We woke and went to breakfast at The Alabama Hills Cafe which had the best food so far. We saw Happy Nomad there and he looked as if he was deep into some reading. We said hello and he told us we could sit with him but I felt like we were interrupting. More social awkwardness, I know. We sat at another table and left him to his reading and I wasn't sure if we had done the right thing but it was too late now. After Nomad ate he came to say goodbye and we got into a conversation about the trail passes coming up. Another couple at a nearby table overheard and asked to join us. We all finished eating and talked trail before heading in our respective directions to get ready for the day.
Josh and I went back to the room and readied our gear before heading out to try to get a hitch. We stopped by the hostel to raid the hiker box and leave some stuff there too. We stuck out our thumb on the corner of Hwy 395 and Whitney Portal Drive and it looked as if it was going to be a hard hitch. Eventually a man pulled over and told us he could take us to the junction where the grade starts to climb toward Horseshoe Meadow. We asked if he thought it would be hard to get a ride way out there but he said he didn't think so. We piled in and headed into the desert and got out literally in the middle of nowhere at high noon. Hmmmm, this may not be a good idea. Our ride waved goodbye and Josh and I sat in the hot sand waiting for a car to come by. Three did over a period of time heading up the grade and none stopped. At last I started to get impatient and a giant truck was heading up so I stuck out my thumb and did a weird hopping dance to get them to stop. The truck did stop and the driver was a young, fit lady heading up for a trail run. We thanked her profusely and chatted about the trail as we rode up the switchbacks. Her boyfriend works on the now dry Owens Lake in dust mitigation and she told us that they have found dust from the Owens Lake as far away as Egypt! We arrived at the trailhead and went our separate ways, her running up the trail and us sitting on the bear box trying to find our motivation.
I was feeling dizzy and had a major stomach ache. We sat around for a while cameling up and I had to use the bathroom at least four times. Eventually I told Josh I wanted to camp at the trailhead. My stomach was messed up and wanted to be near a toilet. He agreed and we took a walk-up camp space.
I lay in the hot tent for a long time trying to feel better and Josh started feeling bad too so we chalked it up to the elevation and maybe some bad town food. We listened to the most annoying birds in the world all afternoon and laid around. I told Josh we should get up early to try to get in our miles and he said he didn't want to. I couldn't really tell if he was kidding or not so I asked him for straight talk about getting up early. The conversation dissolved when he said something about how he would get up early if I could keep up with him, which really hit a soft spot.
I really am trying my very best on this hike but I am slow and need to take short breaks on the uphills especially at elevation. That's how I have always been on my hikes and probably how I'll always be. I already feel like I'm not as good a hiker as everyone else and that statement was like salt in the wound. We talked about splitting gear and hiking alone during the day and meet up at a certain point on the trail at night. I don't know if Josh took it as seriously as I did. He just avoided the suggestions I was bringing up which pissed me off even more. I don't want to hold him up. There is a reason I primarily backpacked solo before and this is it. I don't have to take any shit for my pace when I'm on my own.
My head has been really out of the game for a while. I felt inadequate and not sure I was fit for the Sierra and today made that worse. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I am pretty sure I'll try to make it to Kersarge so I can at least face some of my fears about the Sierra and then see what happens.
Right now it's 7pm and Josh is sleeping. I'm still pretty butthurt and every car that rolls by I want to ask for a ride down the hill and get a hotel room by myself. Tonight, I'm pretty fucking done, with everyone and everything.
Until tomorrow, goodnight