I caught the first bus back up to High Bridge at 8.15 in the morning. The driver was nice enough to make a quick stop at the bakery on the way up and so I was able to pack out as much baked goods as I possibly could. By the look of him I think he makes that stop on every journey. I had already oversupplied for the last three and a half days but I still thought I should take at least twelve items of baked goods, half of which I consumed on the bus.
I left Snoqualmie Pass and headed up a steep, rocky trail to Snow Lake, which – being a Saturday – was inundated with day hikers.
Crossing the Bridge of the Gods was a terrifying experience. There was little space for pedestrian traffic and so every time a car passed I had to flatten myself against the railings to let it go by – not easy carrying a heavy pack and with a strong wind trying to blow me right into the middle of the road.
I was up bright and early to prepare myself for the breakfast buffet. Breakfast started at 7.30, which for me was almost the afternoon. Most days on trail my alarm wakes me up at 5am and I am already shoving Pop Tarts into my mouth before my eyes are fully open.
I left Shelter Cove around 7.30 and hiked the four miles up to Lower Rosary Lake, where I planned to camp.
It was dark by the time I reached the small lake, and there were already a couple of other tents pitched nearby with no sign of life within.
It took me a while to hitch back to the trail so it was around 10am when I finally got going.
The day before I had been enticed by a fantastic deal on a flight back to England next month. Perhaps foolishly, I impulsively booked it, inflicting upon myself a deadline of September 6th to reach Canada.
Leaving Etna around midday I was soon back amongst the high mountain ridges of the Russian Wilderness. Initially I was feeling great, and making fast progress until after a few hours when my stomach started giving me weird signals.
I quickly hitched a ride out of town, although the driver would only take me five miles up the road. I managed to flag down another car full of fellow Brits to take me the remaining three. With a meatball sub packed out from Subway in one hand and my one remaining trekking pole in the other, I began to hike the seven easy miles which would take me to Burney Falls.
I left Sierra City late as I had to wait for the post office to open at 10 so it was almost 11.30 when I made it back to the trailhead.
I was going to have to make some big miles in the next week or so, since I have friends coming out from San Francisco to join me in Burney Falls and hike with me for the weekend. I had ten days to hike roughly 230 miles meaning I would have to average about 23 miles a day to get there on time. Doable but not easy.
I hung around Tuolumne Meadows for most of the day before hiking out. I was about to undertake my longest stretch on trail without a resupply, meaning it would be 150 miles and roughly eight days until I stopped at Echo Lake.
After buying eight days worth of food at the store, I hitched into the nearby town of Lee Vining for a couple of hours to get some real food and find somewhere with free wifi.
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