I opened my tent to the cool crisp air of the morning to find my shoes frozen solid. Welp, I guess thats how it goes sometimes, everyone seemed to be shaking off the cold. Packing up, one by one we let out of camp.
Down we dropped next to Virginia Lake and down into a swampy area where it seemed to be a challenge to stay dry. Tiptoeing with my heavy pack I made my way across the marsh, leaping from rock to rock, my right foot submerged. Dang! Not only was it cold as heck out, I now had a freezing cold foot. Sissyphus soon caught up and I warned him of the impending doom. He skipped and hopped and leaped, almost made it before leaping from a slippery log and dipped in his foot. Despite the mishap the views were gorgeous! Mirror lakes with the golden glow of the mountains in the background.
issyphus and I cranked on the new few miles chatting on about our lives, how we grew up and the decisions that brought us to the trail and hopes for the furutre. It was an amazing hike, snow covered moutnains in the distance while going through beautifully lush green forest. The trail went up and down and bobbed on. We pulled over for a break and watched the hikers coming and going. It seemed we were in the thick of it with both PCTers and JMTers on trail.
Sissyphus packed up before I did and started pressing on while I took in the view for a bit longer. I pushed the next miles alone and enjoyed the forest. Finally I found the junction to go to Mammoth and took it. Just 1 mile before reaching the trailhead I saw a familiar bearded face walking towards me. It was Smokebeard! He was in my first bubble I started hiking with and we chatted on catching up from our nearly monthseparation.
After waving goodbye I finished the trek and found a hitch into town where I met back up with Ladybug, Sissyphus, Reaper, Cowboy, Trainwreck, and Vertigo was there (Backster). Vertigo has pushed ahead of us from Tahachapi and was trekking with his Canadian high school friend Louis. He told us that Louis quite the trail and went home. A wierd feeling befell us all at the news. Sometimes people hike as much as they can, then they just cant anymore.
We got food and a hotel room. First time sleeping in a real bed in quite some time. It was a nice comfort, and I slept like a rock!!