Sunday, September 11, 2011

high sierra trail | day 5 | junction meadow to crabtree meadow

today's mileage: 8.9 miles

this section of trail brought a pretty significant change in the experience. we transitioned to the john muir trail where the traffic increased to seeing someone about once/hour, whereas in previous days, we saw 1-2 people/day. we also had to hit 11,000+ twice today which means we started the hike with a straight incline for a while, then down, then back up again. it was pretty rough. at one point i thought i was lost, so i yelled out my friends' names like a small child who's lost sight of their parent in a giant mall. they called back my name and a sense of relief came over me. then a bit later, while climbing to that second 11,000+ point, i sat down on a stone step, propped my head against my backpack (still on my back) and fell asleep. i was so tired that my body shut down to the soothing sound of a nearly silent forest and gentle breeze that swept over my body. it only lasted about 10 minutes before i awoke and then i somehow managed to pick myself up and slowly make my way to b, d, & m, who were waiting for me on some large rocks. i think we were all kinda pooped.

shortly after that long break, we made it to crabtree meadow... and seeing this open space brought the deep soul refreshment i needed. i felt like i was in montana. ;-)  plus, it was lovely to wash my crazy dirty toes in the icy river.

by the end of the day, i realized i was getting antsy, kind of bored, noticeably irritable, and feeling done. i was tired and coming to the end of me. i think there's also something about doing the same exact routine for 5 days in a row that was starting to wear me down. i'm not a routine kinda girl, so the monotony of cooking breakfast, packing up shop, hiking all day, eating lunch, getting washed up, setting up shop, sleeping, and repeating the cycle, that just got to me. even though everything we saw and experienced was unique to each day, this repetitive process stirred me up in a way i normally don't have to face.

i think paulo coelho said it well in a recent tweet: "if you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. it is lethal."  hahahah... of course i would resonate with that quote. 

anyway, i was in my tent before dark and fell asleep like a happy baby on an unfortunately slightly inclined spot. and we decided to sleep in the next day because the journey would only be 2.7 miles to our next camping spot before our day 7 trek up to the top of mount whitney. 

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