A pack of horses swarms our camp. The alpha male sticks his snout in my bear bucket for food. He doesn’t respond to the yells like the bear. He leaves on his own terms. We immediately climb Donahue Pass up to 11056 ft. The trail is really picking up in beauty, and intensity of terrain. From the pass we can see down the path we will take for the next 12 days. On the south side of Donahue pass, we hiked by some idyllic pools, perfect napping stations that tempted us to stay, but this trip we are walking machines. But to end the day after soreness and hunger has eaten into our motivation. We decided that the following days will include a mandatory 2-hour swim/fish/cleaning of the clothes in the sun. (Take advantage of a good spot now, not wait and hope for one later). We end today at Garnett Lake. The wind howls, the trees are all bent and the rocks are sharp. Some weird couple from California decides to camp 15 feet from the spot I chose – Very confusing - they must be lonely and more social than I would choose to be out here.
So far this trip is an emotional roller coaster: 3 miles of joy followed by 3 miles of fear and worry, 3 miles of health followed by 3 miles of pain, 3 miles of glad to be in the middle of nowhere followed by 3 miles of wanting to be nearer to what I know.