The rain has stopped, the sun has returned, and we are back to trail! After leaving Santee we made our way to Oakoasis Campground to continue west along our route. Taking a day off can do so much to rejuvenate the mindset- we feel refreshed and grateful to be walking once again.
I woke up without an alarm at 6:30am. From my perspective inside the tent (and without my glasses on) it looked dark outside. I unzipped the mesh to take a closer look and saw the last bit of night aglow- fluorescent pinks and blues filled the horizon and a big full moon still hung above in the light blue sky.
I am always ravenous in the morning. On a thru hike I usually wake up and eat whatever I can find in my bag: cookies, cliff bars, etc. This last reupply I made more of an effort to bring whole foods and this morning, instead of starting my day with processed sugary treats, I had vegan cashew cream cheese, figs, and a carrot.
If you’re like me, nutrition is one of your main concerns when you’re planning your backcountry expeditions. At home I am used to eating fresh fruits and vegetables, something I miss when I’m backpacking. My goal is to come up with better ways to stay healthy on trail and increase the amount of whole foods I carry with me.
The Rae Lakes Loop is a premier backpacking route in the heart of Kings Canyon National Park. This 40 (ish) mile loop climbs from around 5,000ft to nearly 12,000ft of elevation at Glen Pass. Most people take anywhere from 3-7 days to complete the loop, but Cosmo and I decided this would be a great single day run to celebrate my 35th birthday.
It was dark outside and the streets were empty when we left Los Angeles and drove north to Bishop. It's Labor Day weekend and we chose to celebrate our hard work with a brutifully challenging 55 mile hike in The Sierra. The North Lake to South Lake hike travels through the Evolution Valley and up and over Muir Pass along the Pacific Crest Trail/John Muir Trail.
Waking up on the side of the road feels different than waking up in the woods. The sour stench of soggy hiker clothes combined with the petrified sulfuric smell that has been so well preserved in my sleeping bag, sits stagnant in my car. I open the side door and gasp for air. Groggy-eyed I reach for my contact lenses and then slip into the front driver seat in search of a bathroom, as I am pretty sure there’s a $1 million fine for digging a cat hole on the side of the Million Dollar Scenic Byway.
Starting this final section is exciting not just because we are so close to the end, but because I wasn't sure whether or not this part of the trail would be open for us to hike. The 416 Fire in Durango had segments 26-28 of the Colorado Trail closed until just a couple weeks ago.