Sequoia National Park which consists of ups and downs through Rocky and sandy pastures. I pass a few who hiked out last night and begin the gradual ascent. The sun is rising slowly over the stoney valley edge which has pine trees clinging to it. I enter a blackened forest and the heat begins to hit. The path levels off for a bit then begins to climbs and I start to suffer. It’s so hot and there is no shade. I trudge along sweating, head down and wishing of shade. Eventually I reach a beautiful meadow encased by hills on either side. It’s the first I’ve seen so far on the trail and the first of many! I wade through the grassy scene before heading back up into the pines.
It’s a slow hike up and I come across an open rocky area and can see a bendy blue river below in the verdant valley. Black cows laze around in and out of the river. Which I’ll be drinking in a few mins. I brave the tree-less walk and head to the river. Yep the water tastes just like cows even with flavoured powder. I can taste cows and see swallow poop from under the bridge sail by as I collect my water yummy. I head up into the trees, where a father and son and Australian guy and French woman are chilling. I sit down, eat and people come and go. I chill and nap slightly.
It gets to 4pm and I chill briefly by the river as trios of scouts accompanied by leaders roll up. I eventually head out for 4:30 and make slow progress, the hill is hard. I’m so tired and I pass a few people and a few people pass me. I’m stopping every few meters and even in the shade of the trees and lateness of the day it’s warm. Blue and I leaf frog for a while then pitch our sleeping bags 2 miles from the top - so tired.
It is nice to have finally entered the Sierras and I look forward to seeing more in the next few weeks.