June 23rd: 21 miles to the Whitney Spur trail

June 23: We hiked a grueling 21 mile day through the Sierras to arrive at the start of the Mt. Whitney Spur Trail, which we’ll be hiking tomorrow. We entered a national park, and almost had a ranger check our PCT thru-hiker permits.

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End location: about 1/8 mile south of the PCT’s southernmost intersection with trails to Mt Whitney. 36.55135, -118.35730

We got out of our sleeping bags at 6am, though we’d been awake and grumpy about being awake since 5am. We hadn’t slept well.

We were walking by 7:30am. The morning was fairly easy with gradual, relatively pleasant climbs.

We passed a really nice looking spring early in the day, “Poison Meadow spring.” Despite how pleasant it looked, we didn’t fill up there, instead opting to head straight for Chicken Spring Lake.

Chicken Spring Lake is an alpine lake near PCT mile 751. Towards the PCT the lake is surrounded by conifers; at the rear, the lake is backdropped by a sheer rock mountain. We ate lunch and filled up our water bottles.

The lake is affected by the drought. The water levels are blatantly low, with a visible “bathtub ring” around the lake’s perimeter. Normally, the lake has an outflow which crosses the PCT. This year, the outflow is dry.

We hiked on, planning to stop next for water and food at Guyot Creek, mile 761.75. We’d chosen to fill up at Guyot Creek instead of the much larger “Rock Creek,” which is a mere 8/10 of a mile before Guyot Creek, because Guyot Creek is halfway up a large climb. We carried less water up a mountain!

At Guyot Creek we ate chili for dinner. Our dehydrated chilli is awesome; it rehydrates well and tastes great. Possibly our favorite of the various meals we dehydrated in the months before our hike.

We hiked straight from Guyot Creek to the Whitney Spur trail, a distance of about 4.5 miles. We didn’t start taking breaks until Mt Whitney and its neighbors came into photogenic view; maybe the last half mile of trail.

We made camp and had enough time to rinse off using our “showerhead” (small valve that attaches to our water bladders. Hang the bladder in a tree for pressure; on/off via the valve.).

9:32pm. Goodnight.

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