Day 58 Miles 733 – 744.5 + 1.7 miles off trail June 14, 2017

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Arriving at Horseshoe Meadow

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The day got off to a less than ideal start before we even got out of the tent. Daddie Gizmo was able to catch the sunrise since he was awake and annoyed about his pad losing air all night. Mosquitos were swarming the tent first thing and we knew we were going to get bit while we packed up.  In the rush to get ready I spilled half of our water for the morning. Starting the hike today by rationing  a 1/2 liter each for a 3 mile stretch uphill when the sun is already out started the day off on the wrong foot.

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Sunrise view

Fortunately we survived and after getting properly hydrated began to feel better. The day was getting hot fast and we still had over ten miles to get to Horseshoe Meadow and hitch a ride to Lone Pine.  There was a lot of elevation today in the sun and it was draining.  When we finally made it to Horshshoe Meadow we were very impressed by the view – lush green meadow with a river running through and the tall snowy mountains in the background.  We had to take our shoes off and cross the river.

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Random trail art

When we got off the trail and to the road where we need to hitch from we saw three guys waiting for a ride.  We became a little discouraged when they said they have been waiting for 4 hours already!  Originally, before the sleeping pad issues we were just going to come into town, resupply and get out the same day.  Now our plan is to stay this night, try to repair the sleeping pad or replace it and get back on trail tomorrow.  It was about 2:30 so we weren’t in a huge rush but we definitely didn’t want to sit around waiting on a ride all afternoon.  Thankfully, Daddie Gizmo found us a ride within 30 minutes and shortly after we arrived at the Timberline Motel. IMG_6288IMG_6287 Today’s hiking was hard and we were exhausted so what else could we do but go grab a beer.   We sat at the back bar of a local restaurant and chatted with a bunch of other hikers who had just completed the 6 day leg we are going to start from here. It includes passing the tallest point on the trail, starts the big snow and includes some big creek crossings. They gave positive feedback which gave us some confidence about the trail coming up. A few cocktails and pasta later we were sleeping in a real bed and hopeful of a good nights sleep.

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The mountains look HUGE here in Lone Pine

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PS- my camera turned on in my bag and killed the battery!!! All my photos from yesterday are inaccessible until we get our bounce box with the charger in Independence in a week. The scenery was SO BEAUTIFUL today so I’m really disappointed I can’t share it with everyone. I’ll post a lost photos update next week. I won’t be able to use my camera for the amazing scenery coming up…and I’m carrying the deadweight of my camera all next week 😦

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Day 57 Miles 719-733 June 13, 2017

6174600816_IMG_0725.JPGDaddie Gizmo:
Early start in prep for the Sierras soon to come today. We were packed up and out just before 6. 5:57 to be exact. Still not early enough but pretty early for these 2 sleepy heads.  It had purpose for the hike today too as we had big elevation to climb, descend and climb again. The climb took us from 8200 up to 10,500 back to 8600 and up to our camp spot at 9800. We hit patches of snow at the top and I hit the ground once hard enough to knock the wind out of me. Funny thing though, I looked up at the view from our side of the mountain over the valley and into the big snow covered mountains we will be in just a few days from now and forgot all about the fact that I was sitting sideways on a slick block of ice. 6174600816_IMG_0713IMG_48726174600816_IMG_0716 Throughout the day we could hear fighter jets from the nearby bases out in the desert buzzing around in the valleys between the mountains. Several came actually quite close to us. Then one came suddenly and directly overhead, maybe just a few hundred feet. You could see every detail as if you were standing next to it on the ground.  Several more flew even closer and faster as we stood on the peak of the last ridge we would climb for the day.  A few more decided to perform sharp banks, turns and rolls right overhead as we cheered and waived at the pilots.  It was an amazing private air show for us and the other hikers out on the peaks today.  Just like the huge windmills in the desert, the juxtaposition of man’s most sopphisticated machinery and Mother Nature were great compliments to each other today.

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Today marks 3 months anniversary since we left Dallas to start this adventure and I couldn’t think of a better way to spend it than climbing a mountain and being able to see these spectacular vistas of snowy mountains, creeks, rivers and pine trees.6174600816_IMG_0719

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Fields of manzanitas and pine trees

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Cow creek

IMG_48656174600816_IMG_0708 We came out on some spectacular views that reminded us why we had the crazy idea to climb 733 miles! We took advantage of a great spot and is where we are camped right now – on the edge of a mountain in the high desert with a 180 degree panorama of the snow peaked mountains.

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The view from our campsite and tent

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Taking in the view from campsite

6174600816_IMG_07316174600816_IMG_0732IMG_6209  We are positioned perfectly to enjoy the sunset as we lay in our sleeping bags and eat Oreos this evening. It would be complete perfection if it wasn’t for the SWARM of mosquitos around our tent. We already lost the battle with them earlier today and have welts and bites all over so as long as they hungrily stay on the other side of our mosquito netted tent all is good.😊IMG_6274.JPG