Day 45: Target Forester

Date: June 14th

Started: Rock Creek Camp (760.5)

Ended: Bighorn Plateau (772.7)

Total Miles: 12.2

In the Sierra Mountains, many thru-hiker become discouraged because their once 20 mile days turn into much smaller days. Although it says that we hiked just 12 miles, I took enough steps to walk over 17 miles.

Climbing and high altitude make big miles difficult.

Today was meant to climb Mount Whitney, but as we are not going to do that, Fish Tank and I will turn our eight day adventure into a seven day. Getting into town and talking with my family is becoming a priority.

Our goal today is to get to the Forester base camp, so we can attempt to climb her tomorrow. It is a 14 mile day. We encountered our first river crossings. Nothing too difficult.

As we walked closer and closer to Forester, I really began to worry that I was strong enough to do it. Forester is at 13,200 feet. Can I function at that altitude? The approach to Forester is very long. As my worry turned more into dread, we ran into a deer that was not afraid of us.

That is when it occurred to me that maybe following conventional wisdom might be wrong. The last climb before the decent to the base of Forester takes you to Bullfrog Plateau at 11,400 feet. Instead of walking the easy two miles down, what if we camped there? There is grass, plenty of water in a lake, and spending the night there might help me become acclimated to high altitude. That and the sunset and sunrise were some of the most amazing sights I have seen yet.

So, that is what we did.

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