Archive for the ‘The Great Outdoors’ Category

Muir Ranch

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

8/1/13 – 107 miles
I wrote this post three weeks ago and had no signal after that:

We made it to Muir Ranch. This trail is not easy. The grades may be better than a lot of places on the AT but they go on and on for a long time, combine that with thin air at 12,000 feet and you will get quite a workout!

The scenery through these mountain is so beautiful, that with each pass we climb and meadow we come to, all we can do is stare and say “Wow!”

We were originally planning to stay here for two day but the second half of our trip will be even more strenuous than the first and we will need every day to reach our next resupply.

There is still a lot of smoke in the area. For two days we have stayed ahead of the drifting grey cloud but it has caught us again and shrouded the mountains above. As we get further south, it should clear.

Last night we had quite a concern. A helicopter kept flying up the valley below where we were camped and dropping water into the woods where we would hike the next day. We found out later that a tree struck by lightning was burning and the helicopter and ground crew put it out this morning.

Good food here, showers, and a bed to sleep in. Tomorrow we will enter Kings Canyon NP. I’m not sure when I will get to post this.


Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

7/29/13 60 miles
In the morning we filled our bear-canisters with our supply boxes and packed wet tents from a heavy dew. Heavy tents and heavy food make for heavy packs so we set sight for a shorter day.

The walk was uneventful for most of the day. We climbed 11 miles up a gentle path, through a burned out and wind damaged forest, eventually reaching tall pines on a steep slope above 10,000 feet. The views were mostly obscured by smoke from a recent five that is contained but still smoldering. The smoke was constantly in our nostrils and clouded out everything past a couple hundred feet. We are supposed to be by the worst of it tomorrow.

Tonight we are camped at Duck Creek. It is a nice wooded campsite with a roaring river nearby and plenty of level sites for our four tents. So far we are the only ones here. Everyone is bundling in early – at this altitude it gets cold at night.

I have learned that the fire is not contained but we should be safe where we are going.

Reds Meadows

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

7/28/13 – 70 miles
Today we walked 13 miles, the longest day yet. It was tiring but tolerable because most of the afternoon into Reds Meadows was a gentle downhill.

We were afraid that all the good campsites at Reds would be gone so we decided to send our fastest hikers on ahead to secure a site while the rest could take their time. Deadeye and N were chosen to go on ahead of the group and they took off like scalded dogs. On the last five miles into the resort they hit a blistering 4 mph, taking only 1 hour, 15 minutes to cover the distance.

N tells the story of part of their high-speed walk: “I was trying to keep up with Deadeye and starting to get awful thirsty. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t stop for water. Then I realized he was drinking out of his damn water bladder – he didn’t need to stop. I finaly got close enough to stop him so I could get a drink.”

They secured one of the last remaining sites and we all enjoyed hamburgers and showers before turning in. As usual everything at a backcountry resort is expensive – it cost $9 to take a shower.

1/4 Through

Saturday, July 27th, 2013

The Amazing Troverts

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

7/22/13 – 7 miles
Congratulations to the Troverts for summiting Half Dome. Suuz made it to the base of the cables – quite an accomplishment in itself. Deadeye and I only hiked a couple of miles and staked claim to a campsite at Clouds Rest campsite.

It has been a little cooler as we climb higher each day. Tomorrow we will be above 7000′ and the day after close to 9000′. We have had some sprinkles this afternoon as thunderstorms roll through the area.

My battery is very low. Deadeye’s solar charger has not had enough sun to charge me today. Hopefully, tomorrow will be better or no signal.