I woke up first this morning a little after four. I packed my bear can a different way and I think I might like it better. It didn't take too much longer to pack up but once I get a routine down with the can, it'll be easier to pack in the morning. I decided to wait to get water at the last cow creek crossing. For some reason, I didn't really check the water report and hoped that guthooks was right. Big mistake. I was only running on 1/3L from the night before and when I got to where I was hoping to fill up, it was dry. This stretch is actually a big climb and there's no reliable water for ten miles. I panicked a little and wasn't sure what I should do. I considered dropping my pack and hiking all the way back down to the last creek crossing and then I thought maybe I would be able to just takes tiny sips and run off of what little water I had until mile ten. The up hill was only about four miles and the rest was downhill so I thought maybe I could do it. But also we're climbing over 10k so altitude might get to me and I will need water. Or maybe I would wait for people coming up and beg them to pour a small amount of their water into mine.
I decided to hike on and prayed that there was water at a seasonal stream half way up the climb. I kept thinking there's no way it'd be flowing if the other crossings were already dried out. But I got to the creek and there was a very shallow slow flowing stream!! I was SO happy. I really don't think I would've made it ten miles without water. I would've been so dehydrated and maybe have passed out. I took a long time there bc I filtered 2L but has to redo it bc I got mud in my bottle. The hike this morning was so pretty. You could see it slowly turning into the sierras. More rock formations and mountain views started popping up. It was overcast with sun spots all day. A little chilly when you stop moving but perfect for hiking. I saw so much wildlife too! I saw a marmot, a mother quail with five babies and a red robin.
My pack still felt heavy with pains in my shoulder but not quite as bad as day one. I still had to frequent breaks to take the load off. I made it to the water source around mile ten and set my things out for lunch break. I went to get water and came back to find the married folk there! I was so happy they made it the same time for lunch. It's crazy how we all left separate times but since our paces are variated, we were able to end up at the same place and time. I'm just really slow and need those extra two hours in the morning. It's also definitely getting buggy here, lots of mosquitoes to deal with. I won't use deet unless it's a swarm though.
There was another climb after the creek to camp. We ended up pushing further than we planned after making our mileage quota. We are now set up in this nice area with trees all around with flat ground. Big open flat ground for camping is new to us! It started sprinkling a bit on the way up and now I hear some thunder. It might rain and/or thunderstorm tomorrow. First one! I'm a little nervous.
It's now 818p and the storm has moved into our area. Lightning, very hard hail, thunder. I'm quite terrified. It's so weird being right in the storm. You hear it from afar and it starts getting louder and heavier when it's moving closer. All of a sudden it starts dumping hail and the thunder is right above you. Then I see bright purple lightning strikes through my cuben fiber walls, hoping it does not strike near me but have no clue what it actually looks like out there. I can only see hail collecting on the ground though my mesh. Even though we're all camped together, I feel like we're so far apart from each other. I'm so thankful I'm not alone right now. The hail is collecting so much on the ground that it looks like snow. I cannot sleep. I wonder what tomorrow morning will be like packing up all wet. Now it is just raining hard and I can still hear thunder. I worry for the people trying to do mt Whitney tomorrow. Can't imagine what the storm is like even higher. This is officially my most scariest night so far.