I’m finally getting to the point where I can start making 20 mile days. Today was about 22 over easy terrain and yesterday was 19 over some of the most challenging terrain I have encountered backpacking. Most of the 19 miles was uphill as the trail gained about 5,000 feet with minimal shade. Thankfully, a good chunk of it was along Mission Creek, which allowed me to drink lots of water and dunk my hat to keep cool in the 90 degree sun. I hit a wall at about 17 1/2 miles, barely able to take a step further. I happened to be at a nice ridge with a windbreak, so I made dinner, which provided enough energy to get me the last 1 1/2 miles to camp, spying my first bear along the way!
I’m looking forward to going into Big Bear City tomorrow for a much-needed day off and a trip to the outfitter.