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PCT Journey, Volume Two – Techapaci Pass to Kennedy Meadows

July 25th, 2009 By   

It was rather interesting resuming my walk after the two week break.  It was good to see family and talk to a few friends.  I resumed my walk late in the afternoon on Tuesday June 2nd at Techapaci Pass.  The first 24 hours back on the trail were challenging.  For the first time I felt a little lonely.  This coupled with a 2300 ft climb and a long afternoon of rain dampened my spirits.  Within 48 hours I was feeling better especially since I was back in the trees.  That’s always good for one’s spirit.

Following the rain there was quite a bit of wind and as a result I found creative ways to pitch the MSR Hubba to block the wind but still get some air as it was a warm wind.  What I found is that one can pitch the tent and install the rainfly and roll the doors back beyond the normal roll-back position by unhooking the fly from the front side of the tent.  Another option I found was to pitch the tent with the fly doubled up on one end to allow for stargazing while still blocking some of the wind and/or being prepared for rain (photos below).

At Walker pass, half way between Techapaci pass and Kennedy Meadows there was “Trail Magic”, arranged and provided by “Trail Angels”, usually former PCT thru-hikers wanting to give back the hospitality they recieved while on the trail.  After having my fill of food, complete with milkshakes I opted to stay at the Walker Pass campground.  This was a “Nearo” day (nearly zero), though I had hiked eight miles.

After leaving Walker pass I pulled  21, 18, and 10 mile days and reached Kennedy Meadows about noon on Wednesday June 10th.  I promptly commmenced with a feeding frenzy which included a hamburger, a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and not much later another burger and a couple hours later, a chicken dinner.  Wow, even I did not know I could eat that much.  By yesterday afternoon, after some additional large meals I was actually full.

I’ve been enjoying my trail food most of which was assembled from both mail order freeze dried companies (fruit and vegatables) and grocery store items (rice, couscous, polenta, black beans, spiced lentils, etc).

I’m meeting lots of new people and enjoying the scenery especially since I am now in the Sierras.

The pack is packed and I am heading out this afternoon, June 12th, to get a few miles in this afternoon.  The Kennedy Meadows store was nice but it’s getting crowded and my feet are itching to move.  Looks like the Sierra’s will be on the cool side and as a result there are many hikers leaving the trail to hike other sections or simply waiting, hoping the weather will change.  I’m thankful for the choices I made in bringing the MSR Hubba, as well as a warm sleeping bag and clothing.  Many of my fellow thru-hikers have lighter equipment and have expressed some concern about the high country traverse.  As for me, I am adding a couple of days of extra food and fuel and “going for it”.

Weather permitting I will climb Mt Whitney about 5 days from now.  I’ll then resupply at Muir Trail Ranch on June 21st and anticipate reaching Tuolumne Meadows on June 28th or 29th.

Happy Trails to one and all…
Mike

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