I woke up in the wood half expecting to see that a bear had torn through the tent and taken our food. Luckily this was not the case. Instead, a squirrel  was shouting bloody murder at us from the tree above. Luckily for it we were off in a jiffy winding our way through the forests ups and downs. It took us over bridges, past scree slopes and into beautiful open vistas of the rolling forest hills. We were marching along and didn’t take us long to reach the road for our lunch trip to Sierra City.

We tried hitching at first but decided to start the 1.5 mile road walk, however someone turned around for us and took us to the general store – essentially the hub of the sleepy valley town. The general store served “Gut Buster” burgers – two patties, cheese, tomato, lettuce, chillies, pickles, avocados and sauce – and of course we got one each with fries and a milkshake. Expensive but worth it. Chef was in town too! We hadn’t seen his angel face since Kennedy Meadows and were amazed at how fast he had caught up and even overtaken us. We chatted Sierras, rivers, passes, hiker hunger and trail families, but soon we were ready to roll and take on the 3250 ft elevation gain over the Sierra Buttes.

Switching back and forth through a dense forest at first was the steepest section followed by a steady incline along the south side for at least an 1.5 hours. The views of forest clad ranges all around us were breathtaking and more so were the lake basins on its opposite side. We descended down to the edge of a lake which seemed suitable for camp and set up, our bodies aching from a long day.