Day 31: Payne’s Lake to Eagle Peak

July 16, 2016

22 Miles


I got a later start this morning by getting back on the trail at 7:45. I made rehydrated some biscuits and gravy and packed up a couple miles to have a trail side breakfast at 9am.DSC06084The morning started out by walking through another burn area then started a long traverse on the side of a rocky ridge line. Off in the distance is the next pass I have to walk through, but it never really seemed to get any closer.

I was really struggling today. I was fatigued, had very low energy and low morale. I kept doing math in my head about mileage and where I needed to be and how I just kept falling further behind.

It was another hot day and I really just felt like calling it an early day setting up camp and hoping that tomorrow would be better. I skipped lunch and kept walking, slowly walking. Everything was uneventful to me today. At noon I took a little break on a ridge top that overlooked a small lake below. The lake had a few cabins at it and I could see someone sitting in a chair next to the water reading. I thought about my wife and kids probably doing something similar at Lake Tahoe, just relaxing and have a good time while I was out here struggling. This was not fun! I seriously questioned why I was up here and not sitting next to a lake, outside a cabin and nothing. Frankly, I was getting close to throwing in the towel.

I tried to tune everything out and just walk. By 4pm I pass over the highway in into the Trinity Alps. I stop at the Scott River and refill water. I ate another fine spam sandwich while soaking my feet in the icy stream. I also decided to wash my shoes as they were full of a gritty trail dust. That proved to be a mistake as the next few miles of uphill in wet shoes was not ideal.

I grind up the trail which is a continuous climb for the next 8 miles. The only benefit is that a trail crew had come through that day and had a perfect trail for the first 6 of those miles. It was like walking on a freeway.DSC06129

I reach a campsite on the top of the ridge and crashed hard and unhappy. Today was yet another one of my worst days hiking.

7 thru hikers, 4 section hikers.




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