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A lot has happened since I last posted from Bishop. We reentered the Sierras over Kearsarge Pass after a fun night in Bishop and running all the necessary errands and eating, lots of eating. On the third day after Bishop, as I descended from Pinchot Pass I came across three men, one was laying on the ground having trouble breathing. His two friends thought maybe he had been stung by a bee and was going into anaphylactic shock. Luckily he was carrying an epi-pen. His symptoms did not improve very quickly so a distress signal was sent from one of the hiker's satellite transmitter. It took several hours for the man to regain the strength to stand, but eventually he was able to get up and walk around and talk to us. We left when a ranger that had been working on surveying trail damage arrived with a radio, they hoped to call off any kind of rescue but as "Moss" and I crossed the Kings River we could see the helicopter circle overhead. I heard from the men later and found out that they decided to fly him out to Fresno so he could be monitored at the hospital. It isn't everyday that you are reminded of how fragile life can be.
After resuming hiking down from Pinchot Pass we quickly climbed Mather Pass and dropped down to Palisade Lakes and down the Golden Staircase. Palisade Lakes were incredible and the amount of rock work that went into building the Golden Staircase was impressive. The next day was Muir Pass, my favorite hands down. On top of Muir is a rock hut built to shelter people caught out in storms. It was like a stone igloo albeit held together with mortar. From Muir you drop into Evolution Basin and two of us separately commented that it seemed like a scene out of a fairy tale. Crossing the pass's so late in the day would normally be a terrible idea with soft slippery snow but this year there is so little snow it is of little consequence. Crossing late makes for some stunning scenery watching the sun set on the granite when you are high above the trees, sometimes it is so beautiful it doesn't seem real.
I was still struggling with my appetite and had to force myself to choke down half my dinner at Marie Lake, then forced myself to finish it in the morning. Having a lack of appetite when you are burning so many calories each day really drains the energy out of you. With a little convincing from "Anchorman" I decided to go to a little resort that is a few miles from the trail, across Lake Edison, called Vermillion Valley Resort, or VVR. To get there you can either hike around the lake or take a ferry for $ 18 in the morning or afternoon. We opted for the ferry ride in the afternoon. I weighed in at 207 when I arrived and before breakfast the next morning I had gained 10 pounds. I bought a few things, mostly candy bars or easy calories as I like to call them, from the little store, and packed out a breakfast burrito so I would be able to bypass Mammoth Lakes and go straight through to Tuollumne Meadows where I was meeting Matt Seiler, a friend that works in Yosemite Valley and I had left supplies with him in March. Matt was able to come up and camp a night and we went down to Lee Vining to the Whoa Nelli Cafe where we polished off a large pizza between the two of us. It appears a large part of my appetite problem came from only partially cooking my pasta dinners, the elevation may have played a role as well but since I started making sure my dinners were fully cooked my appetite has returned and am feeling much better. I guess being impatient finally caught up to me.
From Tuollumne Meadows it is 153 miles to Echo Lake and South Lake Tahoe. I hoped to do this stretch in seven and a half days and meet Shawna for a few days off in Tahoe. I ended up running into some old friends, "Cro" and "Not a Chance", as well as made some new ones. They were all traveling faster than I normally do, we did a 33 mile day, and I cut a full day arriving in Tahoe Wednesday morning. Shawna was able to leave work a little early giving us an extra day together. She had rented a little cabin in town since she was bringing Durney and it is so much more difficult to have the dog at a hotel.
It has been a great few days with Shawna. We've only eaten out once since the cabin has a little kitchen. I've eaten a ton of food so that alone probably pays for the cabin. We were able to hang out with "Cro" and "Not a Chance" at one of his friends places which was a lot of fun and even had dinner with Erica and her son Grant who just happen to be camping in Tahoe this weekend with her parents.
I am heading back up to the trail in the morning, hope to be in Sierra City for the Fourth of July. I'll post another update when I can.
Pacific Crest Trail - 2012
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Some other people's blogs...
Leaving the Monkey in Mexico
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Jim Day's 2012 Pacific Crest Trail Journal
My Aunt's Adventure Biking Blog
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones.
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