It’s a wet afternoon and even with our late start we agree to do 18 miles, over Grizzly Peak, to a place called Pear Lake. The antibiotics are working great, but they make me feel lethargic. I want to be curled up on a couch in front of a fire, reading a book. Instead, I make up science fiction stories to entertain myself.
It’s 6:30pm when I reach the peak. Four more miles to Pear Lake. By 7:15pm it’s dark and the rain/mist makes difficult work for my headlamp. I gingerly make my way down the muddy, slippery trail. My right hand is still in pain and bandaged. After a mile, I catch up with V. We hike the remaining 3 miles and arrive at 8:30pm signaled in by the glow of Cracker Jack’s headlamp.
I set up my tent and walk down a small hill to get water from the lake. I look up and realize that I can see stars! The rain has stopped. I go back to the site and tell the others. Tomorrow will be clear!
When I wake at 8:30am it’s all blue skies. I dress and then try to do everything but put my still soaking wet shoes on. Ugh, what a way to begin a day. I follow Cracker Jack down a trail we think will connect with the PCT (or is the PCT). It’s confusing. There are PCT blazes on the trees but the elevation is wrong. We turn around and head back. It 9:45am. I’m hiking slowly again, but it’s sunny and lovely and I want to enjoy it. We stop for second breakfast and gear drying in a grassy tent site. When we look at our watches it’s already 12:15pm. We’ve only done 4 miles!
The landscape is amazing. There is a lot of stopping for photos. Plus, blueberries. The most amazing ones are growing on dwarf plants near the peak. They are sweet and have the faint taste of sage.
By 7pm, we finish our climb and find the trail junction that leads us to our tent site. The fog is rolling in and it’s nearly impossible to see. Headlamps make it worse. I set up my tent, crawl inside and begin the evening ritual of cooking, changing into sleeping clothes, looking at tomorrow’s elevation profiles, arranging my bedding, and mouse proofing. As I fall asleep, one runs over the netting of the tent. I hit the netting with my hand. Mouse trampoline.