Well today has officially been the hottest day. I woke around three and started hiking just a little before 4am. It was super windy out on ridges but the temperature was so perfect. My feet and ankles were definitely feeling the pain from being off trail a few days. It's weird how not doing it everyday can affect your body so quickly. The sunrise was so nice this morning in the desert slopes. The peaks seem to be larger and more jagged. I love being up so early bc you pass up so many people and see where they ended camping at.
It was a solo hike day. I took more breaks than usual since I felt overly tired from lack of sleep. The only water source today was 100 ft up from the trail with a little trickle. Slow water is always a little annoying to collect but it was coldish so that was nice, but it wasn't long before all my bottles turned into hot water for the rest of the day. I could probably make a cup of hot tea with this water. I took my siesta at a pretty bad spot exposed off the trail. Under a tiny tree where the shade would be moving constantly with sun as it rose higher. I had to keep moving my groundsheet several time but half of my body was always in the sun. I was so sweaty and hot for most of my break but did manage to fall asleep for a tiny bit.
Since my spot was so bad, I decided to start moving again around 2p which is still pretty hot but I couldn't stand laying in the sun anymore curled under my umbrella with pine needles poking me. The sun was so intense. I could only take like twenty steps and would have to break. I had zero output and sweat was actually dripping down my face which has only happened a few times so far since I started. I took multiple "cool down" breaks which helped bc I would be overheated and each step was so hard. I did see two snakes today that were right on trail. The first one I almost stepped on as it was sticking its neck out from the bush on the right. It kept doing the tongue thing. He was yellow with some spots so I don't think he was a rattler. Then I walked right over a rattler's tail just as he was crossing to the left. It was medium so it wasn't too scary.
After I reached the top of the climb, I started looking for camp spots. It was very windy but didn't mind actually bc it's been so hot. I knew I wanted to pitch my tent. Sometimes I just miss being in it and I don't have to worry about bugs getting on me. I found a little spot at mile 20 and did a perfect pitch. My new msr groundhog stakes were amazing. Maybe bc the ground with soft sand but it was nice to not worry about it bending. I have all my doors opened so lots of air flow with the wind. The sweat today was unheard of. My shirt is so crusty and the salt from the sweat is starting to itch on my back and bum. I made sure to wipe before bed. Only 1.5 days till Kennedy meadows! It doesn't feel real yet.