Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Day 11 : Lower Rae Lake

Wednesday July 9, 2014
16 Miles Today
199 Total Miles

As I was pulling up stakes for my tent this morning I decided to count them. I am not sure why but I did. I counted seven. I thought there was supposed to be eight. I counted the guy lines, yup, eight. But only seven stakes. I looked if I might have dropped one, nope. Counted them again, still seven. That's weird. I walked around the tent looking carefully on the ground. No stake. Count them again, still seven. Walked a wider arc around the tent looking at the ground, no stake. Count them again still seven. What?? Where did the stake go, I just pulled eight stakes out and there are only seven. Looked around the tent. There, on the tree branch, hanging like a candy cane, was my eighth stake, I have no idea how it got from my hand to the tree branch, but there it was. 

Went over Pinchot Pass today. On the way down met I up with Jana, Jason, and Merrick. The first time I met them was at the crossing of Evolution Creek. They are a fun group and hike the same pace I want to keep for the rest of the trip. Merrick is a fellow geek and is really smart. Jason and Jana are engaged and have wedding plans for May 2015. They are all interested in lowering their base pack weight so we talked a lot about gear.

We got rained on this afternoon. I got to use my poncho again. It's hard to wear any rain gear when it's warm, you get all hot and clammy. It's a horrible feeling, especially when you know you won't be able to take a shower before going to bed. I substituted a towel-down with my moistened pack towel followed by a wipe-down with a Wet One moist towelette. Not the same thing as a shower.

Jana found a balloon from Disneyland. Some poor kid in Disneyland let go of the string and the balloon drifted up here. She found it snagged on a tree. She tied it to her pack but I don't think it reduced the weight all that much. As we were coming down the trail we met up with a pack train of mules led by a driver on a horse. The driver said to Jana, "You may want to step a little further away from the trail and don't let the mules see your balloon." We were curious as to why the mules couldn't see the balloon, but didn't try to find out, we just stood around Jana hiding the balloon.

We hiked further than I had planned to when I was by myself, but it's more fun to be with others than to camp by yourself. Besides it just means that we'll have less miles tomorrow. 

I inventoried my food and I think I will have just enough. Felix and Kevin should be re supplying at Onion Valley tomorrow then coming back on to the JMT so perhaps I'll see them again tomorrow. Dan is also camping at this lake. As the trip gets closer to the end we all are calculating the best camp locations in order to be able to summit Mt Whitney on Sunday, we are all reaching the same conclusions so we are all ending up at the same places.


  1. What?! No picture of the balloon?! :-D

    1. Yes there is, right next to Jana on the ground.

  2. Hi Scott, I love your blog and your excellent pictures! It was great hiking with you! We look forward to reading about your future PCT adventures! Glad you got to enjoy the sunrise atop Whitney! We made it out Saturday afternoon but the last two days were definitely tough!