Another hot day in Seiad Valley — 101 today, and they’re calling for 108 tomorrow! I think I’m hiking out of here tonight. Getting out of Seiad Valley means climbing 5000 vertical feet in this heat. The saving grace is I’m just passed mile 1627 which means almost exactly 1000 miles left to go, well 999. I should hit the Oregon border in three days, can’t wait! I understand that the terrain is much more forgiving.
A little over three months and 1440 miles into it I’ve quit thinking about time and miles traveled. I am currently at Burney Falls California, and excited about heading for the Oregon border. Starting today, I will go off trail for a week to celebrate Landon’s birthday, visit with Dawson, and spend a little time with Robin at the Targee music festival. Although walking 25 miles a day has become the norm and very comfortable, I felt that I was treating this like a race rather than just enjoying the journey. I want to shift my focus, not get caught up in the frenzy and appreciate the landscape and the people I meet on the trail. I love the folks I have been crossing paths with since virtually the beginning, the bubble, and will be sad to plug in a week behind everyone, but that just means I’ll have a whole new group of people I get to meet. Also I want to give a shout out to my friend Art from Breckenridge who just spent the last week hiking with me across the Hat Creek rim, reputedly to be one of the hardest sections of the trail but was actually quite enjoyable. Although I’m just a short ways past the halfway mark, I can feel the end is within my reach. It is odd but the thought of finishing this amazing journey comes with mixed emotions. I don’t feel at all anxious to have it over, but will be forever grateful for the experience.
Day 72, Mile 1,200, almost 1/2 way. I keep waiting for the less interesting or less beautiful section of this trail but it just keeps getting better. The last part from Tahoe to Sierra City is less steep and more forested, the wild flowers are at their prime and the forest fragrance reminds me of my days in Yosemite. All is working well and I’m feeling great if not a little hot. 105 in Belden for the next few days. I’m planning to night hike some of this section to beat the heat. A great surprise was my friends Jill and Mark McIntire driving into the trailhead at Truckee just when I arrived.
Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there and happy Summer solstice, the longest day of the year. The last section of trail from Toulome Meadows to Echo lake has been unquestionably one of the most beautiful sections of trail. Fields of wildflowers carpet the hillside and small streams and waterfalls are everywhere. The trail is lined with giant junipers and Red fur reaching into the clear blue sky. After a few days of rest and recuperation with my friends and Robin at Lake Tahoe I’m ready to head on to Northern California, looking north to the Oregon border. In about 200 miles I will of reached the halfway point, a
I finally made it to Yosemite! Really raining hard the last few days and getting some at night as well. I hiked over Donahue pass today, which I think is the last pass over 11,000 ft. The whole last section through the JMT was truly more beautiful than one can take in. Although it was really hard I will miss the intense beauty of the place. This next section, Yosemite to Tahoe is something I have wanted to do all of my life and my friend Tom Mulholand will join me for the next 150 miles. It will be great to have someone to hike with.
I’m taking a couple of much needed zero days after a rather challenging hike through the John Muir Trail. Upon leaving lone Pine, we had serious questions about the conditions in the high Sierra so I picked up a pair of crampons and hoped for the best. When I got to the west side of Whitney I decided to take the 14 mile diversion up a very snow-covered route to the top of Whitney. The remainder of the hike on the JMT was the prettiest, if not the most challenging section so far. Each day we faced a 12,000 or 13,000 foot snow covered pass to get over. This is the highest part of the entire PCT. I ended up using The crampons in the more exposed sections and was frequently post holeing through mid thigh snow. In the next few days I will be traveling through very familiar country, walking back into my beloved Yosemite, it feels like coming home.