Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Day 23: June 16, 2012

June 16, 2012.

Day: 23    Daily Miles: 38.5   Total Miles: 967.5   Hours Hiking: 15.5   7:10am-10:30pm

Listen to the audio journal above or Download June 16th Audio File Here

Day 23
North end of the Tuolumne Meadows area.

June 16th, Day 23. I managed to get 38.5 miles with a resupply and starting about an hour late at 7am. I stopped just about a half mile down from Seavey Pass at point 0278838E 4214226N. Ohh where to begin. Overall summary of the day: started out pretty well, was OK, wasn't too hard and then the evening and night were hard and terrible and full of mosquitoes. Basically it kinda just ended, like my legs just don't have any energy whatsoever. But lets start at the beginning. I slept in a little bit because I knew the store didn't open until 8am. I left, I was about 4 miles from the store at Tuolumne Meadows. I left at about 7:15am or something, and flat walking, real easy. I got to the store at 8:30am. There were 4 thru-hikers there that were waiting around until the next day to get passes to climb Half Done - Bone Collector, Tank, I forget the other one and the one that's just kinda doing sections with them, she had already hiked the PCT, named Orbit. They seemed pretty cool. I immediately went in and bought a pint of ice cream, two boxes of Chips Ahoy, what else...I bought a microwave burrito and extra large hot pocket. Those two items are to take with me for my lunches {extra 
Just after Miller Lake.
calories and a treat while in the wilderness!} . So I worked on...well I talked to the clerk, who said "oh yeah, I can get your package". So I got my package as well, before the post office was actually open at around 8:30am. So I went outside and started unpacking my box into my pack, eating my ice cream, chatting with the other hikers and stuffed my cookies away. Then went back into the store and bought a couple It-Its, one for myself and two for the others to split, and a Cobra, 16oz. Which, after about 3 months of not actually having any alcohol and being at about 8,000ft, it kicked in pretty well. I felt good, gave mom and dad a call, got the voice mail and left a message. Gave Pi a call and chatted with him for about 10 minutes or so. I went back in to see if I wanted anything else from the store, since it would be one of my last chances. I bought and avocado, ate that, and pretty much got up and left. The first ohh half a day after that is not very hard. Fairly flat, not a whole lot of going up. I mean you're kind of in a valley for a lot of it. Then finally, towards the end, well the afternoon, late afternoon, you start having to drop down into valleys and then pop back out of the valleys into the next valley. It's pretty warm actually, like in the 80's, which I don't know, it feels like it's taking an extra bit out of me. I definitely know I'm tired from my 6 day run of the Sierras, the high Sierras that is. I 
Near Matterhorn Canyon Trail junction.
know the elevation is still kicking my ass. I don't know if it has anything to do possibly with my sickle cell trait. That I've pretty much been above 9,000 ft for a good week or so now, which means definitely a lot of my red blood cells are going to be sickled, {approximately 6% of my blood at 9,000ft, probably more due to the extreme exercise involved}. Hence, that I'm not going to be getting as speedy of oxygen delivery, because I have less of them {healthy red blood cells} to deliver oxygen. Plus the fact that I've only been up at altitude for a week, so acclimatization and the making more red blood cells have been slow to happen. So yeah, the ups and downs, I have to keep forcing myself to keep moving. It's one of those - it feels like my legs are just dead, I mean completely dead. They...I'll hit a little like 30ft climb after just come from flats and my legs will, after about 10ft will start burning. And I wish I knew what to do about it, because, ya know, I fight through it, fight through it, and after a little while the burning goes away, but they just don't move at all. So, it's one of those, I kinda just have to keep going slow up any hill pretty much, and there are a lot of fucking hills. The misquotes started getting bad
Neat 'stairs' climbing to Wilson Creek.
 at whatever pass that was {Benson Pass}...I forgot, it's over by Smedberg Lake. And from then on, the mosquitoes haven't let up. Even until the next day, I'm almost probably about 3 miles south of Dorthy Lake, and they still just swarm you. I have about two applications of Deet left, so I'm using it sparingly. But anyways, up and over the pass by Smedberg Lake, TERRIBLE misquotes. I managed to plow through them in the evening and had another big up to Seavey Pass. Whooh, that was really hard. My legs just don't want to work, even at the end of a 38. Ya know at the end of the day they were just done. But, I managed to climb it in the dark. Ya know, it was one of those passes - this section I just remember as being awful, I don't think I felt very good last time. It is, it's pretty fucking awful. Today isn't much better either. So I knew, I remembered portions of it that I didn't like, so I wanted to get passed most of those. I at least got passed one of those obstacles and stopped hiking at about 10:30pm I think, just on the other side of the pass. That was it, no mosquitoes until the morning. They were dormant overnight, so I slept out, cowboyed it. But I don't know... I'm really feeling wrecked. That's a lot of today speaking as well. I could definitely feel it yesterday evening. My body just doesn't want to go. So we'll see where this ends up. I should be at Sonora Pass sometime tomorrow.
Day 22 Panorama - Climbing up to Donohue Pass.