Big(er) Lizards And Mary’s Place
Beginning Elevation = 4,700
Low Elevation = 3,400
Ending Elevation = 4,550
Weather: Sunny, 50-80°F ish, few clouds “cotton ball puffs that dissolve and reform”
Was able to get a sunrise picture this morning, while the moon was disappearing…On the trail at 6:20. Not too long after starting hiking, took another sun picture…I’ve never been one to wake up early just because… before the trail, I was pretty good at sleeping when given the opportunity. But, I always did enjoy sunrises if I was up for them. So the trails been great for that! I feel I’m getting into a sleep pattern and have found the morning walks to be quite pleasant. It’s cooler of course and just calmer seeming.
I ran into Snickers after a short while. He apparently gets up before the sun and starts his day, beginning around 4:00ish I think. With all that lovely talk of early rising in the last paragraph, I have yet to develop the urge to get up that early…maybe when we reach the 90+ degree days!
We hiked through similar stuff that we’ve seen before on the trail, lots of chapparel, shaggy bark trees, rounded boulders, colorful flowers, and a good amount of cactus again.
At Tule Creek, we stopped to get some water. I first had some breakfast (peaches and cream oatmeal with another mocha latte supreme – this time a hot chocolate mix with instant coffee…The creek had only a little flow, so much so that I had to borrow a cup (bottom of empty peanut butter jar) to scoop water into my bottle. We stayed here a while, I felt I was holding Snickers up, but he seemed content to rest. He’s been trying to take it easy because he’s had knee pain in the past.
Just as we were heading out, Bluejay and Lisa reached the water source. After some hellos, we continued on our way…We then came across this…”Don’t mind the grind”There are lizards everywhere along this trail. Today, the majority of them seemed to double in size and grew great long tails. These guys were super fast too. It’s very possible they got into the ooze that made the Ninja Turtles human-sized. Anyway, we saw one new species too, a baby velociraptor I think (he been posed for a photo)!We also came across a fallen hat (psh, who would do something silly like leave their hat behind) and then a whistle/compass combo. Since someone made my day by returning my hat to me earlier on the trail, I thought I’d try to do the same for this poor hatless soul…The next feature of the day, was this “water source,” which was listed as sketchy on our phone app (kinda hard to see, but just a huge tank in the ground with buggy water). Luckily, we weren’t I’m desperate need at the time.A little after noon, we found a great spot to rest and take a lunch break in the shade. Bluejay and Lisa joined too.The first thing I usually do at these longer breaks is take off my shoes and put on my super sandals. Then, I scarfed down my lunch, which was sad today….a bunch of pepperoni on a tortilla (no cheese). I then proceeded to eat a Snickers bar and PopTart. The hiker hunger has become real (or it’s just I’m eating really non-nutritious food)! I am wanting to eat more and more and consequently have eaten all my snacks already for this stretch, which is supposed to last 2 more days. I’ve got several schemes up my sleeve to get more food, so don’t you worry folks.
I also took a minute during this break to wish my niece, Gemma Louise, Happy Birthday (sorry I’m not a better singer, the rest of the group was lovely though)!!! Back on the trail at 1:30 and it was hot. Some brought out the umbrellas.We were getting low on water in the afternoon and all the sources listed on the map we’re “iffy” in the sense that folks stock different places and you can’t rely on water to be there always. But, soon, up ahead we heard laughing, joyful voices…water!!!We stocked up here with some Kirkland water, just magnificently tasting. Then, a bit further on Snickers called it a day around 3:30. I continued on and eventually came to mile 145 where a super nice lady named Mary set up this little oasis complete with a water tank, shaded picnic tables, outhouse, a shower of sorts, a nice little library, and tenting space. I even got the chance to say hi and thank her when she pulled up to re-stock the outhouse with tp. She apparently lives in a “tiny house” just down the road.I did do a little rinse in the shower area and even opened up a copy she had of John Muir’s “The Mountains of California.”. I don’t know much about Mr. Muir, but he seems to have been an interesting, maybe a bit odd, fellow. I skimmed through and found some quotes that I’ll save for later on when in the Sierra Nevada.
Rather than camp with a mass of people, I chose to continue onward a bit further. Like the mornings, I’ve found the evening walks to also have a quieter (and cooler) feel to them.
I found a nice spot for my tent, despite it being a bit buggy (non-biting giant mosquito look-a-likes). Today was fancy dinner Friday I guess since I had my Mountain House meal. Tasty, but its no Dave H master chef special.Marco from Switzerland is nearby set up, who I was warned about being a loud snorer just earlier today. I could indeed hear him when writing this, but at the moment all is quiet! The moon is still crazy bright, it’s like someone’s shining a spotlight on my tent.