Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Day 24: June 17, 2012

June 17, 2012.

Day: 24    Daily Miles: 47   Total Miles: 1023.5   Hours Hiking: 17   5:45am-10:50pm

Listen to the audio journal above or Download June 17th Audio File Here

Day 24
Good Morning.

June 17th. This is just a middle of the day report. I just recorded yesterdays. Approaching mile 20 some-odd. 22 I think at Dorthy Lake. It's hot. It's watch says 80 degrees and I've been exposed for the last 9 miles. Probably at about 9,000 some-odd feet. The day started off with the two climbs I remembered from 2009, that I just detested. Granted I don't think was feeling good that day. But, It's like walking through mosquito soup and uphill, then dropping down to a creek, and then repeating it for another hill. So I did that early. I actually got up at 5 some-odd o'clock and left at about 5:40am. So an early start. I think that's why I feel like shit today. But an overlying theme has definitely been my legs just feel like they don't have any power left. Flat walking or downhill, fine. Anything with an uphill, they just start hurting and I have to go slow. Granted, a lot of these things are stupid steps, which are the absolute worst. Like, if it was a slanted trail, I could probably go OK, but they put in these rocks or they kind of stack rocks in a ramp, like 2 inches of height difference between one rock to the next and about 3 inches in depth. I don't know what the hell they were thinking, as you can't just walk up them. You have to pick a lip and try and stand on sucks. 
Wilmer Lake (or Wilma Lake).
But, yeah, I'm trying to make it up to Bond Pass by Dorthy Lake, then it's like a 10 mile down, so that'll bring me to about 30 miles. Then I have to hike my ass all the way up to the crest, 10 miles away from Sonora Pass. Which once on top it's fairly easy going, but then there's another big climb {after Sonora Pass}. But, I don't know, I'm trying to figure out ways to get energy back into my legs, but it's just not happening. So we'll see. Those mosquitoes have been awful. I don't know how may bites I've gotten. I've been putting on Deet and been pretty vigilant with feeling them and smacking them off. But you just can't win when there's a cloud around you at all times. Oh yeah, yesterday, one of my headphones decided to die, so now I've got one ear only. I can call somebody and get another pair sent in. Today started off good, and now it's just dragging. It's 12:45pm and I feel like I just want to nap forever. But that's nothing new. Nap forever and eat everything in the world. Those are the two things I want to do right now. Yeah, definitely. These days are sooo long and the nights are soo short. But we'll see how I feel towards the end of the day. Once I get up to this pass and have some downhill and I know I'll like it once I'm on the crest. So yeah, whahhh and boo hoo.
Atop the big climb up the Sierra Crest 10 miles before Sonora Pass.

