Update from the Trail: The Sierras

A week into the Sierras, and boy are our feet wet. Literally.

The high volume of snow this year has led the trail to be inundated with water nearly everywhere.

It’s quite a different problem from the desert where you have to be so calculated and conscientious about how much water you carry. Here in the Sierras, it’s so plentiful that I’ve honestly stopped checking where our next available source will be. If all else fails, I’m sure we’ll find some snow melting perfectly down the trail every third mile.

Despite the constantly wet shoes, socks, and feet, we’re really enjoying ourselves out here. Sometimes the trail is extremely steep, but the added challenge has left us feeling even more accomplished by the day’s end. When we do spend hours climbing up steep passes, we’re nearly always met with a remarkable view. I’ve been so blown away by the beauty of the Sierras that I sometimes have a hard time peeling myself away from particular views.

When we first made the decision to flip, I definitely felt some apprehension and disappointment not to be heading into the Sierras. I had been looking forward to this section so much since the dread of the desert set in, but I think I knew deep down that the Sierras were going to present too many challenges for me to truly enjoy the section.

Those that we’ve passed heading Northbound have affirmed this time and again. They all say practically the same thing, “the Sierras were beautiful but really exhausting.”

Now that we’re here ourselves, I can see that the decision we made was the right one for us. We seem to have hit the Sierras at just the perfect time, where there are few signs of winter remaining, the stream crossings are relatively low, and the only bad thing about the area is the high population of mosquitoes.

At times, Bighorn will grow frustrated by how slow we’re moving, a sentiment that would be much worse had we pushed on originally. While we may be moving a little slower than usual, we’re still accomplishing at least 20 mile days, a feat I feel proud of considering the terrain. We’ve also taken to waking up an hour later, giving us less time in the day to push bigger miles.

For the most part, we’ve passed all of our northbound friends so things have begun to quiet down a bit. When in town, we’ll typically see the same three to five people, but out on trail it’s almost always just us. We think when we jump back up to Ashland we’ll be surrounded by the bubble of hikers again, so we’re appreciating the moment now of being alone with the foresight that this time might be coming to an end soon.

We have approximately a week and a half left in the Sierras, and then we’ll be taking a short trailcation in Encinitas before heading back up to Ashland. We’ll try to update you all once more before we leave the Sierras, but until then happy trails!

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