Thursday, July 10, 2014

Day 12 : Bubbs Creek 10,479 ft asl

Thursday July 10, 2014
10 Miles Today
209 Total Miles

HYOH - Hike your own hike. The freedom to hike when and where you want without having to wait for or catch up to others. Jana, Jason, and Merrick wanted to sleep-in at Rae Lakes. Yay for them, it wasn't on my agenda though. I was up before the sun hit my tent and on the trail to get over Glen Pass.

Look for Ed...

Here he is...

I met Ed at the pass. He was sitting there eating his breakfast, enjoying the view. I found out that Ed lives in a neighboring town to mine and is hiking the PCT. Ed is a modern western writer-hobbiest, which means he hasn't been published yet. He does that when he's not working his walnut orchard or hiking the PCT. Ed is sixty-eight years old. Ed is a great guy and even though we live less than ten miles apart, it was our both deciding to go hiking that caused us to meet and to immediately have something to talk about.
Wow, I coulda used my microspikes.

Everybody on the trail has something that they either wish they didn't bring or they had a lighter version. There seems to always be something that prior to the trip you saw it as essential, but now over two hundred miles later you realize that you don't need it after all. For me it is my GPS, I really haven't used it very much. Since I am essentially hiking the PCT I use the HalfMile PCT app on my iPhone. It seems that the radios in the iPhone are more sensitive and faster at locating than the radios in the Garmin Geko 301 that I am carrying. The other thing nice about the Half Mile App is that it tells you the mileage to the next points of interest on the trail, be they water sources, campsites, or trail junctions.

Jared, Jana, and Merrick past by my camp late in the afternoon. They stopped and chatted a few minutes. They want to camp higher so as to have less elevation gain tomorrow. I want to camp lower as it'll be ever so slightly warmer. We talked about our plans for tomorrow nights camp so perhaps we'll camp at the same spot tomorrow night. I have a nice spot on a sandy bench with boulders blocking any breeze that might occur. 

I feel so glad that this backpacking lifestyle is not normal. I find this nomadic life very enjoyable, however a big part of the enjoyment is knowing that it will end. That there is a date and a place that this trip ends. Having a destination turns this from aimless meandering in the woods into a journey where every pass climbed, every negotiated creek crossing, every single step brings me one step closer to being reunited with the ones I love.

Without any media distractions or input I have had a lot of time to let my mind wander and dream. I miss people that have died and are no longer part of my
life. I even tear up thinking about how sad it is that people I love are no longer around. I have had vivid dreams of being with them again. Laughing and sharing time together. My Christian faith says a day will come when what we call life now we'll only recall faintly as if in a dream if we recall it at all and life takes on a character alien to our current mortal state. When our life journey ends at a destination. I am looking forward to being reunited with the ones I love.

Spent some time talking with Paul. He is the other camper at my campsite tonight. Paul has over three miles of hiking logged this summer. He comes up to the High Sierra every summer and spends time hiking the secondary, little used trails. He told me about a plaque on the Forester switchbacks dedicated to an eighteen year old that died while building the trail over the pass. I am going to watch for it tomorrow and see if I can get a picture.

Last night was the last meal I was able to cook using the 110 gram canister I brought for my stove. That is the bad news, since I only bought and brought one. The good news is that while I was at Muir Trail Ranch I anticipated that I was burning more fuel than planned. I went through the donation buckets and found a 220 gram Jetboil canister with about a quarter of its fuel left. That should be enough to finish out this trip. 

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