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Written Sunday, 6 June 2021
Got up around 0445. There was such a beautiful crescent moon hanging over our camp as I ate breakfast so I didn't hurry, and got on the Trail about 0545.
The start of the day was mostly a manageable "up" to get to Chicken Spring Lake, where I swam, rinsed out my filthy clothes, and relaxed. Anchor, Baewatch, Florian, Elke, and Catch weren't far behind, and we had a great "beach day." I'm pretty sure this was my longest mid-day break in about a month, but, you know, otters love water!
The lake itself is a "tarn," gouged by glaciers and typically filled by runoff from the snow that collects on the mountains during the winter. The water is clear and quite cold. Completely refreshing!
Behind the tarn is a cirque, a high stone wall, also carved by glaciers. Just gorgeous!
This is the first of many alpine swimming opportunities.
On my way out, we decide another 10 miles is all we need to do today. That will set us up for a short day tomorrow so people can rest before climbing Mount Whitney early on Tuesday.
The climb out of Chicken Spring Lake is a bit steep but then mostly downhill--very rocky and rooty, and I find myself stumbling a lot, just like on the AT. Swear words aree said.
As I'm closing in on our camp for the evening, I get a message from Catch on my InReach saying she has lost her sport and wondering if I have InReach messaging addresses for people who are behind us who might be able to find and retrieve the spork. Although I'm unable to help with InReach, I do ask a very nice couple I meet if they might have a spare fork, spoon, or spork. They do, and they are happy to give it to me!
I am a cutlery hero!
We all end up camped at a beautiful, wooded site right by a rushing Rock Creek.
I'm safe, dry, and warm tonight!
By the way, happy 77th anniversary of D-Day!
Miles Hiked Today: 17.5 Total Miles Hiked: 760.5
Sea Otter Fact of the Day: The average female southern sea otter weighs anywhere from 40-50 lbs, with males weighing 50-60 lbs. The northern and Asian sea otters usually weigh about 25% more--greater bulk aids in heat retention