I forgot the absolute best part of yesterday: chocolate mousse! We did a "team dinner" between Microburst, Sweet 16, and I, with lasagna couscous in our big pot and instant mousse in 16's small pot. It was delicious, and two packets made enough that we would have made ourselves super sick if Granite and Terrapin hadn't helped us finish it off.
This morning was a gorgeous, long, mostly waterless ridgewalk from Squaw Valley ski area through Sugarbowl ski area to hwy 40 and I-80 through Donner Pass. There were countless beautiful views, none of which I took phone photos of (sorry).
By the time I got to Hwy 40, it was one and I was hungry. I had hoped Micro and Sweet 16 had waited there for me and were eating lunch, but I saw no sign of them. I'd had a slow morning, so I figured they might have gone four miles further to I-80 before hunger struck, so I pushed on.
By the time I had crossed I-80, it was three, and I could see 16's boot prints going up the trail from a nice lunch spot by a stream. Even though no harm had been done, I got pissed that they'd left me, scarfed my food (including spitefully eating a lot of Nutella sent by Amy without Micro there to share), cleaned up a sunscreen disaster, and kicked it into turbo-angry mode.
I was further annoyed every time I asked dayhikers about them: nobody recalled girls matching my description, so they had to be SUPER far ahead of me. As my legs ate up the miles at an almost respectable pace, and STILL nobody had seen Micro and 16, I began suspecting that they were behind me and I had missed a note or other sign. Still, I was occasionally seeing 16's boot prints and tracks that resembled Micro's new shoes, and I knew that they had wanted to do 25 miles today. If they were in front of me, stopping would do no good, and if they were behind, they'd know it and keep hiking on.
I decided I would finish out the 25 miles tonight, if I didn't see them, do another 5 early in the morning, and if still no sign, sit on my hands and wait there. The farther I went and continued to see tracks-occasionally, the more agitated I became as I imagined the inevitable argument waiting to explode once we rendezvoused, in either scenario. Finally, I started hearing a sound that didn't sound quite as annoying as the mosquitoes trying to find a way through my headnet to my ears. It was Micro, running down the trail after me!
Instead of a huge accusatory argument, we both made explicit expressions of relief at being reunited, and then she explained that they had eaten lunch at hwy 40 in the only shady spot around with excellent visibility and great views of the trail, the highway, and the parking lot I'd have to cross. Somehow we all missed each other, and I was following somebody else with 16's boots. Now we are camped at the top of a knoll with no water but only slightly intolerable mosquitos, after eating a tasty dinner of lukewarm stuffing, soupy mashed potatoes, and not-rehydrated chicken (with the mandatory couscous that exists in all of our meals).
- Typoed on my iPhoneom