Woke up today feeling refreshed and ready to hike! Today we had a series of rolling hills, going up a few hundred feet before descending again.
After going over Castle Pass we made our way down to Peter Grubb hut. The hut is on Forest Service land, managed by the Sierra Club, and very cool. It's rented out during the winter for those wanting to brave the four mile trail in the snow. We stopped to have a snack there before moving on.
As usual, we came across more snow today. We only got off track a few times while going through the snow in the trees, one of which being because we followed some errant footprints. Being on the snow today, not able to see the trail, made me think of Matt and Julie who hiked the PCT in '07 and just finished the AT this summer. 2007 was a dry year and they were able to make their way along the trail using the data book as their main (only?) source of navigation. That would simply not be possible this year. If you can see the trail than the data book would work just fine, but when the trail is covered in snow more often than not, maps are definitely necessary, and GPS is a nice thing to have on hand.
On another of the descents, we dropped into Paradise Valley. It was nice enough, but calling it paradise may have been a bit optimistic due to the snow and mosquitos. I'm sure it will be perfectly nice in September.
Another thought I had today was regarding enjoyment while hiking. I have come to the conclusion that there are two things that determine how much you will enjoy the hike: food and sleep. If you take in the correct number of calories, and nutrients, for your workload so that you are never very hungry, you will feel energetic and ready to hike! Same goes for sleep; if you get enough given your workload, you will wake up in the morning ready to go!
We got to camp earlier, and for some reason on top of the forested, snow-free saddle the mosquitos were particularly bad, so refuge was taken in the tent and a moquito melee ensued. Once they were smeared across the walls of the tent, sleep came quickly.
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