Friday, August 3, 2012

Day 61 - Devil's Postpile

June 25, 2012
Day 61
Miles: 15
Total Miles:  922
Devil's Postpile rock pile

Breakfast at the Red's Meadow Cafe - french toast and eggs!  If I blog a lot about food on the trail, please understand that i am ALWAYS hungry.  It's not uncommon for me to eat 3,000 calories at a sitting when i am in town.  This does little to offset the massive calories I burn hiking 20-30 miles a day.  Anytime I can get a real meal is a treat.

I hiked the JMT alternate route after stopping to see the Devil's Postpile - octagonal basalt columns left exposed from glacier activity.  This is one of the best examples in the world of these columns, the other being somewhere in Great Britain. 

I hiked the JMT alternate section from mile 909 to 922 and then rejoined the PCT at Thousand Island Lake.  The Halfmile maps showed a campsite at this lake and I searched desperately for something flat and out of the wind but was ultimately unsuccessful - disappointing after a long day of slogging through some dense forest on the trail.  When I have my heart set on a stopping point and it there turns out to be no suitable camping, it is really a let down.  I hiked a mile past the lake and found a spot over-looking the lake where the winds were not as severe.  Even so, this turned out to be one of the windiest nights I have experienced.

Today was quite lonely walking by myself.  I feel I'm in a vacuum of sorts.  I hope to meet up with other hikers at Tuolome Meadows.

Day 60 - Red's Meadow

June 24, 2012
Day 60
Miles: 21
Total Miles:  907

I hiked mostly alone today the 21 miles to Red's Meadow Resort - another packing station.  The blowdowns in this section of the trail are astonishing!  The trail crews have most of the trees cleared from the trail - and I am lucky for that because it would be almost impossible to continue through this section otherwise with the devastation I have seen.  I think only pictures can tell the story...

A large section of previously burned forest was devastated by the winter storms and trees were snapped in half like toothpicks.

Other very large and healthy trees were up-rooted and lay across the trail for miles - often piled on top of each other several layers deep!  These trees are HUGE and the pictures do not show the size of the trees very clearly.

but I crossed over 900 trail miles...

and met a really dirty hiker at Red's Meadow...

and enjoyed a delicious meal at the Red's Meadow Cafe of chicken fajitas, black beans and rice!  i also enjoyed a hot-spring fed concrete hot tub with Weather Carrot and Bobcat.  They went fully nude.  I kept my boxers on.  Maybe if I get to know them a little better...

Day 59 - Silver Pass

June 23, 2012
Day 59
Miles: 7
Total Miles:  886

I hiked from VVR to just pas Silver Pass today.  I took the 4 PM Ferry across Edison Lake where I crossed paths with Rapunzel who told me that her friend Kristina quit the hike and flew back to Germany - too bad.  She had her reasons and top of the list was missing her boyfriend.  She also had bad blisters and other problems that became too much for her.  If I'm not enjoying my hike at some point it would make sense to quit - but I don't see that happening.

I ran into Histo (Bryce) on the way up to Silver Pass and we hiked over together.  I hiked with Histo the first day out of Kick-Off at lake Moreno so it would great to see an old face.  We cowboy camped atop a plateau overlooking the trail and it was a cold night but the views were spectacular!

Day 58 - Vermillion Valley Resort

June 22, 2012
Day 58
Miles: 16
Total Miles:  879

VVR - Vermillion Valley Resort, is a rustic hiker and packer resort.  The PCT crosses east of Edison Lake 1.4 miles and then a ferry ride (a small pontoon boat) across gets you to the resort.  They offer hikers free camping next to the grocery/cafe and lots of food options.  Their cafe serves up top sirloin, wild salmon and other fantastic fare.  Though they do nickle and dime you to death (the store prices everything individually such as small packets of ketchup and mustard), I was not too discouraged.  They have to ship everything in from town which i believe is a couple hours drive away.  It was a welcome rest after a long stretch of hiking in the Sierras. 

...and beer was very reasonably priced!  :)

PCT Northern Terminus

PCT Northern Terminus
On September 30, 2012 I reached the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Thanks to everybody who supported and followed my journey. It was a life-changing experience!