PCT mile 736
My morning really started out rough for me...it was the first time I really was questioning...what the heck am I doing out here? The night was a very windy night and we were camped in an open exposed area, it was cold and even windier when I woke up so I wasn't in a hurry to get going, but when I did it was a struggle. I was the last one out of camp, Swimmer left because he was awake and cold and had to get moving and Hans left shortly there after to find a less windier place. I woke up to find that a bird had pooped on my tent, so I first had to clean that up, then one of my tent stakes did not stay down because my tent pulled it out of the ground in the wind and I could not find it anywhere (I was carrying an extra tent stake until yesterday...when I was desperately trying to get rid of any extra weight, because the bear vault is so heavy...so I left it behind in Kennedy Meadows). Packing up in the wind is always a challenge too...especially with a lightweight tent, the second you take everything out of the tent it will blow away, so immediately after you take the weight out of the tent you have to quickly break it down.
Finally I was ready to go about 8:30, I started what would be a 7.5 mile climb. 2.5 miles in I had to take my pack off, it was so heavy and I was moving so slow...how am I even going to make it 10 miles? That's when I emptied my entire pack, to redistribute the weight of the bear vault. I had it packed horizontal on the bottom of my main compartment. I switched it to vertical and packed lighter weight items around it on the sides and that really seemed to make a big difference. About a half mile after that I missed a switchback and ended up on the wrong trail...thank goodness for Halfmile's PCT app which works with the GPS on my phone, I found out quickly I was off trail and retraced my steps to find where I lost the trail.
I finally reached my morning break destination 5 miles in at noon. Swimmer and Hans Pilgrim were there too, I was sure they were at least hour ahead of me, but they both said they hadn't been there for more then 10 minutes. The consensus was it seemed to be a poor morning for all parties.
Luckily for me things turned around for me after that and the rest of the day was beautiful. The trail had climbed to 10000+ feet with some stunning views. My pack is slowly getting lighter...I did give away about a pound of food, a few excess snacks I had that I was able to part with. I'm looking forward to everyday that my pack is lighter and lighter. I will never pack my pack that heavy again...it makes for some very difficult hiking miles/days.