Monthly Archives: June 2014

Day 60 – Selden pass, and onward.

June 22nd
Miles: 855.3 to 875.4

We had to pick a bad camping spot tonight because of the terrain and we could not continue because we all hurt so bad.  (In case you are looking at the map to see where I am)

Woke this morning by the river,  some deer were wandering around.  Got packed up before the mosquitoes noticed and we got moving.

We hiked over Selden pass, met two guys and their dogs up there with a marmot squeaking at the dog.  Marmots, oddly, make a sound that could be mistaken for a hawk.

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We went down into the valley and crossed Bear Creek a few times, it is beautiful and basically what you think the Sierra looks like in post cards — but.  I will have to apologize about no pictures, we could not stop along this section because of the mosquitoes. Really, I dreaded stopping to go to the bathroom. We all got to camp covered in smashed and smeared attempts at our blood.

Really,  crossing streams can be sketchy but with hundreds of mosquitoes attacking you it is like an episode of Fear Factor.  “Let’s see if Room Service can cross a large stream on a wobbly log just using his trekking poles on slippery rocks below all while being harangued by hundreds of hungry mosquitoes! ”

Tomorrow is our last full day out, we do 21 miles and get roughly within ‘morning hike’ of Reds Meadow (a ‘morning’ is usually ten miles). Reds has a little store and there is a bus which will take us to Mammoth, our next zero. I need a zero pretty bad, my feet are feeling it.

From Mammoth all our hikes between towns will be less than five days, most at two to three, for the remainder of the trail (for the most part). This means things like apples in the food bag (huge deal).

Also it means going into towns and not talking a zero. Which will be an option but not necessary as it is now.

Anyway, this campsite sucks.

Day 59 – Into Evolution Valley

June 21st
Miles: 834.8 to 855.3

I would just like to make the following statement: “I want to kill all mosquitoes.”

Okay, got up in a swarm of mosquitoes ate quickly and we all got hiking.  We already were half way to the top of Muir pass but it still took three hours, I took some videos which I will post when I can.  There are long snow fields on either side.

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At the top is the Muir shelter,  which the Sierra Club put up.

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There were people in there smoking pot so I didn’t stick around long. Not that I really care but it seemed so pointless and childish to climb “here” and then do that.

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The descent was long as well, with tons of snow field walks, I would not want to do this trail on a high snow year,  not at all. I heard a story of a guy who did this in 2011 and had said he did 700 miles of the trail in snow. I would have quit I think,  though people think we are nuts for having done the desert in the third year of a major drought.  Soo.

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Finally the trail goes way way down into Evolution Valley, which follows the amazing Evolution creek.

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We made our way down and finally found camp here. All of us are dead tired, 20 ‘ s in the Sierra is dumb on a couple counts but we needed to make up some miles. For the first time in a while when I stand it is rough and I groan. That was normal at the beginning, but now as seasoned hikers this means it was a tough day, or perhaps,  tough series of days.

I thought of all these great ‘deep’ things I could write here today but now in my tent with food in me I just want to kill all mosquitoes, and sleep.

Maybe a milkshake too…

Day 57 – high passes

June 19th
Mikes: 802.8 to 819.5

Woke late,  8:30! Had a night full of many dreams and good sleep. It was welcomed after my somewhat lack of sleep recently.

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Hiked over Pinchot pass and we took a lunch siesta on a bluff over a lake at 808.5 where I decided to lay out some of the drink mixes I carry to explain that.

First the hot ones.

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Though the breakfast essentials I do cold (I double them up and make a shake). Sometimes I do them with coffee or mix with hot chocolate also, they are handy. The Starbucks via packages have made coffee while hiking enjoyable, I really enjoy them,. I will also carry a resealable bottle of “Le Lecha sweetened condensed milk” to add to it, which gives me coffee with cream and sugar, I also use that if I bring grape nuts.

And the cold ones

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Normally there would be Gatorade powder there but stores along the PCT run out of that fast and Kool Aide the powder stains stuff. Zuko is amazing, that stuff is perfect hiker juice and really tastes like real juice, it blew me away, buy it. The crystal light works great and is sized perfectly. The margarita flavor one makes two liters,  and is nice, they make a daiquiri one also. (Note: missing the ‘real lemonade’ one because I drank it)

Back to hiking.

Mather pass sucked, easy going up on the south side but the descent on the north was treacherous and I lost the trail and post holed and almost fell into some rocks.  Not fun, though that is the last dangerous one, apparently. Hopefully.

I am camping about 2 miles down fro where this picture was taken. (Waffles hiking in the pic).

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Nice to be in camp, after hiking up two passes I am beat. Pasta side,  some hot cocoa and the day is all good.

Tomorrow we camp before Muir pass. Just a few days to Mammoth Lakes.

The Sierra is fun but exhausting.

Day 55 – back to the trail over Kearsarge

June 17th
Miles: 8 (PCT 0)

I woke in the hotel room early and decided to go to the coffee shop and get food and coffee and watch a movie on my phone. It does not bug me to watch a movie on my phone,  I put on headphones and can enjoy the movie well. I have adjusted to using my phone as my sole computer. The Note3 is a good phone, and when done I think I will be getting a Samsung TV so I can do screen mirroring from it.

Had a few last chores to do like run stuff to the hiker box at the hostel, clean some of the junk from the hotel room and pack up to get going.  I also had to get new tips for my hiking poles, it was a pain because you have to hammer them off,  a nice girl helped me out and I managed to get them changed out.

Then to hitch or of Lone Pine,  we had trouble getting a ride and tried for an hour before someone came and took us to the trailhead.

We hiked up the pass easy,  it was odd,  I was dreading the climb over Kearsarge today and we did it easy,  I was not even tired when I got to the top.

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We hiked along and it was getting late so we choose a spot very near to rejoining the PCT because there is another pass in three miles from here.

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It is cold,  we all just jumped into our tents early to try to be warm. And to think it was 91 degrees in Lone Pine this afternoon, was 60 at the trailhead and freezing here. 

Gotta love elevation.

Day 54 – Lone Pine

June 16th
Miles: 0

A well needed zero. We are all exhausted from so many climbs. My body is blasted from constant climbing, I feel like a sherpa.

Today is about food and rest, and some resupply at the store here. I need to entirely rethink my food, sugar and drink mix plan.  Food weight is a major issue and it all needs to be rethought.

McDonald’s for breakfast sounds horrid most of the time unless you are in srvere calorie deficiency and craving milk shakes and anything with calories.
For my new “lighter” food I ended up picking up some bagels and bread with jam and some easy cheese, ramen, pasta sides, some candy/snacks, easy mac, pop tarts for breakfast and lots and lots of drink mixes (lemon, pineapple,  margarita,  tea, etc). Drink mixes are mandatory so you can have different flavors, though the high Sierra water tastes better than any bottled water I have had, like you can look up about 500 feet at the snow and literally see where the water is coming from.

Had dinner tonight at ‘Merry go round’ chinese restaurant here in Lone Pine and it was wonderful, I have missed hot and sour soup.

Now we are sitting in the hotel watching Resident Evil. Tomorrow is a long climb back to the trail over Kearsarge pass.