Day 53, June 16th
Start: lake aloha, mile 1101
End: small seasonal stream, mile 1125
Miles hiked: 24
Lake aloha is awesome. But it’s breeding tons of these little gnats that cover everything. I have to eat them when they’re on my breakfast. And several are in my drink. But they’re not biting me, or trying to suck my blood, so I’m ok with it.
We slept in today, because it’s my birthday, and I don’t get out of bed on my birthday until there’s direct sunlight hitting me. Plus, it’s super cold, and windy as the dickens out here. So I stay under my quilt till about 8am.
Not a chance and Mack walk by, carrot and I still under our sleeping bags. They’ve already hiked 6 miles. Suckers. I’ve been sleepin’ this whole time, like a boss. Reluctantly, I pack up my things and hit the trail, per carrots request.
Lake aloha waves goodbye with its white capped waves. It’s so windy. I almost trip a few times being blown around by it. But I don’t fall. Because it’s my birthday.
We head up Dicks pass, meeting snorkel on the way. She’s out here doing a 5 day trip. She’s a triple crowner (totally awesome), and she lives in Denver. She’s pretty much the coolest person I know. I pick her brain as we climb dicks pass, all about the at and the cdt. I’ll do both soon enough, I hope.
Carrot and I descend dicks pass to dick lake and Fontanillis Lake. I am in awe at the beauty of Fontanillis lake as the trail skirts it’s eastern shore. I take several pictures as my hands freeze in the cold wind. When’s this wind going to stop, I say to myself. It’s been consistent the past 120 miles.
My pack feels light as we cruise by Richardson lake. It’s real light, and I’m so glad I’ve got it back, and lost the ula ultra heavy pack. The homemade is just so much lighter and more comfortable. The only thing I need is hip belt pockets. But I hate hip belts. So as a birthday gift to myself I order a fanny pack, of which I’ll pick up in Sierra city. I can’t wait. My camera, phone, and endless snacks will be at my disposal, and it’ll be glorious.
We catch up to not a chance, Mack, zombie, and Bambi, hike a few more miles. We discuss if Andrew skurka could beat Anish’s PCT speed hike record set last year (an unbelievable record of 59 days, averaging something around 42 miles a day). I’m an emphatic yes, the rest don’t believe he could. I think of how hard it would be to hike 42 miles a day. I think my body would be ok, but the lack of sleep would crush me. Then I think that my body probably couldn’t even handle that. It’s an amazing record, and so cool that it’s held by a female. I’m sure many males will try to beat it, but I don’t see that happening any time soon.
We get to camp and set up sleeping bags on the ground. Ramen for me tonight. With caramel corn, a strange waffle from honey stinger, and a honey bun.
I think about my age as I try to sleep. I’m 27 today. My mom was married and had children by this age. My brother was married when he was my age. It makes me feel a bit weird, am I immature? I don’t feel ready to commit to having a dog, let alone a spouse, kid, mortgage or anything like that. And to be honest, I don’t see any of that for me in the near future. I don’t want to settle down, live the life that society leads you to believe is the correct way. I’m happy having my job at Deloitte, and adventuring around as much as I can in my free time. The last thing I want is to be tied down, or be a “grown up”. I like my dirtbag lifestyle, and I don’t see it changing for anyone anytime soon. Maybe I’m just selfish, I think. People have told me that the way I’m living, and the choices I’m making are selfish. Who knows. I know my mom wishes I would find a girl to share my life with. Find the love that she shares with my dad, and do the whole family thing. She never puts pressure on me, but I know it’s what she wants and hopes I find. But that’s not what I’m looking for, not what I want right now. I’m happy just being me, and doing the crazy shit that I want to do, like moving to NYC, then Denver without knowing anyone in those places. Or leaving my job for 7 months to walk around in the mountains. All I know is that I’m happy where I’m at now. I fall asleep satisfied with that thought. I’m still figuring things out, still unsure of so much. But it’s a beautiful place to be in, and I’m loving it. I learn so much every day, and meet so many interesting people. I love where I’m at. And so long as I keep an open mind, stay positive, and continue to push myself to have new experiences, I’ll be just fine. I’ll just be me.