Day 4

Trail Miles 7.5

Actual Miles Hiked 13.5

Protein drinks are good for you!  Right!  But they’re not so awesome tasting.  But they’re good for you. So I’ve been having them in the morning.  But they’re not awesome.

But anyway.

Snowshoes.  First thing.  But we knew this, so we were mentally prepared.  Snowshoes are amazing!

I discovered that my Suntastics 5 solar charger does not work if placed in snow.  Even in direct sunlight.  Noted.

We were learning.

We were learning how to take the snowshoes off and put them on again just to take them off.  Then to put them on.  Then off.  My pack was not really equipped with a spot to hold the snowshoes, so every time they came off today, they went somewhere else on the pack.  We were learning.

Patches of dry ground!  Dry ground is so amazing!  Dirt and rocks and I could smell Spring in the air!  La-la-la-la-BAM, more snow.  More hillsides covered in the stuff.  More concentrating and trail finding and snow snow snow…

I figured if we got on the nearby jeep trail, the trees would be cleared out and at least the snow wouldn’t be in such mounds.  Maybe it would be melting in a uniform way?  Maybe we could actually just walk in our snowshoes instead of this insane zig-zagging and up-and-down crazy hillocks routine?  Except jeep trails are all over the place too, and frankly, we couldn’t even figure out what constituted the road.

Cedar trees, ancient twisted pines, wildflowers and rock.  Consuming vistas of far away lakes.  Trees bent in half from brutal winters.  Paper wasp nests in trees, their inhabitants still too sleepy to come visit.  Endless slippery suncups.

We swept across meadows and staggered straight up hillsides, fresh Desert Bighorn Sheep tracks showing us where the trail hid beneath the snow.

Little animals poked their heads from behind trees.  Whatcha-got?  Whatcha-got?

Bright yellow flowers, glowing so bright yellow.

Chipmunks chewed off new growth and spit in out in a giant circle around the trees.

If I had to put my snowshoes on one more time…I swear…

We crawled up the hillside to escape the last patch of snow for the day.  We slipped around in the mud at the top of the ridge and found a tiny patch of ground that could work for a tent…but it’s always the second spot that’s the best.

So we walked on real snow-free trail for another half-mile.  When the next snow patch reared its ugly head and I was about to lose my mind, we looked to the right and found a little flat place that someone had camped at within the last few days.  The last few days!  That means there really is someone ahead of us!

We threw down our packs in the wind and staked down the tent in every corner possible.

I threaded a needle with some dental floss (courtesy of my dentist Dr. Dean at Sierra Smiles in Reno) and stuck it through the side of my toe.  The floss worked as a wick, drawing the fluid away from the blister and keeping me from having a worse blister or an open wound.  Thanks Dr. Dean.

Bet she didn’t see that coming.

It was cold.  I put on some clean warm socks, and then tried not to think about tomorrow’s protein breakfast drink.  Or maybe I wanted to.  They’re good for you, remember?


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