This morning was a really tough one. Cool Breeze has decided to part ways with the group for various reasons. All of us have crosses to bear but he seems to have more than most right now and he thinks some time alone and some space will give him time to clear his head.
So it was with a heavy bag and an extremely heavy heart that I walked away from him not knowing if I will ever see him again. I spent all morning looking behind me hoping that I would see him. I had to keep remembering to stop and look around at the beauty around me to combat the darkness I felt.
I met up with Growler a couple of miles in and we made a plan. The plan was to get up and over Pinchot pass and 4 miles down the other side making a 17 mile day, but things were going to be tight seeing as we didn’t start hiking until 10am
Just after the wobbliest suspension bridge ever made, we finally reached the 800 mile mark, with the added 17 mile Whitney trip and the 15 miles in and out of Kearsarge pass it had taken a long time to get from 700 to 800.
We got to a water source – a fairly fast flowing river where Growler picked up some water – near the start of our 3500ft climb and I went ahead expecting Growler to overtake me within about half an hour. It didn’t happen. I waited 15 minutes and carried on. At this pace I would get to the top by 6pm – kinda late to get to the top of a pass when you don’t know if there will be snow on the other side.
So at 4pm it was decision time. I hike on or I stay where am. Now I am a strong independent woman who isn’t afraid to do things by herself, but as it turns out I’m a bit afraid of being in the Seirra alone because of the Bears and the bogeyman.
I sat on a rock and waited and my mind went into overdrive. I had already written off seeing Cool Breeze again and I had decided that Growler had fallen in the fast flowing river while getting water and I was never going to see her again either because she had been swept away. Then I was racked with guilt because I didn’t wait for her to get her water. My solution to being alone was to keep sitting on the rock and stare at the mountains until a miracle happened.
45 mins later Growler appeared over the hill – I was so happy she was still alive! She was on the struggle bus. We weren’t going to make it to the top and down to a safe elevation today so we decided to stay where we were after only 10 miles.
Growler and I were talking about the events of the day and Cool Breeze came over the hill. Wel,l it looks like he is still on the trail! He camped with us (oh I’m so glad I’m not on my own!).
But I’m not alone anymore. My friends are here and I’m happy. Although Growler is cowboy camping so I hope she doesn’t get eaten by a bear.
Tomorrow whe have two mountain passes to cross…