No Amp, Memphis and I decided the night prior to sleep in. No hurry to get to the top of Whitney. It’s not part of the PCT, it’s an 8 mile side hike up to the top, but most do it, since we’re right there, and in the best shape of our lives at that point. Happily laying on my air mattress that I haven’t enjoyed since I sent it home (due to weight) after the first week on the trail, I heard No-Amp proclaim she was off, as Memphis and I popped our heads out of the tent with a look of wonder and confusion… It was 6 a.m. !!!
By 7 we were headed that way, past Guitar Lake and all of the stunning alpine scenery that I hadn’t seen since I perused photo albums of others, a good year ago. We’re SO incredibly lucky that the snow was light this year, so we have little difficulty to contend with. But once the switchbacks began up the rock face, I once again felt my legs going weak, and I was down to a snails’ pace. The lack of oxygen seems to be taking it’s toll on me. It took more than 5 hours to climb, and the closer I got to the top, the more fellow hikers I passed coming down. My hopes to have some fun and get photos with my fellow hikers at the highest point in the lower 48 were all coming to an end…. And worse, I was going to have to stand up top of the Mountain, in a dress, and take photos of myself as clean yuppie day hikers (who smelled of Laundry Detergent, Hair Product,and Deodorant, gawked on.
Memphis and I spent a good hour up top. The view was stunning of course, but I let my discomfort get the better of me. The dress was in my pack and I didn’t want to pull it out. I’ve reached a point where the dresses are a hinderance to my enjoyment of the trail, and when alone, I feel embarrassed and awkward. It’s funny I suppose, when women are around me, and the dress is on, it’s not so strange… but when it’s just ‘the guys’.. it’s just weird.
Clouds overhead were turning dark and a smoke plume in the distance was hazing up the views, so we took off at a speedy pace down, passing other day hikers, some of which looked in worse shape than I had been. Oddly this made me feel better. In all of my excitement going to the Mtn. less than 3 hrs later we were sitting next too Cookie and Chief, soaking our feet in an ice-cold stream. The days seem to be rough on my body and mind lately, but each day brings scenery to view, that still put a smile on my face.