We hit Cottonwood Pass yesterday (I'm writing this morning after). It is the lowest and easiest of the passes, and we got it no problem. The snow fields weren't even big enough to lose the trail. We didn't actually go OVER the pass, we went up to it, met up with a trail that went over it, and continued to climb up on the same side of the mountains as we were earlier.
We hit it in the afternoon, too, so the snow should have been at it's wettest and softest, but there was only one posthole made between the three of us (and it was by me). I'm starting to chill out, the snow and the Sierra need our respect for sure, but maybe they don't need my obsessing and nightmares too.
I definitely have not packed enough food. I felt faint and slow all morning long, even though I was eating something every hour. I spent all day fantasizing about the food I want to pack for the next section. To keep things simple and compact, I think I'll try to eat soaked quinoa, dry milk, nuts, dried fruit, and brown sugar in the morning, tabbouleh, walnuts, and olive oil for lunch, couscous, spices and butter for dinner, hot cocoa and butter as a pick-me-up, and figure out snacks depending on how much room and money I have left over.
I also fantasized about the food I want to make when I get back: my body is defintely craving wholesome along with rich, so I was imagining sprouts, hummus, yogurt, kombucha, almond milk, and kefir along with beef stew, muffins, French toast, salmon, salads, and soup.
Anicca caught back up with us today, he had taken Trail Pass down to Lone Pine to resupply, so we had passed him. He still plans on sleeping at the top of Mount Whitney, which I personally think is dumb because of weather and altitude (why not summit and then NOT put yourself at risk of altitude sickness by coming back down, climb high, sleep low? Mount Whitney is about 9,000 feet higher than what we're acclimated to, and 4-5,000 higher than where we've been huffing and puffing the last few days). But I hope it all works out for him.
We've adjusted to hiking without boys: no topic is taboo, and it's great! I thought we'd miss them, but it seems like we've hit our stride - and are havin a blast - without them. That doesn't mean I didn't really enjoy laughing until it hurt from Shanghai and talking science with Hasty, but apparently we do just fine on our own too. Yippee!
Tao of the Day: 4-5, paraphrased.
"The Tao is still really big, and still really cool, and still really hard to understand"
Okay, I get it. I thought self promotion wasn't an admirable trait to the Taoists? This book seems like it has a lot of ancient wisdom, good life advice, and maybe some spirituality, but that doesn't mean it isn't immune to the bullshit-meter. Is the spirituality part all the stuff that talks about how the Tao is really really big, really cool, and ununderstandable?
I did like this part though:
"Simply stay at the center of the circle" (verbatim)
I don't know exactly what it means, but to me it speaks of staying centered, balanced, aware of what's outside of you, and at peace with it.
- Typoed on my iPhone