Distance hiked today: 20.2 miles / 32.5 km.
Our first swim in the Sierra! Well it was more of a dip, but felt good nonetheless. We reached Thousand Island Lake for lunch, named so because of the many tiny islands dotting the lake (but all I can think about is the salad dressing). I keep thinking it would be amazing to have a Pack Raft out here to explore the lakes and their icy secrets.
Today the sun was strong, we were sweating, and my first priority was getting in that lake. Just as we went to jump in, an aquatic garter snake swam by, curling up and lifting it's head at us like it would on the ground but it was floating on the water!
We climbed two passes today. Island Pass was more of a huge hill, followed by Donahue Pass. Water ran down the trail between the snow and there were quite large creeks to cross. We got our feet a bit wet where the rocks to cross were slightly underwater, and just before camp we walked through a river with our shoes on, the water coming up to my thighs although the current wasn't too strong in this spot. That breaks my streak of keeping my shoes dry, and in hindsight I could have taken them off, but it's hard to know how the rocks on the bottom will be and when it's deep it's safer to wear shoes to have better footholds.
This is partly why we wear trail running shoes rather than hiking boots - they dry much faster whether it's from rain, rivers, or sweat, which helps minimize blisters and get back to dry feet faster. Trail running shoes are also much lighter and more flexible, and when you're walking an extremely long distance this makes a big difference.
The mosquitoes were out in bigger numbers - they only seem to come out in the evenings or if we stop in a wet meadow. As long as we're walking we don't see them during the day.
Our tent site was not ideal, with the whole area seeming to sit on smooth solid rock and making it hard to get pegs in the ground. Our tent is not free standing, it relies on the pegs to hold it out and our trekking poles hold it up, so we had to wrap the guylines around some rocks and hoped it wouldn't get windy.
Total trail mileage: 931.2 miles / 1498.3 km