Miles 719.2 – 734.4
Last night we slept right alongside another group of hikers, and when we woke up they were all still sound asleep in their tents. So we packed up as quietly as possible and got a move on immediately starting out on a 1,700-ft ascent. After the climb we dropped back down and a few miles later we walked into the most beautiful scene on the trail thus far, Gomez Meadow.
You pass through on a small, wooden bridge that cuts over the grassy meadow. Even in this extremely wet year we couldn’t find a good source for water, so we hung out for maybe ten minutes and continued on. Too bad, because I wouldn’t have minded staying there all day. Just a mile up trail was our next source for water, at Death Canyon Creek-mile 730.0. This was a very good spot for relaxing and we all decided to take our lunch here. I eventually found a perfect little section of stream to sit in and bathe, so I did just that . . and if anyone was drinking downstream from where I was sitting I do apologize for the odd tasting water you most definitely consumed on that day.
Four and one half miles later, after a small weather system came through and rained down on us, we made it to a spot on the trail that overlooks the entire Owens Valley to the east. My entire life I had always loved the Owens Valley, driving through it what seemed like a million times to get up to Mammoth Lakes. This time was different though, I was on top of the mountains that I had always peered up to while driving HWY 395. It was a special moment for me, a romantic flash of time that I am not soon to forget.
One final note for the day, Kelsey aka Diggs decided that it was best for her to go on by herself from this point forward for whatever reasons she had. We had no choice but to respect her decision. This would be the last time any of us saw her for the remainder of the trail. The group that would be moving on from here was myself, Dan Herr aka Lt. Dan, Kellan Cardio aka Rooster, and Mark Ryan aka Pistons.