Sunday, July 31, 2016

Sierra City to Campsite at mile 1206.18

Uphill from Sierra City. 

So, there is a pretty big gap in my hike now. I had some health issues and decided to take the bus from Tuolome Meadows back to Mammoth to see a doctor. I ended up on antibiotics and consequently took about two weeks off of the trail. I had a choice of starting where I left the trail which would have meant I would be a couple weeks behind my hiking partners, Mighty Mouse and Share Bear, and also a couple weeks later into the season meaning cutting things close in Washington where we have to worry about snow in early October. The other choice was to skip ahead to where ever Mighty Mouse and Share Bear were once I was healed up and ready to get back on the trail, which is what I have done. So I have about a two hundred mile gap that I will try to fill in at a later date, maybe this year, maybe some other year. 

At any rate, I am back to hiking. And it kicked my ass today. Or rather my feet. But we managed twelve miles and we didn't start hiking until after noon, so that wasn't too bad. 

Tim dropped us off, and hiked with us for a couple miles up the eight mile climb that started the trail. 

Along the way today we passed the 1200 mile mark of the trail. 

The climb was pretty steady, switch backing through trees and then emerging to traverse some steep slopes that gave us views of Sierra City far below. 

There is a haze of smoke hanging around, I understand it to be coming from a fire in Monterrey, which seems like it is a very long way away. 

Camped tonight with Mighty Mouse and Share Bear and Painter who is from Tasmania.

Mighty Mouse's blog from today:

Sunday, July 24, 2016


So, while I was off the trail not hiking, what did I do?

Mostly hung out with Tim and travelled around seeing trail towns.

Tim has the 4Runner plus a trailer that his motorcycle fits in, along with a bunch of supplies for Mighty Mouse, as well as a bin or two for myself and Share Bear.

Tim finds someplace to stay in a town that is a reasonable distance from where ever he's arranged to meet Mighty Mouse, and then he explores that area, usually on the motorcycle, but since I was with him, we went around in the 4Runner.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Campsite on a Stream to Tuolomne Meadows and off the trail

 Off Trail...

This is mostly from memory four years later, so forgive me if I got some details wrong.

The day started okay, although I had trouble sleeping and was feeling sweaty.

All day I felt tired and didn't have much energy.

By the time Tim met us, we had discussed my options, and I decided to get off the trail and head into Mammoth and see a doctor and figure out what to do next. I'll miss some of the trail, but then get on where ever Mighty Mouse and Share Bear are when I'm better.

Time had ridden his motorcycle to Tuolomne Meadows, so I caught the shuttle bus back to Mammoth.

Tim took me to the hospital and I got checked out. I had an infection and the doctor prescribed antibiotics for a week and time to heal.

The infection that I got was basically from chafing. In this case, I suspect a new pair of pants I got back in Lone Pine that seemed to fit fine, but should have been baggier to allow better ventilation to sweaty areas. Chafing in hikers seems to be from salt crystals from dried sweat abrading the skin as we walk. Even though I cleaned up every night with wet wipes, it wasn't enough.

Chafed skin is susceptible to infection, and I got an infection in the crack of my ass that developed into a sizable cyst under the skin. My body was trying to fight it off, but combine that with hiking all day and I was just wearing down and not doing a good job of fighting the infection.

So, I was feverish and also it was uncomfortable to walk. It was a good idea to get off the trail at this point.

Thankfully, Tim was still in Mammoth, staying at my cousin Jody's condo, so I was able to vegetate on the couch feeling miserable for a couple days.

And yes, the cyst ruptured and drained the next day. Messy and gross, but least it got the puss from the infection out.

Mighty Mouse's blog for the day:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Campsite at Mile 917.25 to Campsite on a Stream

Donohue Pass

Tim surprised us by hiking up from a trailhead that we passed and showing up this morning with breakfast goodies. He hiked along for a couple miles before heading back.

Our objective today was to get a few miles past Donohue Pass so tomorrow we can make good time to Tuolome Meadows to resupply.

The PCT rejoined with the JMT near Thousand Island Lake.

We climbed for a while and crossed Island Pass above Thousand Island Lake.

Then down a bit and then up to 11,073 feet to cross Donohue Pass.

We only had a couple short bits of snow to cross, a benefit of being a bit behind the big bubble of PCT hikers.

On the way down from the pass we did come to a creek crossing where we had to get wet. Shoes came off quickly and sandals on for the crossing. Everything done in a hurry in an attempt to avoid mosquito bites.

Shorty after the crossing we came upon a good looking site for the night.

Set up camp and cooked dinner while trying to keep the mosquitos from getting their dinners. A light nylon wind shirt works great as a mosquito barrier, and along with a hat and headnet preserves a little sanity, although the net has to be raised in order for dinner to be consumed. DEET in high concentrations completes the biting bug defense.

Timhiked in a couple miles and joined us at the start of the day, bringing breakfast snacks.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Red's Meadow to Campsite at Mile 917.25

Devil's Postpile 

After three nights in Mammoth it was time to get back to the trail. 

On the bus ride from Mammoth to Red's Meadow we spotted a mother bear and two cubs. Hopefully they stay well away. 

We didn't manage an early getaway, but still hiked about eleven miles. 

Starting from Red's Meadow, we took the trail to Devil's Postpile, a formation of basalt columns. Very interesting rock formation, and neat to be able to walk on top and see the section that was smoothed by glacial activity, plainly showing the cross section shapes of the columns, most of which are hexagonal. 

After Devil's Postpile we continued along a river to the junction with a trail that I hiked a few years ago with friends on our way to Lake Ediza. This time, however, our path turned away and we began climbing. 

We are camped at about 9300 feet tonight, so the temperature should be pleasant for sleeping.

Mighty Mouse's blog for today: