Monday, 10 September 2018
Lyell Canyon (27.4) – Rush Creek (38.8): 11.4 miles / 631.1 total miles walked
My alarm was set for 6am, but I woke up before that. Last night wasn’t as cold as the night before, my thermometer showed roughly 35°F. So I got up and fetched our bear canisters and cook pots from the hiding place. No visitors overnight, thankfully. After I left Sink’s stuff next to her tent, I sorted my food…..and somehow I felt like it got colder all of a sudden. I checked the thermometer again and look and behold….below 30°. WTH??? How could the temperature drop even though the sun was about to come out?
It was way too cold to think about packing up and walking, so Sink and I agreed to wait until the sun fully touched our tents. I snuggled back in my quilt, pulling it over my head, and dozed off for a while.
Eventually, I made some tea.and had breakfast, and by 8:30 the sun had accomplished the goal. It’s amazing that just with the sun being out the temperature rose by 20° within a couple minutes.
Another five miles to go through this beautiful meadow, we agreed to have a lunch break before the climb ahead. I headed out first and managed to cover the distance on less than two hours. Not bad at all.
I found a perfect spot for our break and soaked in the sun for a while, after making food.
At noon, we started the climb up to Donahue Pass, passing the 11000ft barrier, and except for being very rocky with a lot of stairs, the climb wasn’t bad at all.
A short water break and an emergency snickers got me all the way to the top, where I used the opportunity of having phone reception to sort out a few organizational things.
Looking back it was amazing to see exactly where we had come from today…..it looked so far away.
I had hoped that the way down would be smoother than the way up, trail wise, but it was just as rocky with big steps and boulder hopping. Oh well what can you do.
I did tell and curse at the trail once in a particularly sucky section, but then I took a few deep breaths and all was well again.
I found the perfect camp for tonight, not totally in the valley, so cold air doesn’t settle. It’s also close to water and set back in the trees. It’s not quite as far as I had wanted to go today, but I’m wiped out.