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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: Sun, Jun 26th, 2011
Trip Distance: 903.2

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,992
Journal Visits: 385,621
Guestbook Views: 167,217
Guestbook Entrys: 482

Last PLB Location

Gear list Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Tough Decisions

Jack: This is the toughest page to write. My Boo Boo can't go on anymore. She tried so hard. She left Kennedy Meadows with over 40 pounds on her back and made it over Kearsarge Pass. She didn't want to go back up there but pushed it anyway. We took another eight days of food up the pass, she trooped it up. We slipped and slid through all the afternoon crap, we had wet cold feet every day, all day, her back was killing her. She forded the sketchy streams, she cut steps up Mather and hauled herself over the top. She was shaking on the boulders over the waterfall, crying and saying "I don't want to die!" (I talked her back to safety and gave her a big hug) . She is one awesome lady but she has been living with this back pain for days and is mentally sapped.

Barb: The Sierras were, to say the least, difficult. Snow, snow and more snow. I felt like a one year old learning to walk with a devious adult throwing hidden obstacles into my path. Rocks, logs, and rivers hidden under weakened snow like a trap to capture unsuspecting PCT hikers. At one time Two Hats fell into a hidden river and only the top of his head was visible. The snow can range from postholing soft to rock hard. Many times on steep slopes clinging on by the side of your foot. Our bodies are bruised, twisted, and swollen. Everything takes much longer than expected, 10 miles takes 10 hours or more. We awake at 4 or 5 am and start walking at 5 or 6 and end about 6 or 7 pm. Route finding is horribly difficult. Carrying enough food for the 8 days we were in the Sierras made my pack uncomfortably heavy. Falling into the snow traps with the heavy pack twisted my back into a pretzel and strained my feet, ankles, knees and hips. I am completely exhausted and sore. I have decided that 903 miles is enough for me and I am heading home. I'll now support Jack in his endeavor.

Jack: What should I do? Go on solo? This was meant to be the adventure of Boo Boo and the Tequila Kid, JackandBarb, RichandAmy, 500 Miles, the couple that would conquer the PCT. Can I continue on? I have so much invested, 903 miles right now, more than 1/3 of the distance. Will I enjoy the rest of the trip without my Boo Boo?

My Health'OMeter is still pretty high. Let's see, a high ankle sprain on my right ankle, pulled Quad when I saved Bookworm from the river, a chronic pain in the joint of one of my toes (I can live with that one) and a sore hip flexor (left side). Oh, and my tongue is still sore from the sun at Muir Pass. Can't say that I am unable to continue health wise. The ankle is the worst of the injuries and I hope it will heal over time.

Barb: You have to do what you have to do. If you continue on, I will support you in everyway I can and find a way to hook up with you at some of the trail towns.

Jack: It is like Fuller Ridge, Baden Powell, or the Sierras. You have to try it to see if you can handle it. I have decided to give it a go. But the Sierras have drained me too. Say what you like, this is NOT the Sierras from any other year on record in these journals. This is extreme. Unless you are a mountaineer, this is a real challenge to any PCT hiker. Word has it that Rush Creek (near Donahue Pass) is impassible. Word has it that Tuolumne Meadows is under water. One PCT hiker turned back up there when he found a foot bridge was thigh deep under water and flowing furiously.

We had lunch with Sue yesterday. She was washed out in a river last week. She lost her sunglasses, water bottle, hiking poles, katoolas and other things. Fortunately for her, Liam and some other hikers jumped in and pulled her out. She can't swim and could have been washed away right there. She doesn't know if she will go on or not.

Jack: Is this the PCT that we expected? NO. It is by far the most extreme year on record. I gave the Sierras a shot. Read all about it in the previous posts. If I continue, the only way it will happen is with a bunch of flips. That means, skipping the big snow for now, and hoping to complete those sections at a later date. Expecting lower mileages when I am in snow, and going through the painful re-order of package logistics. Barb is heading home tomorrow. I am heading north with the Kiwis, maybe up to Echo Lake and see what the area North has to offer. Barb is taking all the extra stuff and bear boxes home with her. I bought a one man tent yesterday at Mammoth Mountaineering (BA Fly Creek UL1, 2 lbs). I would like to piece this PCT together for the next three months. We will see how it goes.

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Images from our Sierra adventure will be posted hopefully soon.

Entry 108 of 210
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Journal Photo

Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

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