September 15: 10 miles

Damn, it’s cold this morning. Mid to high 30s and still windy. We wake about 6:30. I want to be on the trail about 7:30. It’s cold enough that I don’t want to be outside in the wind while packing, so for the first time in my hiking life I bring everything in the tent to pack. I’ve read other hikers talk about that in rainy or freezing weather.

As I get ready to actually put things in the backpack the sun is over the horizon and I feel the warmth.

So… I have my layers on and go outside to pack. It’s still chilly but not like when we first went out after waking up. However, it’s now 8am. What happened? How did 90 minutes go by and the backpack is still not packed and the tent is still standing? When we hiked the Long Trail we were always ready in less than an hour. I’m getting distracted in some manner and am on the hunt do discover what it is.

We’re hiking about 8:30. It feels good to be moving in the chilly, breezy air. My legs feel good. No calf cramps. The altitude seems more normal.

Top of the world to ya…

There are two mountains to climb today. The first is about 9400 feet with a descent to about 8700 feet then climbing to the second at 9800 feet. It’s amazing to be walking at these elevations. The air is amazing. The water from spring fed streams is so clear, cold and delicious. The climbs are difficult. Even though the trail is well graded with few steep sections most of the day is spent going uphill.

The amazing thing to me is my recovery time. walking uphilll at 9500 feet, out of breath, heart beating fast, after a minute of standing still breathing is normal and heart rate has dropped dramatically.. Pretty good for a 68 year old geezer!

The one new price of gear that I’m not used to having is a solar charger for my battery. Reading about people using it, the suggestion is to put the solar panel in the sun connected. to the battery every time I’m going to stop for 10 minutes or more. I’m still forgetting. Though today I remembered twice, out of perhaps 6-8 times.

A distant view of Lake Tahoe.

When we got to Starr Lake I was so tired. I found a lovely spot to camp and as I was setting up the tent saw that there was water about through the trees about 20 feet behind me. Supposed to camp 200 feet from water. So, we go looking for another place. We walk around for a good 30 minutes and find a place that’s ok, but no where near a good a feel as the first one.

So, here we are. Snuggled in for the night. It’s forecast to be around 30 tonight. Probably an under the quilt snuggle with Sherman.