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JackandBarb - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

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Jack and Barb
City: Encinitas
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Jun 16th, 2011
Start: 786
End: 788
Daily Distance: 2
Trip Distance: 788.4

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,266
Journal Visits: 387,861
Guestbook Views: 167,248
Guestbook Entrys: 482

Last PLB Location

Gear list Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Independence

This is really yesterday's entry - TK used yesterday's post to list snow and river conditions

Looks like we only went two miles yesterday but those are only the PCT miles. We hiked the two miles up to the Kearsarge Pass trail and took it (another nine miles to the Onion Valley trailhead) then by road to Independence, CA. There we would pick up our resupply box for another eight days of Sierra travel. We will hopefully make it to Vermilion Valley Resort (VVR) where another box of food will be awaiting us.

George did well helping us find the way over Kearsarge. With all the snow, it would be difficult to find the route unless you had good map skills and a good map. We talked to a number of hikers who lost their way trying to find Kearsarge Pass. Fortunately, there was dirt trail on the upper quarter of the pass (but only on the West side). Once on top we were looking down to the East at nothing but snow -soft snow that you could almost run down, with every leg plant, you would sink up to your shins. But you dared not run down for fear of injury. So, it was another long slog down the hill.

Near the bottom we met some old friends (well, old by PCT hiking standards) Liam, Wrangler and the gang, heading up and heading north to Mammoth.

There is very little traffic at the trailhead (parking lot) but today, there were trail angels, Uber-Bitch and Bristlecone (Ken). Not only did they volunteer to help Donna Saufley when the herd came through at Agua Dulce, they were up here camping in the campground with their car and ferrying campers up and down the mountain. They had cold drinks (beer!) for us when they pulled up. Thank You both! You would not want to walk down this hill to Independence. It is a very long way (like 15 miles) and, today, it was 95 degrees in town.

Uber-bitch took us right to the Courthouse Motel - Bliss! Hot showers, laundry, food. The people who run the Courthouse Motel are very hiker friendly. Eric, if you are reading this, thank you so much for all you do for us hikers. Checked in at the Motel was Gunner. Gunner, if you remember is Wrangler's sidekick. But Gunner was unable to continue on. He had a very badly infected foot. TK looked at it. All swollen and puffy. He was on antibiotics and was instructed not to hike but only to lay down and keep it elevated. We hope Gunner gets well and back on the trail soon.

Driving to Mammoth, we pass through Independence. Not once have we stopped there. This town was very, very laid back and a real treat. It was fun. We had dinner at the only open restaurant in town. It was a French restaurant called "Beer and Wine". The Chevron station there is the market and Subway as well. Lenny runs the place and works there pretty much 24/7. If you ever pass through Independence, stop by the Chevron get a sandwich or an ice cream and say Hi to Lenny.

June 16 for real

The Kiwi's are not heading back up. Dunc has to check out a medical issue and their new plan is to skip or flip the next section and meet us in Mammoth in 8 days. Since we are hefting so much weight with eight days of food, Dunc and Barb loaned us their heavy duty packs until we reach Mammoth. They are so comfortable. If you get a ULA Circuit, remember, it is only good to about 35 pounds. You can load it up with more but the straps will eat right through your shoulders. Our food load alone is 16 pounds each.

Bristlecone swooped in at 8 am for a pre-arranged ride back up to the trailhead. We started hiking at 9 and took our time climbing up through the snow to the pass. It was a nice day and because it was early, we were able to walk on top of the crispy snow and it was surprisingly a much easier climb than we expected. Crossing paths with us was the Beav (remember him? facebook, Operation Pacific Crest Trail). He seemed disillusioned. This is not the PCT hike I signed up for! This thought was already in our heads and it would surely reverb for the next week. We met a couple of others who were dropping out or skipping this next section. It will be tough.

On the backside (West) we noticed lots of avalanche debris covering the trail. We reached our goal at mile 788 at about 4pm and set up camp. Tomorrow we would start our "tour of the passes".








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Journal Photo

Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

Sir Edmund Hillary, first to summit Everest (1953) "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." View our trail images here See our uploaded movies here. contact us at JackandBarbPCT@gmail.com

 

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