PCT mile 756
Today was not as productive as a day as I hoped...I was hoping to make it to a campground 4 miles further and thought it was doable since I had less climbing then yesterday. But things were slow moving and I was tired, so instead of pushing myself and hiking into the night. I called it quits around 8pm and 20 miles. My back had been bothering me most of the day so I took a long break at Chicken Spring Lake with Swimmer and Ron. Ron was on his way from San Diego to San Francisco and stopped for an overnight in the Sierras and found me on the trail and hiked about 8 miles with Swimmer and I until Chicken Spring Lake.
I climbed to 11,300+ elevation and camped at 10,900. So I've been well over 10,000 for two days now. I'm doing fine with the elevation...as I should...I lived at 10,200...not even a year ago. But I do believe the heavy pack combined with the climbing and elevation has made my introduction to the Sierras harder on me then I had hoped. So until I get through Forester Pass, I'm now accepting of the fact there will be no 20+ mile days, instead I'm happy to take a slower pace, take longer breaks, and get later morning starts. It's pretty cold in the morning, so I prefer to make my coffee from my sleeping bag and drink coffee and read until I'm ready to get up. Now that's a perfect way to start my mornings...coffee in bed, with no pressure of needing to be somewhere.
I now have passed Cottonwood Pass, so I am now in bear vault mandated land...hence bear territory. I'm still a little spooked to camp alone. I managed last night by myself and got some sleep, not before telling whatever was eating something outside my tent to go away (it must have been a smaller creature as the chomping was not that loud). Luckily when Swimmer came up on the trail tonight as I was setting up camp he also decided to call it a day. Hopefully a few more nights in the Sierras and I'll feel more comfortable alone at night.