Monday, June 11, 2012

Day 51-Evolution Creek


The rock outcropping was surprisingly comfortable, but I was pretty cold.  Around 3:30 I put on my rain jacket and then felt warm.  I slept with my hat over my eyes and peeked out when I hard movement from Opus.  It was seven o'clock and we had decided the night before to sleep in and get up slowly.  I made oatmeal and hot chocolate before packing up (usually I eat a cold breakfast once I'm packed and ready to hike).  It was a nice leisurely start to the day.

We left camp at 8:30 and hiked down.  I could get really used to not having to hike up something first thing in the morning-although it's harder to warm up when going downhill.  The trail was following Evolution Creek down to where we would eventually ford the creek.

There were miles of walking next to the creek.  Sometimes the creek was thundering next to the three of us (Buster had hiked ahead) and sometimes it slowed and looked lazy as it drifted through a meadow.  This was supposed to be one of the two hardest fords, but based on the low snow year and the Southbounds' info, the ford didn't sound like a problem at all.

And it wasn't:  I zipped off my pant legs, put my phone and camera in a Ziploc, and with my hiking shoes on and hipbelt unbuckled I waded into the water.  It wasn't even really cold-usually its cold enough to numb feet before reaching the far side.  At its deepest it wasn't even knee deep.  After crossing I left my pack on shore and went back in to rinse off a little.

Mosquitoes were bad on the banks so we quickly left the area in search of a mosquito-free place to have lunch.  We found a place ten minutes up the trail next to the creek where it thundered over some falls.  It wasn't a good place for talking, but it was a pleasant place to eat at.  I hoped my shoes and socks would dry while I ate-I started to miss the dry desert when it became clear I was going to have wet feet.

By three p.m. my feet where hurting from being wet all afternoon.  It was really hot-I had never imagined the Sierra's to be hot before, but they've been hot nearly every day.  It was a strenght sucking heat that made me want to stop and hide in the shade for the rest of the afternoon.  We stopped briefly for a snack and shoe off break.  My feet were pasty white and waterlogged.  Twenty minutes without shoes on did wonders for them.

After break we had five miles left to our day-most of them up.  It felt like we were stopping on every switchback and making no progress.  I was minutes behind the guys-within sight, but not stepping on Opus' heels-so I didn't understand why we kept stopping.  It really started to bother me, and then we were at the top.  We grabbed some water, had a snack while watching three deer eat their dinner, and then went on two miles.

I was just starting to feel done with the day when we reached our campsite.  It was the largest flat spot that wasn't a meadow that I've seen out here.  It was sandy and had about a thousand anthills. We set up our sleeping areas (I cowboyed; the guys were in tents) near the back of the flat area where the ground was covered in pine needles and not anthills.

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