Today began slowly, the slowest yet or maybe the second slowest…coming out of Kennedy Meadows to longer by just a fraction. We woke after 7 and spent 2 hours drinking coffee, chatting and slowly packing our packs. Eventually sometime after 9 we completed the remainer of the climb we had begun yesterday. There were a number of snowy patches among the beautiful pines and some glorious views. By 12 we had done 5 miles, lost the track at least 4 times and I had fallen over just as many. I am back in my old altras and they not only have zero tred but don’t offer any of the support I’ve become accustomed to in my Solomons. I’ve been slipping and sliding all over the place, letting out a little squeak as I go down and laughing afterwards. I think Ollie thought something was wrong with me it happened so frequently.
I postholed up to my crutch and cursed the melting snow. Anyway it was a slow morning as our bodies readjusted to walking longer miles again in different shoes. It’s also really hot, a humid hot yet thankfully the forest provides lots of shade. We stopped by a creek to eat lunch and filter water then walked on and began our decent toward Belden. 11 miles flew and we walked quickly down the steep decent. It got hotter and hotter the lower we dropped. We filtered more water and had a quick break, wetting our hair under a cool spring. The water was cold that as it hit the base of my brain it gave me a sharp head ache. The down was easy going so I did some singing, a little jogging and some dancing. As I came round a switch back my shoe slipped in the dirt and gravel and I went over head first. I was stuck on the ground my pack pinning me down, legs uphill and poles somewhere off track. Luckily Ollie was behind me and I waited, laughing at my clumsiness until he was able to come and flip me over. We continued down the hill to the rail road and headed into Belden. A bunch of other hikers had collected here in the afternoon heat. We had a cool drink and a long swim in the Feather River before setting up camp and going to be with the sun.