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Phaedrus - John Muir Trail Journal - 2010

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City: Vacaville
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Jul 2, 2010
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Jul 31st, 2010
Trip Distance: 35.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 760
Journal Visits: 2,427
Guestbook Views: 139
Guestbook Entrys: 1

John Muir Trail Map

Donahue Pass

Up at a leisurely 6:30 am. Slept well on my new Neo Thermarest. Yes it us a lot money for an air mattress but a good nights sleep is worth it.
Most breakfasts are set to be cold but this morning we boiled water, had Starbucks Via coffee and a wonderful oatmeal concoction blended with nuts, cranberries, and whole dried milk the girls found at an Asian market in Vacaville. Just poured boiling water into the ziplock and let set for give minutes. Think we'll be boiling water more mornings. As far as food we've figured out that we have vastly overpacked and are carrying too much for breakfast, lunch and snacks. I am not eating yet a lot so my weight loss goal for thus hike looks entirely within reach. In three days we pick up another food drop at Red's Meadows general store and our bear boxes will be overflowing. It will be another two days after that when we reach Vermillion and our next drop where Bob's dad will meet us that we can drop excess food and re-sort our new food. Maybe by then our low calorie intake and weight loss may trigger more appetite but not counting on it.
The boys, William and our Matt, took off 30 minutes before us ol'fogies. Doug led off also a few minutes before us. We will catch him at the Pass where he will wait. The climb is tough but we take it slow but consistent. Pole , Pole as they say on Kilimanjaro, slowly slowly. Margaret practices her reststep. A few streams to cross and we nearly miss the trail as it crosses the steam to the right in the last upper meadow. Confused by another trail following the left bank. Find out later the boys did the same thing but tried to cross country up the canyon wall before backtracking and re-finding the trail. The scenery is spectacular with snow patches to cross still on the trail. On the top of Donahue Pass we take a break after catching up with a napping Doug. We refill water by pumping at a partial frozen pond on top before descending. At 1:30pm an 10,000 feet before the junction to Marie Lakes we find a suitable camping spot to wait out Mike and Amy. Not sure we should stay here as someone has gone to great lengths to destroy the fire pit but we will wait and see if they are up to continuing to Rush Creek. We do not want to go over Island Pass today but with a fresh start tomorrow morning.
Doug is reading the JMT trail guide and says we have 179 miles more to go. Every day we'll be in better shape...or so we hope.

So where did my trail name Phaedrus come from. He was Roman poet 2000 years ago who happened to do quite well retelling Aesop's Fables. Some histories have him as the originator.
But in actuality I adopted it from the 1970s book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" by Robert Pursig. It was a "must read" in a Modesto JC summer English class I took in 1974. Can't remember the name of my teacher but to him all the meaning to life we needed to know was in that book. There were no Cliff Notes. There was also very little if anything to do with motorcycle maintenance. The book was written in chapters that were in themselves stories Pursig defined as Chatauguas.
Phaedrus was his hidden self and lost behind electric shock therapy, a spector that reappears in bits and pieces to take form. Phaedrus was purged. He did not fit the proper format. He was ethical in search of truth but intolerant of falling short. For me, Phaedrus is that suppressed side of beliefs and convictions ignored and compromised in daily life. Doing this trail with it's own struggles out of my comfort zone is really coming back to finding my own Phaedrus.

Entry 6 of 6
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Journal Photo

From Here To There

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot


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