Long time no see!

Hey everybody, it's been a long time since I've been on a computer!  About 500 miles to be exact!  We're in Tahoe now for a few days and will be back on trail on Monday.  For now we're loading up on food, and catching up with our central CA friends.  Linda Dougherty was kind enough to pick us up at Sonora Pass, drive us all the way to Tahoe, and drive our butts around to do a bunch of chores.  And tonight Chrissie and Farukh are headed over from San Fran to hang out!  It's a much needed break, because before yesterday we hadn't taken a real no hiking zero in more than 300 miles of hiking, and were starting to run ourselves into the ground!

It's pretty hard to encapsulate more than a month of hiking in the couple of minutes we have on the library computers, but here are some of the bullet points:

1) Southern CA is actually super pretty, despite what anyone from NorCal says when they complain about the desert.  Wide open views for months on end down there!  I actually preferred it to Yosemite, because Yosemite hates me (see below). 

2) The John Muir Trail is mind-blowing!  And super hard if you're trying to do more than 10 - 15 miles a day. 

3) Avoid port-o-potties frequented by hikers at all costs.

4) Hardest hiking of the whole trip: Yosemite National Park.  Steep ups and downs, constant swarms of mosquitos trying to drain us dry, rocky technical trail.  I cursed Yosemite more than once.  Fun and accurate fact: Yosemite's name probably (there's debate) means "There are killers among them". 

5) Friend visits make me appreciate what a good life we have - the PCT's not an escape from life for us, just an interlude in the midst of lots of good things.

6) Things that haven't bothered us on the PCT: Bears, Rattlesnakes, Crazy hikers. 

7) Things that have tried to kill us on the PCT: Snowstorms, heat waves, mosquitos, hail, thunder, altitude, filthy port-o-johns, viruses, 20k acre wildfires, Yosemite National Park.

8) We skipped ahead for the first time to get around a still active wildfire.  Trail's not officially closed so feel a bit guilty, but the fire was within 4 miles of the trail and still growing, so we didn't want to take the risk - particularly because there are thunderstorms and unpredictable winds predicted for this weekend. 

9) McDonald's Big Breakfasts help assuage guilt.

10) I've broken pretty much all of my gear.

11) Companies that are great to deal with so far: Big Agnes and Darn Tough and Seven Hills and Fleet Feet Seattle.  Companies that seem like they're great to deal with: Black Diamond (we'll see if they help me out w/a broken pole, but it seems like they are going to.)  Companies that ticked me off: Road Runner Sports. Companies that would be great to deal with If there were any within an hour's drive of the PCT: REI.

12) Through Hiking is hardcore - it's not actually 'fun' in the traditional sense.  More like a tough job that has a lot of high points and a few low points. No single day has been super difficult, but cumulatively this is the hardest thing I've ever done physically.  More than 1000 miles down now though!

I think I'll be able to get some pictures up later today or tomorrow!  I have a couple hundred to upload but haven't had time/computer access in forever. 

Yay!  Talk to you soon


Anonymous said…
Hey Tim, there's an REI in Portland - Mapquest says it's 45 minutes away from the crossing at Cascade Locks. (-cousin Duckie!)