Day 39 - Brain Turtle - May 14

I woke up early this morning, feeling well rested.  I downloaded some new songs, especially some country.  I ate an apple and a banana this morning.  Tanya got up and we were quiet in the kitchen, eating cookies and danishes.  Amy made us all smoothies this morning.  They came out a little more brown than last time, but they tasted great.  I called my mom to wish her a happy mother's day.  She wanted to know everything.  I said if you want to know everything, you gotta hike with me.  The closest you'll get is reading this blog, since I put way more detail here than most put in their journal.  I called Verizon to get more data to download more songs.

I threw my pack together quickly.  So much food, it was hard to fit it all in there.  It doesn't all fit in my bear bag.

I got rid of my old hiking shoes, putting them next to the trash.  I told Amy they were trash and she decided she's going to make a planter out of them.  She asked me what flowers or herbs I like.  Honestly, I like most plants, but I said lavender.  Amy said she'll have a planter to remember me.  She's so sweet.  I love that my old shoes are going to have a second life.  I hope all the accumulated dirt and sweat in them grows some good happy lavender.

We went to the Grizzly Cafe for brunch.  The group was Brian, Amy, me, Tanya, Matt and two hikers fresh off the trail, Michelle and a guy she's hiking with whose name I forgot.  I got hash browns with black beans, mushrooms, peppers, onions and lots of black olives and a side of fruit.  It was really good.  Everyone finished their food except Tanya, whose hiker hunger hasn't quite come back from the stomach flu.

Amy took me, Matt, Tanya and our packs to the trailhead.  Unfortunately, Brian had locked the back where our packs were and he had the key, so we had to go back down the mountain and back up with the keys.  Amy and Brian didn't want any donation or money for gas, they just want notes about random thing we do further up the trail or a picture​ from the terminus.  She also offered to help if we needed help further up the trail, she knows people and can maybe hook us up with another trail angel or  look things up online for us.  They are awesome, generous, kind people.  Amy has a business selling jam, pickles and other deliscious things.

We started off going at a good pace, but with many breaks because our packs are quite heavy right now with 6 days of food.  I have a lot of food, probably more than I need, but at least I won't run out.

We stopped at the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center, went inside to see the stuffed bear and the stuffed cougar, talked to the nice ladies there.  Got a postcard and some water at the faucet.  Matt noticed the Giant Sequoia, the first we've seen and we got a picture.  It was a young one. Tanya also took a couple trail selfies with the three of us.  Tanya has been taking one each day.  We saw Hannah and Kevin as we were leaving, they went for water.  Brian had told us this was rolling hills.  It was steeply rolling.  The trail roughly parallels Highway 2 for a stretch here, we crossed it again and the trail goes up a lot of switchbacks climbing Mount Baden-Powell.  The wind was cold and I put on almost all my layers.
I was ahead a bit and took a break at a non windy spot.  Tanya and Matt caught up.  We were close  to the water and Tanya said we should figure out where the next water is so we know how much to get and don't stand around in the wind as much at the water.  Now that's using your brain.  We joked that she's slower because she has to power her big brain and I called her Brain Turtle.  She seems to like it as a name, we'll see if it sticks.  Me and Matt will have to wait for the Brain Turtle to make any decisions.

During the break Hannah, Kevin and vegan Daniel from Houston passed us.

There were lots of dayhikers and we asked them about campsites and the snow conditions on Baden-Powell.  None had crampons or microspikes.  The water was off a side trail, under a grate.  Hannah and Kevin were there looking for tentsites, but none were there.  The site before the summit looked most promising, but it was only for one on Guthook.  Most likely it will fit more, but who knows?  We joked about having to play tent Tetris and cram people into tents together.  Hannah and Kevin said they have a three person, which I take as an invitation.  I wonder if they'll​ let me take the middle?  Cozy.

No tent Tetris was needed, we found a spot for three tents not far from the water.  Matt, Tanya and I set up our tents and had dinner in a nice spot overlooking the desert suburbs below, blocked from the wind.  Clouds were rolling in.


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