Died and Gone to the Sierras

Day 25Mileage: 33.6

Total distance: 738.2
Camp tonight is secluded in a tent spot at 10,000 feet. I have my big net and tarp up tonight in hopes that it helps with the coldness. I’d like to stay warm tonight! Breathing isn’t the easiest and I’ve had a tiny bit of anxiety from it, but a deep breath calms everything down. 

Last night when I was lying down to sleep I felt something was off in my stomach. I figured I had town gut from the massive burger and was going to let it do its thing, but it got worse and worse. I was lying down and knew I was going to puke at some point and felt nauseous and hot. If things couldn’t get more uncomfortable I started hearing this noise that kept getting closer and closer. Something was wailing and making hissing sounds that were very loud and it kept getting closer and closer to me. Finally it went away, but my gut was worse. I got up and went to the outhouse and vommed for about five minutes and honestly everything was better. I got in my bag and passed out. After a quick mouth rinse. 

It was ice cold when I woke up and my pad is getting worse and worse in its slow deflation throughout the night. So I woke up with my butt on the cold ground and was motivated to get my body working. The trail started out in a dense ponderosa pine forest and slowly rose in elevation until it opened up into another glorious meadow. Once again sage and this gorgeous little purple flower dominated the landscape. The trail skirted along the edge of this meadow and dropped down into the Kern River once again. I met a cool dude there and we watched starlings catch bugs and feed their children for a solid thirty minutes. Finally I got up and started my first of two big climbs for the day. 

The incline was mellow and I flew up the mountain until I was at 10,500 feet and I ate lunch on a rock looking over a meadow with the sierras in the background. The sun was glaring off their snowy caps. I laid down for a while and stared at the sky and basked in the wonder of the mountains before carrying along down the trail. 

The entire day I was encased in pine forests. Massive cedars were bent and contorted in all different directions and styles and the rocks they lived around were stacked in amazing patterns and reminded me of something from Lord of the Rings. 

I climbed down my mountain only to climb another and found my body beat half way to the top. I had a few miles left but my legs were exhausted and my breathing was getting more and more shallow. After a long mental battle I made it to the top and ate dinner at the peak looking down at the desert below and witnessed some more forest fires to the north. The mountains just shoot straight out of the ground and rise like towers with their rock edges blasting to the sky. Everything is so big out here and so epic. The views are too much to comprehend and I find myself having to say, “you are here. You are experiencing this and this moment in what you see is real and imright here before you”. I want to show more appreciation to it all, but don’t know how so I sit for a long time and wait until I feel validated in experiencing it all. I never feel fully validated, but I know my experience is honest now and what I’ve seen and witness is real and powerful to me and all that I can take in. I want to take in more! How do you do that? 

I slowly made my way three more miles down the mountain to only get below 10,100 feet before setting up my tent. It’s gonna be cold tonight and my legs are so tired and sore. I’m hoping a good nights sleep will heal them for another long day tomorrow. The sierras are magical and I love them deeply. I never want to leave. Maybe I won’t. 

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