Some thoughts before departure...

  • I am still not a vet, doctor, lawyer, dog trainer, cia agent, fbi agent or a navy seal so...walk
  • I am doing this for the challenge of course, and I hope to gain a confidence that comes with this type of endeavor. But also I hope to gain some new knowledge about the world and the truths that reside in it.
  • Am I walking to "find myself"? Or just to take a walk. You decide...and you'll probably be right.
  • I'm not in the best shape of my life, but I do have a lot of new great gear so....
  • After living with my parents the last 2 years, it makes perfect sense to walk 2650 miles - alone.
  • Yes there will be bears, cougars, rattlesnakes and scorpions both imagined and real along the way. I'm definitely more worried about those imagined.
  • Am I scared? Not as of yet, more of just a constantly increasing anticipation. But check back with me on the 3rd night in the desert.
  • I tried to keep my pack fairly light, but I definitely would not call it ultralight. Somehow when I added up all my ultralight gear and put it in my ultralight pack, I ended up with just slightly heavy.
  • My biggest concern for this trip is that I get too hungry somewhere along the way, my brain goes awol as it usually does when I get hungry and subsequently you never hear from me again...I'll try to eat frequently.
  • I am not Christopher McCandless. This is not Into the Wild.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What's the guide book say about this?

Day 46, Mile 710ish
This morning was fairly regular, the afternoon the same, this evening- not so much. Today we got packed and Grizz drove us back to the Kennedy meadows general store for some last minute things. We got back on trail about an hour later then planned around 3. I would like to write about how my new shoes feel, about the new gear i have for this leg or the hopes i have for the sierra's; but there is a more pressing matter. The fire info board at the general store informed us that there was no longer escorts through the burn area. Instead it gave helpful hints like "if the fire is ahead of you and impassible, watch it for 30min to an hour and after it is burned through its fuel source you can go ahead and walk through" So armed with such wisdom we set off today towards the billowing smoke. Kraig and Gina upgraded to bigger packs so with the added weight it was slow going. Consequently at around 645 we realized that it was very possible we would be walking through the live burn area after dark, so we decided to stop here. We set up camp down at an established camp site in a stand of pines that survived the last fire in this area. From our spot we could see a lot of smoke over the ridge and what looked like smoke from an already burned area about a mile in front of us. As it got darker i noticed a small patch of fire. We continued to watch as the darkness illuminated the patches of fire all over the hillside. The wind is unfortunately blowing right down the valley our direction. After hearing a couple trees pop and crackle during dinner we discussed evac plans should we wake up to flames within a 1/4 of a mile give or take (preferable give). After getting in our tents we realized it would be hard to tell how close it is or is not. As i write this now the wind has blown the smoke into camp and it smells really strong. Its like being at a bonfire, just slightly more intense. We just had a big flare up a moment ago on the hill, but now its back to just the brush on the ground. I'm going to watch it for awhile with my headlamp off and then set my alarm for a fire check in 2 hours. What a way to start the sierra's. Thought of the day; i have been back on trail for less then 9 miles and i am already real dirty. Song of the day; and i went down down down in that burning ring of fire, and it burned burned burned and the flames went higher by johnny cash i think, and highwaaaay to the dangerr zone by um, top gun the movie soundtrack. Craving of the day; the fathers day brunch that i missed.
JWC on the PCT

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