We packed up, dropped our bear bag and started on the road just as someone arrived at the construction site close to our stealth camp, good timing! Today would hopefully be a great day, the mornings always feel optimistic, and we started early. We knew we’d need to fill up on water wherever we could as we had up the hill because there weren’t any towns on the way. Silver Lake was our goal, and we were going to make it! We stopped at Cook’s Station where Rebecca refilled our water bottles behind the bar and joked with the regulars about killer squirrels (they were joking, but there is a plague warning!) We only had a couple of water bottles to fill because we’d stopped behind a closed restaurant yesterday to refill at an outdoor spigot. But the orange juice we bought was great, and the smell of hot breakfast was enticing, but not enough to keep us there. We had 8000ft to reach today, and we were going to make it!
We have started taking multiple “lunch” breaks, we call them first and second lunch, and midday snack. So we stopped for lunch then stopped again to put sunscreen on at an overlook over a reservoir.
Today was full of amazing views:
We saw our first snow of the trip,
We walked by some cool rocks,
Saw really big pinecones (Tim liked them a lot),
Lots of hay trucks passed us (we quickly learned to close our mouths when they passed….hay in our mouths!),
And saw lots of amazing overlooks.
It rained and hailed on us as we discussed stopping for second lunch, but we had to push on because the weather was getting bad. Many people honked in support of our crazy (that’s what we’re interpreting it as anyway) as the soft hail bounced off of our rain gear. But it stopped by the time we peaked at 8000 feet in elevation (and cheered in celebration), only to drop down quickly to where we stayed that night, Silver Lake.
The views were great but we knew every foot down we’d have to climb again the next day. The lake was at 7300 feet, but we’d done 3000 feet in elevation easily that day so we were feeling excited as we arrived early to camp in a (closed) campground and imagined all the blogging we’d have time to do (ha….ha…). We stopped for dinner at a day use area, and tried to pump water but failed (the pump Rebecca had is apparently confusing). We knew we’d have water to make it to Kirkwood (a ski resort five miles down the road) so we set up camp and journalled. (Rebecca used the trowel for the first night tonight, I’m not explaining that further)
We mentally prepared ourselves for a day from Silver Lake to Woodfords with a midday stop for water at Kirkwood the next day, and set our alarms for 5am. We decided not to use the fly but it was freezing that night, so we probably should have!
Today we walked through:
Rebecca: 69,559 steps
Tim: 64,170 steps
272 miles finished