I did get out and do two relatively interesting runs over this weekend; one on Friday that was an exploration run on the Pacific Crest Trail where I haven't been before. The other was Sunday, after the weather changed. I think it might have been the change that prompted me to think about writing; summer in the Sierra is definitely over, and autumn may be short lived. Who knows, but when there is snow on the trail on September 22, things are definitely no longer summery.
First, on Friday I went south on the PCT with my intended target being Raymond Lake. Preliminary map-looking made it appear to be an approximately 15 mile round trip. Close, but it was a little longer at 17 miles. I don't know why, but despite both eating and drinking more along the run, and eating Endurolytes and Advil like Good 'N Plenty, my southern parts twitched, spasmed and all out cramped repeatedly on the return. As a result, I ended up walking close to 4 miles on the way back. My ego would have been sorely bruised, but I had the trail to myself the whole time. Immediately after leaving the parking area, I saw no one for 4 hours. Bliss.
The views were spectacular:
I think the elevation profile and the elevation gain overall are a bit more than reality. The GPS can only get so close to where you really are, and when you're traversing a steep slope, the approximations laterally can easily translate to tens of feet up and down.
As an aside, you can see the respect my presence generates in fellow runners. It's no wonder I often run solo!