Sunday, September 29, 2013

Monterrey trial run

Carmel by the sea
Next weekend is my foray into the mountains on a crazy long trip. I thought that maybe it would sense to test my fitness this weekend by seeing how far I can hike in a day.
Yesterday I hiked from Monterrey to Carmel along the coast. My best guess as to the distance is at least twenty miles. The trip was incredibly beautiful, in fact I wasn't intending to hike at all. My plan was to walk from the hotel to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium, which I have never been to... Still! The day was so nice, the sun was shining the seals were... barking? Whatever noise it is that seals, or maybe they were sea lions, make.
The sun was coming up and the temperature, which started in the forties, quickly warmed to the low seventies. The Monterrey coast looks pristine and exceptionally clean. The water was clear and the seals / sea lions basked in the shallows comically holding their back flippers out of the water. Sort of like they were waving at each other. The sound of the waves along the shore was so pleasant and the colors of the flowers, the sea, and the sky were so pleasant to the eyes. Who wouldn't want to live here.
I learned that the first sardine canning plant on the west coast was established her in the late eighteen hundreds by Italian immigrants. For the rest of the hike I imagined that I could see the Italian influence in the architecture and design of the houses. Although I think that is imaginary as I don't really have a clue as to what Italian influence would even look like, although I swear I could see it.
The route leaves the beach when you get to Pebble Beach because the high-falutin' snobs that own the place decided they wanted a world class golf course on the water's edge. They weren't Italian, they were wealthy Scottish barons who took over the Del Monte forest and made it a destination for the wealthy of the world to build their summer homes over looking the California coast. That means I had to leave the coast and wander in the forest between their ginormous houses.
Wow! What an eye opener. I thought I was in shape for hiking. The first half of the day wasn't bad. J use the normal aches and pains. Some time between two pm and four pm I hit the wall. I even stopped at McDonalds and got a strawberry banana smoothie.
The muscles on my inner thighs began to really cramp up and me feet felt like they were soaking in lava. As long as I kept moving I figured I would eventually make it back to the hotel. I was right, but man, what an effort. Every time I stopped at a traffic light I immediately felt better. Hopefully next week I'll do better
Perfect Fall morning in Monterrey

Those dots to the right are rocks with sea lions on them

Mountain Lions?

Exhaust stack by the water feature, huh!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sixty two in two?

I am planning a trip to see if I am able to sustain two long 30+ mile days back to back. I am wondering if I may be a little insane, why do I want to do this? After bailing out two days early on my trip to the North Cascades I have been hankering for a hike that really pushes me.
Lake Tahoe
Sixty two miles of High Sierra adventure

I have never hiked thirty miles in one day in my life. I can remember two times when I hiked over twenty miles in a day and both days I was pretty tired by the end of the day. In both of those instances it was the final day of the hike and I slept in my own bed that night. This time I will hike about thirty one miles, camp-out, then hike another thirty one miles.

My plan is to hike from Echo Summit on Highway 50 to Donner Summit on the Pacific Crest Trail. Most of the terrain is between 7,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation. I copied an image from Google Earth using Half Mile's PCT Tracks to show my proposed route.

I don't know if I can do this and I am quite unnerved by the whole idea. Most of my life I have stayed within the bounds of what is reasonable and attainable. This plan is outside of my comfort zone.

I am keeping an eye on the weather as rain or snow is not something that I am going to contend with and I will throw out the whole plan if there is precipitation in the forecast.