July 14th
Raymond Canyon(1059.1)-Meiss Meadow(1081.5)
Today’s Mileage: 22.4mi

Last night, we had our second night in a row of little sleep because of the strong wind gusts. I maybe slept 4hrs. I even found it so ridiculous that I made a video in the middle of the night that I will post in my summary of this section. Today, we woke up 34mi away from our next trail town of Echo Lake/South Lake Tahoe. The goal of the day was to put in as much mileage as possible so that we would have a shorter day into town tomorrow. Half of us have packages at Echo Lake that need to be picked up before 2pm tomorrow. The day started out great with a decent into a snowless valley!

This section is described in a guidebook as “a walk in the park” compared to last section and today we finally saw some of that. There was probably only about 15% snow today and that was great! There were some patches here and there, but I almost forgot what it was like to be on actual trail for such an uninterrupted distance.

Just seeing and smelling the wildflowers was fun! So refreshing!

Clouds moved in late in the day and made for good pics again.

We tried to make good time, but we are all pretty worn out and just haven’t done the mileage we had hoped. Each day, we come up a few miles short and we will pay for it with a very early start tomorrow because we need to do 13mi in uphill and some snow. Both Snowblind and Little Jimmy have painful shin splints and Sunshine just developed a very raw and painful rash on top of her foot. She tried to keep it as dry as possible today and Balls even carried her across spots that had no way around the water. She hung in there and is quite the trooper.

Free Range and Balls met for the first time on this section last year and hiked a bit together. This is where Free Range did a solo hike last summer in preparation for this year. It is an emotional section for her and it was great to see it through the excitement in her eyes. We were all pretty drained and didn’t get as far as we would have liked. There was some snow and navigation that slowed us a bit. I have to admit we also stopped a lot because there were pockets of cell or Internet service. We each had our own things we were trying to work out before town tomorrow and I will never turn down a chance to do stuff on my iPhone!

I saw my first southbounder who flip flopped today. Those are people who jumped up to N California and decided to hike south in hopes of letting snow melt and rivers go down. It was Hike-A-Holic who hiked with Free Range a bunch before the Sierras. It was fun to see a flip flopper because we heard there are tons and it was also great to get a report of what we’re headed into. He said it’s about 30% snow to Sierra City and that’s an improvement on what we’ve had.

We are camped in a nice WINDLESS meadow tonight and I’m looking forward to some good sleep. We failed to notice we are 1mi away from a river crossing(which we would have done tonight) and we hope it’s minor because that will not be fun at 5:30am in the cold. We are all motivated to get to town so I’m sure we’ll fly through it!

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