It is with great happiness that I can use this classic John Muir quote: “fuck the desert, we’re in the Sierra.”
- I’m past mile 700 and almost a month in, officially making this the longest backpacking trip I’ve done.
- My feet have grown again. I’m ordering some new shoes to Tuolumne.
- yay Kennedy Meadows
- if you enjoy any specific high calorie “junk food” that can be procured at common gas stations and grocery stores, let me know. I’m in need of more carbohydrates and need suggestions
Other bits:I had to split with part of my trail family (#tramily). Potable and Rattlesnake (the ultra runner) decided to bust out back to back 36es to reach Onyx so that Potable could grab new shoes from his friends. I’ll probably see them again in the Sierra or in Oregon.
Popcorn and I will probably continue into the Sierra for a few more days before she jumps off to bag Mt. Whitney. She then has to hit Mammoth to head off trail for a few days for a wedding in Boulder. So it looks like I’ll have to find a new tramily soon. But more importantly, Popcorn’s tent has been appropriately named Reese Witherspoon.
I met a fantastic dude named DinoMan who is hiking with a dinosaur named Terrance. You can follow the dinosaur’s adventures and iconic photo shoots at Tbonehikes on Instagram. DinoMan decided to bust out his first 40 the other day. He had never done over 25 before that, but it apparently went okay. He’s taking 5 zeroes in Kennedy Meadows to wait for his friend Moonguy to catch up.
Trail thoughts: The trail is a magical guide that teaches you about happiness, the desert, torment, dehydration, silliness, the desert, generosity, hardship, friendship, and the desert to name a few things.
As luck would have it, you can trust absolutely no one on the trail. When people say something like, “this next section is great for some high mileage days,” what they actually might mean is: the next section will climb 6000 feet in 105 degree weather and be very exposed, so some people push high miles to get out of it quickly. If ever someone tells you that trail magic is up ahead, you should probably assume it’s a lie.
Of all the curiosities on the trail, I think trail angels and the magic they provide are worth a pretty in-depth look and probably deserving of a photo documentary (Jenna, get on this?). It’s too bad the angel crew is gonna drop pretty substantially until sometime Oregon. Might be the only thing I’ll miss about the desert.
Many of the trail angels are the same folks that would vote for Trump and say things like, “one must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps”. However, these same folks are some of the most amazingly generous, kind, and giving people I’ve run across out here. They’ll post their phone numbers for hikers to call to ask for rides around town, or a shower, or a yard to sleep in. They’ll camp out at roads in the desert for days to provide hikers with fanta, beer, and free grilled cheese sandwiches. They’ll run into town to grab some ice cream to hand out to hikers at a water cache. It’s amazing how much these folks freely gift (in time and food!) all to make thru-hikes a little easier or more magical and they expect nothing in return.
Lies thru-hikers tell themselves:–
- pushing a 40 today is a great idea!
- I don’t need to get that injury checked out- it’s not too hot…
- I don’t even want trail magic at the next road
- I’m really not that dirty!
- I can’t even feel my backpack it’s so light!
- the desert is a beautiful place to hike!!
- I’ll definitely take a trail zero after this
- that last section was pretty fun!
- I’m not losing weight