Leaving Yosemite National Park, looking south.
June 17th. Day 24. I got to mile 1023.5 for a grand total of 47 miles yesterday. I stopped ohh about a mile or 1.5 miles down from the Wolf Creek Pass {I meant Wolf Creek Lake Saddle}, which was about 4 miles away from Sonora Pass and Highway 108. That point is 0270354E 4249897N. I hiked until about 10:50pm. About 20 minutes longer than I wanted. But that was because it was super windy at the pass and for about a mile or 1.5 there was absolutely zero camping. It was all just these streams and really steep slope and things. I found a great spot and proceeded to rapidly set up camp, make dinner and pass out. So, If you have listened to the previous entry for today, I had an OK first couple hours and then, kind of late morning to early afternoon was just bad. I was moving slow, it was hot, and I was just in a bad state of mind. That's how it persisted. Basically I woke up, left early, it was about 5:40am when I got on trail. I had the two ups-and-downs that I remembered from 2009, hated back then and I knew they were full of mosquitoes, and just steep and you 
Starting up the climb to reach the Sierra Crest. Ugh.
go up, drop down and then repeat. So, I got those out of the way early, by like 9 o'clock I was covered in sweat because the sun was on me, and I had finally finished the uphill climb, then coming down to the next valley with - still those clouds of mosquitoes. Then it was 10 miles up to Dorthy Lake, which was the lake just before the pass, where you drop down and wind your way about, until you have to make the big climb up to the ridge - the volcanic ridge that takes you over to Sonora Pass. So I just trudged along, trudged along, trudged along, those 9 miles to Dorthy Lake. It's hiking in this sloping valley, not too hard, just mosquitoes and you're in the sun a lot. And of course, my legs yesterday did not want to do anything, so any little hill was hard. I have realized though, that I had stopped using my trekking pole really. They were just kind of an appendage that was useless. When I started using them again, by actually putting weight on them like when I'm going up a hill and using my arms, my legs were much happier. So, throughout the rest of the day once I figured that out, my legs got a bit of a reprieve and I shared the burden which was awesome! At Dorthy Lake, I met two hikers. They were just hanging out at the lake because it is a beautiful spot. I hung out, had lunch. I had actually previously devoured the 1/2 lbs hot pocket I brought from Tuolumne the day previous. 
Old PCT sign at the top of the Sierra Crest climb.
So yesterday was a good day for calories. I probably put on an extra 1000-2000 cal, not probably around 2000 cal. more than normal. I chatted with them a bit then took off. Up and over the pass, it was nice and sunny and beautiful. Water everywhere. A few puffy clouds. Mosquitoes lessening. Then a little ways down, I passed the 1,000 mile mark. Which, lets see, I crossed the 1000 miles at 23 days 8 hours and 33 minutes I believe. I have it on my GPS point. I calculated it out for the entire trail, at that speed, using the time for 1000 miles, I would finish if I kept up that same pace at 62 days and roughly 8 hours. So 62.333 days. Which ya know is breaking the record, not quite what I want, but that is including the Sierras, so it's good, I'm happy about that fact. So I kept going and I kinda switched into a much much better state of mind. Basically I just started charging and kept going and didn't stop....There's a creek here, so it might be really loud... It's just, yeah, ya know... I went into my, hunched down {for the uphill} and into quick mode, which was awesome because I just powering through stuff. I know I was going over 3.5 mph. And I just kept 
Sierra Crest before Sonora Pass HDR.
going, I knew I needed to make it up Sonora, up onto the ridge and make it down the backside to the actual highway before it got dark, because I did not want to do it in the dark because it's steep and things. Beautiful evening walking the ridge. It was windy, probably in places 30-40 mph winds. I actually crossed the most snow I've crossed yet within probably a 1/4 mile back there, which was amazing. {Meaning I crossed more snow in 1/4 mile on the Sonora Crest than in the entire high Sierra}. There is tons of water from the melting snow patches. Then again, it was just beautiful. I just, just started dropping of the ridge as the sun finally sunk behind, it looked like the coast range actually. I could see mountains for ever and ever and ever. I finished the climb at 6pm. I was up on top at 9-10,000 ft or whatever. I was feeling really good, still charged, then I took half a caffeine pill, which was an interesting thing because I was already pretty psyched up. Ya know, it was almost a little too much. It kind of made me sporadic, I definitely started talking to myself a bunch. It made me really happy, don't get me wrong, it was awesome. It just made me a little jittery, kinda like I was a little high, I don't know exactly how to explain it. It finally wore off. Right as I got to Sonora Pass, someone 
Sonora Pass just after sunset. Thx for the beer trail magic!
had left a 12-pack of beer, Budweiser. Thank you Triple H. I grabbed one and I drank it and it relaxed me for the big steep climb up to Wolf Creek Lake Pass. So it was a good night actually. I'm glad I hiked up the pass, because I did not want to do it in the morning. It would have been bad this morning, it was steep. And at night, steepness - you feel it but you don't see it so it's not as bad. Yeah, I think that's about it. I'm about 70 miles away from Echo Lake. Tomorrow I'm going to try and make it 40 some-odd miles over towards Molly's Nipple, which would put me in great position to hit the Echo Lake Camp midday. I gotta call Scott and figure out what he's all up too. So yeah, PEACE!
Evening on the Sierra Crest before dropping down to Sonora Pass at Hwy 108.