I awake to the wonderful aroma of a campfire. The boys are up before me. Oh, how I wish we could have one at every campsite. Not only does it help with the cold, but also the bugs. I will miss it, but I won’t miss the poop rock that just sits there with its not so secret surprise underneath. It is early, but we are already seeing people walk by in the distance. They must have started before sunrise. Those are some dedicated people.
We responsibly make sure the campfire is out and hike towards our next destination. We are planning on going over Island Pass today. It is 10,205 ft. We are also headed towards Thousand Island Lake. I have been soo looking forward to this lake. In all of my John Muir groups, people just rave about this beautiful lake. I really wanted to camp here overnight, but it was not in the cards for us this time. As we filter water for the day at a stream, quite a few backpackers are passing us. I think they are all headed to Thousand Island Lake.
We arrive in a meadow with the most amazing view of the Minarets. The Minarets are popular landscape/mountain peaks that a lot of things around Mammoth are named for. The condo that we stay at is owned by a dear friend and he had told Cordlan that for payment, he just wants a photo of all 3 of us hiking. I decide this is THE place to do it. He will love the Minarets in the background. I get out my selfie stick, because this is going to be the epic photo of the trip. For some unexplained reason, it does not connect via Bluetooth like it should. Ugh. What a pain. I am trying to set the phone and do adjustments. Each time we do this, it takes burst photos! I am soo mad this is happening! What is a burst photo you ask? It is when your camera takes about 100 photos in 1 second and you cannot stop it! I literally went in and deleted half of what I had on my phone before we left, so that I would have some memory for photos. Now, this stupid burst photo is eating up a 100 a second….are you kidding me? No one knows how to stop it and I have to admit, I say some choice words that would not receive a PG rating. Gannon is clueless and Cordlan is totally laughing. People are walking by us and asking if we have reception? Gannon begrudgingly states that we are trying to take a selfie. After 3 attempts, we give up. Whatever…I don’t even care anymore. Where is Thousand Island Lake anyways? I just want to get there.
Thousand Island Lake is just stunning and we decide to have lunch there before we head over the pass. We find a nice secluded spot with access to a couple of different areas of the lake. We are soaking our feet, filtering water, and eating lunch. Well…they are eating lunch. Not me. Why did I think that tuna, tortillas, and packets of mayo were a good idea? I literally want to barf from the smell. Cordlan and Gannon go ahead and eat theirs because they are starving and good sports. I am gagging at the first bite. No way, no how. I eat a few more Swedish Fish and call it good. I take the garbage and put it in a zip lock bag. I store it in a pocket on top of my backpack to put in a bear canister later on that night.
It is hard to leave this beautiful spot, but we must get moving. We run into quite a few people in this area, including one of my Ladies of the JMT. How fun to meet some of the women that I am in a Facebook group with throughout the year. But…I start noticing a lingering smell. I keep thinking that it’s the bathroom bag I am also carrying. We bury any human waste, but carry out all TP and baby wipes. I store all the bathroom necessities in a bag and we usually call it the poop bag. It is even brown, so it is appropriate. I just can’t believe that the poop TP already smells.
After engaging in several conversations with others, I realize that the smell is the tuna, not the poop bag! Oh gosh. It is now getting warm from the sun and the aroma is quite pungent. Gannon decided to take one for the team and switch it to his pack. Ha-ha! He cannot believe how bad it smells. I can only imagine what people must be thinking when they go by us! We reek! My back and his pack now both smell. I am just hoping people think we have been out here for weeks by now.
We are over the pass and now looking for a campsite for the night. Cordlan is actually hangery and we need to do something fast. He is ready to strangle us and just choose a campsite right next to the trail. We are not as bad off and take a little time to look for something off-trail and more private. I find one above a stream and we make our way down and set-up for the night.
Setting up tents and filtering water are first priorities. Getting our solar charger going is a close second.
What a day we have had. Dinner is made and I still cannot eat. This is starting to worry me a bit. I usually get over this by now. Candy is my go to and that is all my stomach can handle.
Unfortunately, both our packs smell like tuna still. I am freaked out that a bear will want to come and see what is emitting that wonderful smell. I decide to spray both our packs with half a bottle of Deet. That should hopefully get rid of the smell, right? I want my pack nowhere near me and pray by morning that no bears decide to pay us a visit. I will not be eating tuna for a very long time, if ever again!
No campfire tonight, but my next favorite thing occurs….we watch an episode of a show on my phone. It’s 8 pm and we have about an hour till we go to sleep. Cordlan squeezes into our tent and we fix a way for my phone to hang from the top of the tent. All 3 of us lay squished in there to watch a show. I love it. Cordlan tells me to take advantage, because this is not happening when this is done. This makes me super happy. Snuggled between both of them, we watch our episode in the luxury of our tent. But that is a whole other story, for another day. We need to get some sleep. We have Donahue Pass to climb tomorrow.