Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Day 103 to 104 - Trail Magic and The Russian Wilderness

August 6 to 7
Day 103-104
Miles:  10+35
Total Miles:  1601

View from The Russian Wilderness
After just ten miles we made it Highway 3 where Unload was set up with a grill, picnic table and loads of beer.  Unload had hiked the PCT in 2011 and he had spent the winter on a fishing vessel up in Alaska.  He was back for the summer and decided what a better way to spend his time than to hang out with some green 2012 thu-hikers.  He cooked us burgers and dogs and we drank beer and soda and whiskey.  Even with only ten miles behind us that day, it took very little to convince us to stay that night and keep the party going.  Once other hikers showed up, Weather Carrot and Bobcat, we were in for the night.

The whiskey came out and so did the cribbage board.  Have you ever had someone try to explain the rules of cribbage while they, and you, were drunk?  How about two people trying to explain the rules to two new players?  As the night went on our concentration waned and we exchanged cribbage for four-wheel hot-rodding in Unload's pickup truck.  I passed.

Cribbage Anyone?
The next morning I had a casual start to my morning, ate a lot of breakfast courtesy of Unload and then hiked a record mile day - 35 miles!  Go figure!  I can't explain where the energy came from but all I know is that felt the energy and rolled with it.  One possible explanation:  I knew Jubel was a faster hiker but I don't concede these things easily.  With food in my belly and a half day of rest, today felt like the day to see what I was made of.  I took off from the road and didn't look back for at least twelve miles.  I knew I had moved very fast from the constant sweat pouring down my face, and when I did the calculation I calculated that I had hiked four miles per hour for the past twelve miles!  My average pace is around three miles per hour, so this was 25% faster.

I hiked I passed Weather Carrot and Bobcat and told them that when Jubel comes by, "just tell him that I passed here about thirty minutes ago" for I knew Jubel was not going to let me get away that easily and I thought this would discourage him.  I was wrong.

PCT in The Russian Wilderness

Mt. Shasta
Just when I thought he had no chance of catching me, slowing my pace a little, he walks up behind me casually and tugs on my backpack.  Weather Carrot - an honest fellow - gave me away to Jubel and that only encouraged him to catch me.

The rest of the hike was unexpectedly beautiful.  I walked through the Russian Wilderness and felt immediately like I was back in Kings Canyon National Park in the Sierras, but looking down from a ridge instead of looking up from the canyon.  As the sun was setting, we hiked up to round a ridge and snapped pictures of one of the best sunsets on the trail.

That night I wanted to keep hiking - both to beat my previous hiking record of 30 miles/day and to get as close to Etna as I could.  Fall Risk suggested we get within five miles so we could wake up and hike in for breakfast.  I agreed and we continued hiking past dark, finally laying down our sleeping bags at a creek just past Paynes Lake.

Fall Risk, Action Pack and Jubel watching the sun set


Post a Comment

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!