Day 35: mile 566.5 – 587.3

Elevation gain: 4,283 ft

Elevation loss: 3,288 ft

Note to self: 9 days off the trail and at home is too long. Being home with the kids has been so great, we have made the most out of all 3 trips home but it makes getting back into the groove super hard. Hard to have one foot at home and one foot on the trail…right when I start getting into the groove of either, it’s time to switch gears. But our plan did work: the snow in the Sierras has melted considerably and we should be starting that section at just the perfect time! THIS IS THE LAST WEEK IN THE DESERT…we have definitely been pleasantly surprised with the desert, but also feel like it’s about time to switch chapters and can’t wait to see what the next sections have in store for us! My parents are always up early so they didn’t mind picking us up at 4:30am this morn…above and beyond their parental duties that’s for sure, we are so grateful! ♥️ So we were hiking by 6:30, trying to beat the heat during the first 7 miles which we knew was all going to be a climb.

9 days off is also enough time to make my body feel out of it’s hiking groove as well. Even after the big back to back miles during the last leg, I felt strong and ready to go. I mean, getting out of the tent in the morning was always rough with lots of stiff body parts, but once we started hiking it actually felt good. But this time my body said, “wait, what are we doing? I only know how to sit on the couch, play games and eat”. And eat, we did! Maddie, Max and Savannah made Tiramisu for Mother’s Day, PK brought us pumpkin bread and little upside down pineapple cakes, plus sooo much yummy stuff available at the market anytime! I’m sure the extra food and water in our packs didn’t help since it was 17 miles before the first water source today, but both Link and I felt lethargic and slow.

The wildflowers are definitely dying but we still found some really pretty patches!

So we trudged along at what seemed like turtle pace but somehow still made it the 17 miles by 3:00. We had planned on camping there too, but we really didn’t want to just hang around the trough for hours (when this spring no longer has enough water coming out of the pipe/mountain, the future hikers will have to get the water that’s IN the trough 😳). So we relaxed and grabbed enough water for the rest of the day and tomorrow (water source far again tomorrow) and decided to hike another 4 miles. If it means we get to Kennedy Meadows and the Sierras sooner, then we are all for it! We did see this cool snake on the trail who was in no hurry to get out of our way, he actually never even flinched as we walked on by (just a gopher snake, but first one we have seen).

We got to our flat, protected spot at 5:45…set everything up, cleaned ourselves up, ate, washed dishes, stretched, brushed teeth and were lying in the tent before 7:30. It was definitely not my best day, but I’m happy we were still able to push through and get the mileage that we did in order to make the rest of the week easier. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s done 😁 Thanks for reading! Double Down