Mile 1041 to 1024
In auto racing and cycling, drafting provides a physical advantage. Tuck in behind someone and let them do more of the work. I am not convinced that backpacking provides much opportunity for physical drafting, but there appears to be emotional drafting. When you are hiking within eyesight of someone, it can keep you moving. If they can keep going, well then clearly I can too. They made that switchback without stopping, surely I can.
There is, however, an opposite effect that can happen when the distance between you continues to grow. He was just there. Am I really going that slow? I am never going to catch him. Oh come on, he has to go to the bathroom at some point. I think of this as drag racing. The opposite of drafting.
For backpackers, drafting or drag racing are mental. I am convinced thru-hiking is 80% mental. I think most people who meet me think I’m 100% mental, so I feel well positioned for this activity.
There is no rain during the night, which makes it much easier to pack. It is Dish Cloth’s birthday. We set our sights on a tent site in a little over 17 miles. It will not get us as close to Highway 108 as we had hoped, but it will position us to hike the last 7 miles before the 3 miles of snow gets too wet and soggy. We have quite a lot of elevation change today and much of it steep.
We continue to meet more familiar faces, including Hot Mess, her mother GBH, and later Flash. We are very relieved to find that the rumors of Flash’s death on Foerster Pass were greatly exaggerated He appears relieved as well.
Again, we are not setting any speed records. BLT hears about a prime rib dinner at Kennedy Meadows North, and pushes on to the highway tonight. The rest of us stick to the original plan, knowing that Terri and Daniel we be monitoring my SPOT location in order to time their arrival at highway 108.
We are camped next to the muddy Carson River, which provides relaxing white noise. Clouds have been forming, but so far no thundershowers.