Sept 12: 9 miles

We got up to the sound of the river. I was looking for a way not to cross the river. I couldn’t see anyway to get Sherman safely across.

You can just see the 8 foot wet log across the river…

As I was finishing packing up as a couple with a young red small poodle came walking up the trail from a group of houses a quarter mile away. I asked them if I could walk through their neighborhood and get to Hwy 50? They said yes. So we did.

I was sure we had a mile to go to get to the TRT once we were on 50, so we walked on the shoulder for quite a while. In a driveway I looked at the GPS map and saw we’d walked past the trail. A half mile ahead was a junction where we could get to the trail, so we hiked on. Gotta say it’s not a fun experience to walk along the shoulder of a 65 MPH highway. We walked against traffic so I could watch for traffic not moving over enough to feel safe. When that happened, I’d pull Sherman further off the road and wait for traffic to pass. Most drivers were kind and careful, moving from the outside to inside lane to give us plenty of room.

At the trail junction there was also a resort that was closed for the seasons. As we walked past the resort I could see there was a local K-9 training going on. 30+ police cars and lots of dogs. I was surprised that as we walked by — atleast a quarter mile away up the hill, the dogs knew we were there and were barking at us. I’ve always assumed that K-9s are better trained than that! Sherman stopped to look and listen. I was impressed that he didn’t bark back.

We walked on and on taking a break every hour or when either of us got tired. This was our first day at altitude. 8000+ feet. I am feeling it more than Sherman. He just seems eager and ready to keep on forever.

He has a slightly strained right back knee, so I have him on the hiking leash to keep him moving at my pace and my distance. When he’s off leash he probably goes twice the distance I do with all his off trail sniffing and going forward to check things out then come get back to be sure I’m still coming, etc.

The switchbacks climbing 500 or so feet as we work our way up the mountains are reminding me of the first couple days on the John Muir Trail. Early altitude adjustments as the body is working overtime to make more red blood cells.

We reach our destination at Shower’s Lake. 10 miles. And we’re both very tired. Much more work than the 10-12 miles we did twice a week on Sisar Road in Upper Ojai.

I setup and at dark, we crash.