Hiking in the Sierras: Part 2


I woke just as the sun was beginning to rise, snapped a photo

and then went back to sleep until about 7:30am

and it was breakfast time! I was expecting my packet of granola and blueberries to be a straightforward muesli dish but instead, after adding the water, i found a sickly sweet, purple goo! It was full of syrup and cream and and when i looked on the back, had 50% of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat! No exactly what i felt like so i passed on that…

Soon we were on our way again heading ever closer towards Langley and looking down on “our” lake and those below it

due to the unmelted snow we lost sight of the trail upwards and had to do a bit of rock scrambling and walk cautiously through the snow

until the final, scary path through the snow with a hair raising drop-off to our right which promised a punishing fall if we misplaced our footing

then we reached the top!

– Of the Cirque peak that is…. there was still a LONG way to go until Langley

We passed another funny, sunbaking Marmot

and edged closer and closer but growing ever-fatigued. At around this point i came to the somewhat delayed realization that we hadn’t brought enough food with us. A miscommunication meant i was under the impression we would be down to the car just after lunchtime. But as i was watching the dirt 50cm infront of me, left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot etc, i realized that there was no way we could get back before atleast 6pm! I didn’t have breakfast, hadn’t bought lunch (no-one had), ate my trail bars yesterday and just had a small bag of nuts and dried fruit back at camp…. Oh dear. We ventured onwards but when we reached near to the base of the final summit i knew i simple couldn’t summon enough energy to get to the top and then back to the car on the little food i had remaining. So 2 of us took in the view we reached

and started heading back to camp.

2 of the 4 boys made it to the top – here’s one of their photos so you get an idea of the view

Meanwhile we cruised back

Crept along the scary snow-path at the top of the descent

got through that section ALIVE! We passed a few people heading up to Langley and felt like experts when they asked of our advice and opinions for the hike that lay ahead of them. We gave nice answers and told them how best to get past the snowy bits, but you couldn’t have paid me to swap places with them!

and then arrived at base camp at about 12 where we had no idea what to do with ourselves or when the boys would return. So with at least a few hours of waiting and only a small bag of nut mix between us for lunch (we’d shared her last power-bar earlier) we rationed the nuts and conserved energy by napping in the tent. The tent soon became a furnace so we emerged and wandered around forlorn ( i hopped as my thorn foot was throbbing and had also developed a nice big blister on my sole!)

always looking up to the ridge in hope we’d see the boys, and hours later at about 2:30pm, we did! Excitedly we started packing up the camp and we were all set to go, heading off at about 3:15pm

Again passing the beauitful lakes

and incredible, gnarled trees

The occasional marmot, and even a squirrel!

A team-members nose started to pour with blood so his load was cleverly shared.

We trudged along as the hours and miles slowly passed hoping that each corner might bring site of the car. Don’t get me wrong, the scenery was stunning and it was wonderful, but my sore foot and empty stomach made it hard to think about much else than sitting down and eating! Finally, at about 6:30pm we made it to the car park and all let out an elated series of joyful woohooo’s! We loaded up the car with great precision and ease

and were soon on our way down the mountain. The soft afternoon light made for an incredible view across the valley

but now that i’d stopped moving and i could feel/hear my stomach grumble, the thought of food consumed me

and we headed straight to the Subway of the nearest town, Lone Pine. One by one we cleaned ourselves up in the bathroom and ordered our footlong saviors. The man was painfully slow at counting it all up and it was quite comical as we all stood in anxious anticipation, our food inches infront of us but unable to be eaten until he’d finished his tally.

Then there it was! I had JUST enough self control to take a photo before hoeing into the biggest sandwich i’ve ever ordered. I am proud to say that i finished 3/4 in that sitting (and later polished off the remainder when we arrived home at about 1am! )

As soon as our stomachs were full we were able to properly appreciate the amazing experience we’d just had. I was so lovely to have that complete solitude amidst such an incredible setting (quite a contrast to the crowded streets of India where i was just over a week earlier!). I owe a huge thank you to the family who very generously adopted me for the 2 days and showed me a very special part of California. Thank you.

P.S The following night, absolutely sick and tired of the pain in my foot,

i pinched and tugged at my foot until i saw a dark spot beneath the skin – i KNEW there was still something in there! After digging away, this is what emerged!!!!

It had been logged vertically in foot since my days in Jaipur!!! no wonder it had been throbbing! It was such a relief to finally get it out and walk normally again! Well almost normally, my blister will keep me in flip-flops for a few days….

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1 Comment

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One response to “Hiking in the Sierras: Part 2

  1. margaretbiggs

    That is an awful thorn! Bad doctor in India. Hopefully it is ok now.If not see a U.S Dr. After all the exotic food the US food is very fattening is’nt it? Love Margoo xx

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