Total: 1038? 1040? Maps are confused, and so am I
Every plant that knows how is flowering up near Sonora pass. From bright sunflower-looking types, to the tiniest high elevation succulents. Someone told me that there are 44 types in bloom right now and I believe it.
I wade through meadows, some yellow, some white, some purple, some all the colors together. There are new varieties to see around every corner. Slopes of constantly shifting concentrations and colors. It’s a struggle to take photos that can convey how many flowers are out here. The delicate ones at higher elevation have a tendency to disappear into green when I try to capture them as image.
All the flowers are a welcome distraction again today. A day of too many rest breaks and sore everything. The town tax. Where taking time off to regenerate does not immediately show its benefits. The trail is all undulating (to steal Soccer Mom’s description) ups and downs, but not as gently as it appears on the map. I sit on a ridge and blog. Stop at a waterfall for an amazing lunch (challah with a view), and only a mile later wrap up in my tyvek for a nap.
When I wake, puffy clouds have appeared the in sky. The kind of sky-fluff that appears benign but has a tendency to get all thunderous in the late afternoon. Though the sky darkens and some rain falls, at least there’s no sign of lightening. It is enough to get me to walk faster, though the miles refuse to come easily today. Complicating matters, the Halfmile paper map and app have several miles of disagreement. I look at my phone to see where I am, only to pass a landmark two miles behind where I thought I was.
I appear to have hopped back on trail amidst a bubble of twenty-something scruffy bearded white dudes. Whose names I cannot keep straight if I can tell them apart at all. Dandy and Poncho are here though, the pair who encouraged me to cowboy camp despite mosquitos at Squaw lake a few weeks back. And Middle, who I camped with on day 1, way back at Hauser Creek and have not seen for many hundreds of miles, appears too. Though I have trouble recognizing him.
Though friends new and old are near, the mosquitos are mysteriously absent today. I joke that they are all gathering over a ridge, planning a mass attack. I sleep in my tent, just in case.