Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 20: June 13, 2012

June 13, 2012.

Day: 20    Daily Miles: 38.25    Total Miles: 857   Hours Hiking: 16.5   6:15am-10:45pm

Listen to the audio journal above or Download June 13th Audio File Here

Day 20
Atop the 'Golden Staircase'.

June 13th, Day 20. I made 38.25 miles. Just about 1.5 miles from the Muir Trail Trance or Muir Ranch turn off at mile 857, at point 0335912E 4121206N. I stopped at about 10:45pm or so. Lets see. There was...uhh yeah... It was an average-ish day I'd say. Mid-day I was totally hating life{Hah}. Although it was really pretty. I had to go up a huge up, but uhh. Lets see. Well I'm at 857 miles, If I had made it to 860, that would mean I'm averaging 43 miles a day on the nose even now overall. So I'm just slightly under 43 miles a day on day 20, that's including most of the Sierras too. So, that's even still ahead of the record, so good job me. It sucks. I started off towards - just over Mather pass by about 1-1.5 miles or so, more or less at tree line. I got up pretty early actually, I left by about 6:15am. The Palisade lakes and stuff were really pretty. The Golden Staircase - I was hitting that with the valley below completely light, but I was more in the shadow, so I think I got some good photos of that. There were a bunch of deer here and there hiding out in the willows and things. Let's see, anything remarkable? No, pretty much an easy down, just uhhh, weaving your way down the valley. Then I hit the ummm, is it the Kings River? Shoot, whatever. There is a trail intersection when you start 
Few miles before Middle Fork Kings River.
heading up next to a river towards Muir Pass, which is a looonng up. Well the majority of the first part isn't so bad. There are a few steeper sections that get ya, but getting to the pass itself with no snow is a pain. That trail just winds all over the place. I mean with snow at least you can cut a straight path, sure it'd be a little steeper, but is much faster. When you finally get up to where the snow starts again - there wasn't much on trail per se, but it was kind of a mix of mud and water on trail, so it was not as fast as basically walking across snow because you're dodging 3 inches of water and mud, then you hit a patch of soft snow and post hole. So there are some disadvantages to having it be 'snow free'. I got up to the hut at about 2:30pm or so. I mean I pretty much saw no one all day. I saw 3 people at that trail intersection at the Kings river...no the San Joaquin River?? Shoot, I don't know. One of those rivers. I don't pay attention to my maps anymore. Then I passed 2 people on the way to the top, up Muir Pass. That was it for the first half of that day. I ate lunch, took a bunch of pictures {at Muir Hut}, and then strode off across the snow less plain dodging the trail which was a creek in most places, down towards Sapphire and Evolution Basins, or the Evolution Lakes. I saw 4 other people there that had just popped up and over from the East side of the Sierra. I'm assuming by Bishop, over Sapphire Pass I believe. They were pretty stoked. I kept on truckin', but had to take a break. I was definitely pondering why the hell I'm doing this. I just get tired, I am tired and hungry. I've noticed that I've lost a lot of 
Climbing up to Muir Pass.
weight. At first my pants were tight - I mean they could have loosened up over the use of 20 days, the elastic and such, but now I have to use a belt. I mean they don't just fall off me, but they are loose. I have no butt. There is literally nothing there. I can feel the back side of my hips when I reach around my back, which is...I don't know, it's not right. It's nothing I've ever noticed before, and it might be there normally, but it's definitely more prominent. So yeah, I sat down for probably about 10 minutes and just tried to get it though my head - what am I doing, how far do I have to go, what's going on, blah ba blah ba blah. We'll see. I might get off, might try and make it to the half way point, I think the half way point would be a good jumping off point, ya know it's half the trail, it's a set place, it's not like it's just bailing out. We'll see. After I got up after that, I felt a little OK. It was all downhill from Muir Pass, or mostly, there was the flat part. Down past Evolution Lakes, down towards the Evolution Valley, I met or passed like 6 more people. Once down into the Evolution Valley, ohh man the mosquitoes were bad. They were even bad on the downhill. So I just kinda booked it. I listened to 
Muir Hut at Muir Pass.
my audio book "Hyperion" and didn't really pay attention to much. I got to the creek crossing, Evolution Creek crossing, it was soo low. It didn't even come up to my knees. So that's like 2 - 2.5 feet maybe. But I stopped there and the mosquitoes were so bad!!! For the 30 seconds it took me to strip off my gaiters, socks and shoes from both feet, I had to smack my legs multiple times, and each time I probably killed 10 mosquitoes. I got across, and tied to make it to the point where I have that one photo of Evolution Creek at sunset, and I think I was probably 10-20 minutes too late to miss the same exact same conditions I got in 2009, which I was bummed about. Because it would have been nice to get it with my new camera, or my point and shoot, because it has a slightly wider lens. But O'well. I 
Evolution creek just after the crossing.
got down to the bottom of there and kinda trucked along the flats next to the river until it was dark and I was tied and hungry and I didn't feel like trying to make it to my 860, which was my goal. So I ended 3 miles short. O'well. I still made it 38, which is still 2 miles over what I had expected/planned. So on schedule definitely. I'm supposedly going to have to pick it up from Reds Meadows to Tuolumne, I guess my schedule says I'm supposed to do 45, but I don't care {laughs}. So now my plan is to basically do at least 2 more 38's that means it's a 10 into Tuolumne in the next morning. Otherwise I'd have to do 2 42.5 and make it there late at night, camp, then wait until like 9 in the morning to get the post office. So, that wouldn't be bad to sleep in, but I don't think I can do 2 42's. So I might as well just do a 38, get close to Reds Meadows so I can get up early and get through the possible detour and construction shit and bust out a relatively good day and camp out above the mosquito valley on top of Donahue Pass and book it in, in the morning.
Lake Helen before just before Muir Pass.