Friday, June 1, 2012

Days 42-43 - Zeros Before the Mountains

Seven hundred miles down, less than 2000 to go.  I'm nearing the end of zero-day number two in Kennedy Meadows.  Yesterday I didn't do much besides get my boxes and update the blog.  Today I hashed out a schedule for the next couple weeks of hiking.  I'll leave tomorrow, not sure what time, probably late morning or in the evening.

My pack will be heavy.  I'll have 6 days of food in my bear canister and another 5-6 in bags in my pack.  For the next 300 miles I'll have to have all food and trash in the canister or in a box, I can also hang it in some places if there isn't a box.  I'm planning on going all the way through the Sierras without taking a side trail out midway, so I need 11-12 days of food starting out.  My current plan will allow me to carry more food than the canister can hold by camping near bear boxes or in areas where I can hang it.

Last year the Sierras had record snow; this year the snow is below average, already at August levels in places.  I'm sure that will make it not quite as scenic, but also not quite as slow-going as it normally is.  I'll reach the side-trail to Mt Whitney in a few days and take one day to climb up it, hoping to do it early and have clear weather.

Most of the hikers here are camped at Tom's place.  He's got a big area with several trailers, space to camp, a trailer with computers and a phone and a bunch of hammocks.  The general store is just a couple hundred yards up the road.  There has been food either at Tom's or the store for breakfast, lunch and dinner; sometimes I'll eat at both places.  I got a shower at the store and did laundry today.

I'm not sure who I'll hike out of here with.  I've reunited with a bunch of people I'd been hiking with: Stride, Opus, Castle, Dayman, Dayhiker, Super Girl, Cool Ranch, Capitan, Cosmo, Karate Kid, John Wayne and a bunch more, old and new.  I'll try to go all the way to Mammoth with Stride (if her resupply box comes tomorrow).  Not many others are planning on going through without a town stop.

Today I also worked on regaining some lost calories.  Breakfast at Tom's was pancakes, bacon, sausage and eggs.  Second breakfast was more pancakes.  Lunch was several sodas and a double cheeseburger at the store, followed by a pint of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.  Dinner was peanuts, chips and salsa and chili dogs followed by another pint of ice cream.  Combine that with the lack of physical activity today and I just might gain back a pound or two of the 10-12 I've lost so far.  I'll lose it again quickly over the next two weeks.  Most hikers end the Sierras at their lowest trail weight, due to the difficulty and distance.  So I don't feel too bad about laying here in a hammock, digesting around 450% of my daily recommended saturated fat; I'll burn it all off tomorrow. 

Here's some pictures of us hanging out on the big porch at the store.


  1. I have never known you to be a big eater so the amount of food you are consuming now is surprising. Hope I don't have to keep up with that kind of cooking once your get back home. Hope you have a great time in the Sierras and look forward to your posts once you make it through.

  2. Well I suppose those of us who were not knowledgeable about the PCT now realize that this PCT adventure isn't nearly as lonely as we had imagined. It is a major social event that requires a bit of hiking in between. Well maybe more than a 'bit'! Soon you'll all be planning for your ten-year reunion :) How many gals are among the bunch of hikers you have been crossing paths with? I admire them for keeping up this 20-30 miles per day pace. Hope we get to meet several of these hikers when we come to the trail later this summer. Hey, maybe I will get to be a trail angel after all :)