Thursday, July 14, 2011

Day 46 (7/2) A Painful Exit

Lets just say that today hurt a little bit. I woke up and noticed my ankle had gotten worse overnight. Great. It was only 7 miles to the trailhead, so no problem, right? Not quite. The trail was still under a good bit of snow in some places, and though waking in flats was fine, sliding sideways caused some serious discomfort. Positive ID also struggled this morning while packing as his finger was stiffs and painful, and he couldn't really roll things to put then away. That meant we had a slightly later start, which was bad news later. The climb to the pass wasn't too terrible, plus the views were fantastic. The problem came on the other side...

The trail traversed a snow field for a quarter mile around the rim of Big Pothole Lake, so we had no choice but to follow that route over the snow. Due to our late start and the fact that we were in an eastern slope, the snow was already soft and I had ti use all my will power to force myself across that. After we regained the trail, we were on and off of snow for the next three miles. We ran into a bunch of people on their way up, and the guys made fun of me for always saying things were going 'Pretty Good' when asked, even though I was visibly limping. Looking at the scenery was my only distraction, and this landscape didn't disappoint. On the way down we passed dive lakes, each more beautiful than the last, plus quite a few cascades and waterfalls. No winder this is such a popular weekend hike. People kept asking us about conditions higher up, and we usually said it wasn't too terrible. Then we realized after going over Forester and Whitney, our perspective was a little different, and we probably were giving these day-hikers poor advice for their experience level. I'll have to keep that in mind for the future.

When we hit the results, Tom from Kennedy Meadows was there at the campsite with some other hikers. He has been camping out all week til the 4th, abs helping hikers at the same time. My first priority was getting medical attention, so I called mt insurance company to find the nearest clinic. After explaining that no, I don't know the zip code, I finally found the nearest one was 30 miles away in Lone Pine, and it closed in 45 minutes until Tuesday after the holiday. Looks like I'll be here awhile... We all went down the mountain with Tom to the gas station and Subway in town, where I got a shower and a footlong, in that order. We also stocked up on beer for the evening before driving the 14 miles back to the campsite for a bonfire and then sleep.

Miles Today: 6 (sidetrip)
Trip Mileage: 789

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