Day 87

Oct 11
Miles:  18.1 + 2 = 20.1
PCT:  919.9 – 938 + 2 miles off trail
Total Miles:  990
Elevation gain:  2592

I started early and ended late for a very long day.  It was beautiful weather and great views.  The wind blew hard last night but I was well protected in my campsite.  The noise was so loud that I lost a lot of sleep.  It was amazingly loud. 

At one point, I stopped for water and got back on the wrong trail.  Argh!!  I was a mile down the trail before I realized it, which meant a mile back for a total of 2 miles lost for the day.  You may think, so what.  It’s just more trail that you’re doing.  But the problem is you plan to reach certain milestones each day to reach your next resupply on a certain day.  Adding more miles can screw that up.  Also, I’m usually in the mood to get as much of the trail done each day as I can.  If I were casually backpacking, I wouldn’t care much about going down a wrong trail.  It would be a new adventure.  Through-hiking is different.  Adding more miles is demoralizing and depressing.

I climbed over Donner pass, which is not too much elevation gain but it was as difficult as any day I’ve had so far due to the very steep angle of the climbs and embedded rock all over the trail on the assents and descents.  I was very angry with the trail all day.  The rocks were sharp and stung my feet with each step, mostly going down.

I asked the trail why it must be so rocky, and it said the rocks are there to prevent erosion at the expense of old hikers with bad feet.  I decided to stop being angry with the trail and to walk slower.  This helped some but by the end of the day, my feet hurt with every step.  It was tiring.

I ate dinner outside my tent for the first time to prevent food smells in the tent, which invites bears to pay you a visit.  I’m in the Yosemite Park and the bears here are quite talented at getting visitor’s food.  Yogi is an amateur next to these bears, so care must be taken to prevent bear incidents.  Only problem is, I hike until dark and eating outside, away from the tent is uncomfortable and cold.  After I’m done eating, I have to pack up all food, trash and smelly stuff like toothpaste, lotions, etc., and put them inn the bear canister, then find a location away from the tent to stash it.  You have to be sure that if a bear disturbs it, there’s no way it can roll off a cliff or into a stream.  What a hassle…

Ouch, ouch, ouch….

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Rock is everywhere now.  Fewer trees make for some fantastic views in all directions.

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Rocking out to groovy tunes…

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These look easy to cross but they are always a little unnerving…

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Lots of lakes today.

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Still have some glaciers out there.

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Full moon in the morning.

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Bill (Blackhawk Down)

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2 Responses to Day 87

  1. Rick & Wanda says:

    Your reflection-picture, Bill, is a classic. This should be framed. So glad to see all that water in this part of the trail. The prior days pictures near Kennedy were anxiety provoking: burned dead trees, rock, dry sage.
    What’s with ear buds? How ya gonna hear the rattlers and cougars with them things in???

    • billweberx says:

      The terrain has improved. The water sources are still a bit sketchy. I can’t do this without a distraction. The music is necessary. 12 hours of walking each day is quite a grind. The rattle is so loud, I’m sure I will hear it through the earphones.

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