Grouse Meadows 828.4 to McClure Meadow tentsite 848.1 (19.7 miles) –
As much as possible, I try to stay positive out here. No matter what. However, today I hit my very lowest low on the trail so far. It has been an incredibly rough day.
First, I headed out solo at 7 and started climbing from 8,000 to 12,000ft over about 10 miles. At 10 miles was the top of Miur Pass, where the Miur hut is. I reached the hut around 1pm. It took me almost 6 hours just to do the 10 miles. When I went up, there was no one ahead or behind me in sight. I didn’t see anyone for hours and hours once again. I ended up following footprints in the snow up the mountain that definitely weren’t on the trail. They lead me way off and into a very scary snow bridge situation. I used my map to find the trail again, but soon after I was following another bad path. There were footprints going all over through the snow so you couldn’t tell where the trail was. After a while, I found it again and it went straight up, steep in the snow. I was slipping and postholing the whole way up. Once I reached the hut, there were quite a few JMT hikers (headed the opposite way). They told me the snow on the other side went on for several more miles.
On a positive note, the hut is really cool! It’s an emergency storm shelter for hikers dedicated to John Miur. I ate lunch and took some photos and headed down the other side.
The whole way down I was just a huge emotional and physical disaster. I realized I was getting a horrible snow sunburn on my legs, arms and face. I didn’t have anymore sunscreen left so all I could do was pull out my umbrella. My legs were on fire, I kept falling through the snow, my feet had been soaked since the morning and I started getting negative thoughts. Today is officially the first day I have cried on the trail. (I was doing pretty well though, some people cry every day out here!)
I haven’t thought about quitting, I’m doing this trail. However I just felt extremely bummed out and I have been feeling pretty lonely. One of the reasons I wanted to do this trail was so I could actually experience being with only myself for once. But seeing all of these “trail families” and couples hiking together is starting to get to me. I look around and just wish I had someone to share the beauty with, laugh with when we fall, and to exchange motivation with when things get tough.
Some days, I really enjoy being alone. Today I felt super weird. Lindsey and I talked about her coming out to Oregon to hike with me for a few days. I really look forward to that. It’s just so hard to plan that kind of thing. It will all work out! In the mean time, I have been jumping around with different groups, but it’s hard to find hiking friends who have the same pace and such.
Since the hut, I hadn’t seen anyone for several hours. Finally I spotted one figure from afar. When I got closer I realized he was washing his dingaling in a stream. I kept hiking.
I told myself I would stop moving once I reached a tentsite with tents set up. Of course, I went on for several more miles only passing empty sites. When I reached a camp with tents there , I was beyond exhausted. I set up and rewarded myself to a bunch of food. Black beans with vegan cheese, miso soup, a bar and hot chocolate. I started feeling better. I lathered my burnt skin in coconut oil and now I’m ready to sleep with the sounds of waterfalls and creepy animal footsteps all around!
Tomorrow will be a better day.
To anyone who read all of this, you’re crazy. But I appreciate you. Goodnight!