Twig Adventures

Day 93: Into the desert

October 6th, 2018 Walker Pass mm 652 to mm 620 Distance: 32 miles 0730 – 1830 After packing the calories and having a great visit with Josh and his family, it was time to get back on the trail. I had some trepidations about this section, since it is the driest and I am still unarmed with the croudsourced commentary from guthooks. I looked into buying the desert section of the app but the way things are divided, I would also have to buy the Sierra section to cover just the trail from Walker Pass to Tehachapi. I just downloaded the old-fashioned water report instead. It is a pdf that someone maintains weekly/monthly based off reports from other hikers. They[…]

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Day 92: Ridgecrest Zero & PCT Party

October 5th, 2018 Zero day Distance: NONE! Josh drove me around all day and it was awesome. I felt a bit guilty about taking another zero after just taking one in Bishop, but I can justify it when I need the calories. I weighed myself when I got in and I was at 121 lbs. A day later, the scale was saying I picked up 3 lbs! It doesn’t surprise me, since I stuffed my face all day. Josh was very kind to drive me around for all my errands. I went to Walgreens, Dollar General, a barber, the post office, and the grocery store. We stopped to have lunch at a Chinese buffet. He had to wait for me[…]

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Day 91: Walker Pass and Ridgecrest

October 4th, 2018 Mm 673 to Walker Pass mm 652 Distance: 21 miles 0620 – 1830 I woke up in a fog, not speaking figuratively but literally. It hadn’t rained overnight but everything was damp and the peaks were all enshrouded by clouds. I rolled up my tent along with half the desert that was stuck to the bottom of it. I love carrying around extra weight in detritus. I quickly hiked below the cloud line and enjoyed views of the sun hitting the peaks in the distance. The mist that was clinging to the nearby peaks reminded me of a scene from the cloud forests of Monte Verde, Costa Rica, not Southern California. But in general, these hills have[…]

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Day 90: 700 miles to go

October 3rd, 2018 Road walk from Kennedy Meadows general store, then mm 702 to mm 673 Distance: 29 miles plus 1 mile from the store 0720 – 1830 My rooster alarm went off at 5:40 am but I was already awake and eating breakfast. What a cheeky little guy. He wanted to get his revenge on me but didn’t realize just how early I get up. Nice try! Poor Stellar was still waiting on his resupply box to arrive, so I had to bid him farewell. I will probably see him later since I planned to take some time off in Ridgecrest. I left with Bella and Cuba. It was nice to walk with them and I was surprised to[…]

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Day 89: Kennedy Meadows South

October 2nd, 2018 Mm 728 to mm 702 and then road walk to Kennedy Meadows general store Distance: 26 miles plus 1 mile to the store 0620 – 1500 The 3 month stretch of no rain was finally broken. It rained pretty hard around 4 am. I had to put my tent flaps down. At least the rain stopped before we had to pack up. Later, it was like it hadn’t even rained. It had been so dry that all the plants and ground soaked up every drop. There was no mud, puddles, or running water anywhere. With the clouds and rain came a very fresh scent. I daresay I enjoyed it all, staying warm and dry in my tent.[…]

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Day 88: The final push through the Sierra

October 1st, 2018 Mm 759.5 to mm 728 Distance: 31.5 miles 0630 – 1830 It was incredible how easy 30 miles felt when not having to climb steep, high passes today. After about 2.5 weeks, I began the descent from the high Sierra. The day started off very cold and it took until about noon to really warm up. I was watching the clouds building all day. Ever since last Thursday, we had been hearing about a weather system (remnants of a hurricane) that was supposed to come in today, bringing rain and snow. I couldn’t believe my luck in just getting beyond the last high pass and also climbing Whitney. I had the most perfect weather throughout the Sierra.[…]

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Day 87: Mt Whitney

September 30th, 2018 Crabtree Meadow to mm 759.5 Distance: 7 PCT miles plus 16 miles on Whitney Spur Trail 0300 – 1630 Today was the big day: climb the highest mountain in the the contiguous US at nearly 14,500′. Last summer, I summited the second tallest mountain, Mt Elbert, off the Colorado Trail. It is only about 50 feet shy of Mt. Whiney, but who’s counting? I was awake and making coffe by 2:30 am. We were on the trail by 3:25 but got a little delayed in trying to find a bear box in the dark. We left some of our stuff in there. The trail was easy to follow; in fact, we barely used our headlamps the whole[…]

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Day 86: PCT Highpoint – Forester Pass

September 29th, 2018 Kearsarge Lakes to Crabtree Meadow Distance: 21.5 PCT miles plus 2 miles on Kearsarge Pass trail and 1 mile on Whitney Spur Trail 0645 – 1630 I got a later start than Stellar and finally caught up to him at the top of Forester Pass. We only had to do this one and final big pass today, the highest point on the PCT at 13,200′. I had to stop a few times on the way up, as I was feeling pretty low energy. It was probably the weight of my pack dragging me down. The pass wasn’t any harder than the others, just a bit higher. Looking back at the pass…it goes up through the grove in[…]

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Day 84 & 85: Bishop Zero and Nero

September 27th & 28th, 2018 Independence to Bishop, then back, then up to Onion Valley Trailhead and over Kearsarge Pass. Distance: 6 miles, plus a whole lot of cycling and walking around town I’m combining these two days for simplicity. I spent most of the time in Bishop. My one goal for this town time was to eat as much as possible to regain my strength, and I did a pretty good job. I started the first day with a big breakfast at the hotel, followed by a pizza for lunch and sushi rolls for dinner. I had really been dreaming of sushi and hot sake for some reason and the town just happened to have a Japanese restaurant. I[…]

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Day 83: Three Passes

September 26th, 2018 Lake Marjorie mm 809 to mm 789 and then out on a spur trail to Onion Valley Trailhead Distance: 20 miles plus 7.6 miles on Kearsarge Pass trail. 0615 – 1830 Since we barely had any food left, I joked that we would have to eat passes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But they about ate me! First up over Pinchot Pass was pretty easy, as we only had about 1000′ of climbing and were feeling fresh in the morning. The early sunlight on the red belt of mountains was fantastic, especially with the full moon over one of the peaks. There have been so many of these dramatic views. We stopped to take some fun pictures.[…]

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