Day 2 17 miles… + 1.5 (ugh), bonus miles
Ansel Adams Wilderness
This morning I was giddy with excitement. Paul thought yesterday afternoon’s hike was beautiful. Today is going to be epic.
AND no mosquitoes….AND the thick smokey air has miraculously disappeared. The sky is clear and blue! Yay, let’s go….
The trail slowly climbs through the trees then it opens up to alpine. The scenery did not disappoint. Spectacular. Water falls, rivers, and lakes. We were up and over Donohue Pass stopping for lunch just below it. There is a deep brook weaving its way through the rocky green meadow. It’s a peaceful spot. It’s also special for me, I camped right here last year on my thru hike.
The afternoon took us to Thousand Island Lake. The lake, with multiple tiny islands dotting its surface, is a unique and popular area. Towering above the lake is majestic Banner Peak, the second highest peak in the Ritter Range.
It was here the trail took a familiar sharp left. Paul said “it’s this way, straight” But noooo, miss smarty ass hiker insisted it was to the left. So down, down, and more down a familiar trail we went.
……..then back up, up, damn it up, we went. Paul was right. I was so mad. I took us down the PCT! We came to hike the JMT! Paul wasn’t worried at all. Good thing, cause I was mad enough at myself for both of us. (bonus miles)
Once back on the JMT I was happy again. This is all new trail for me now. It was a beautiful afternoon. Crossing over interesting streams, passing gorgeous lakes with lovely names – Emerald, Ruby, Garnet and Shadow. And of course, the surrounding mountains, wow!
The last two hours I was struggling. My hips are killing me. Pain. I have a blister on my foot already too. I was moving so slowly. Where is that lake we are going to camp at? Why do we keep going uphill? I was so slow, we didn’t get to Rosalie Lake till 7:30. I was exhausted and in pain. I stripped off and went for a dip in the lake to sooth my aching body. Lying in our sleeping bags, I thought I can’t do this. This is too tough and painful. My mind went to that dark place. That four letter word.