Sunday, March 27, 2016

PCT Day 43: Im Back Baby!

Day 43 6-30-2015       Sleep  2100 - 1030
Miles 1830 – 1860

            I woke up to the maids coming in my room to clean.  Whoops.  I slept through my alarm.  No wait they were just early.  I told them I would be out in ten.  I scrambled my stuff together and headed over to the store, which is where I would set camp for the day.  I got wifi and just tried to entertain myself by catching up on the last 40 days of earth.  With Dragonfly and MossWater gone, Mazama really sucked and I was lonely.  I wanted to leave…it was actually motivating me.  I knew I should dry out my feet and it was getting to the hottest part of the day.  Who wants to hike in that?  So I bottled it up and tried to sleep in the shade with my feet in the sun.  Entertaining to me. 
Wizard Island
            Finally it was 1700.  I grabbed some last minute snacks and took off.  It felt so good to be moving again “hiking”.   Up the road and back on the trail.  This is awesome.  At any moment I started to get worrisome about how my foot was going to do, I just thought back to lying around shitty Mazama.  And instantly the worry was gone (it is so much better to be moving and out on the trail) I felt like I was flying.  Makes sense.  I should have been well rested with three days off.  Getting up to the rim of Crater lake as the sun was setting was epic.  Certainly a vivid memory that is etched deep in my mind.  It was gorgeous, the lake but also being out of the tourist trap.  I was flying.  I couldn’t help but think “YES! IM BACK!” This was all just a small hitch in the grand adventure. 
When you run by the Watchman and All Along The Watchtower come on!
            I was riding on high through the dark forest, so awake.  Then I saw this poorly set up green tent, I knew.  I whispered at first… “Dragonfly” Nothing.  A little louder “Dragonfly” …”Flash!”  I told her nice job not camping in the park and right on the trail I might add you.  I laughed and dashed off.  I was out of the park, but I felt so good.  I kept cruising.  But then I thought to myself, “this was suppose to be a tester day” “Oh yeah” “okay, better taker easy”  And so I set up camp at the next adequate spot.  Supremely satisfied and convinced I was back!
Crater Lake

I'M BACK BABY!

Friday, March 25, 2016

PCT Day 42: Nada Mucho

Day 42 6-29-2015       Sleep 2100 - 700
Mile 1830

            Honestly, I didn’t take very good notes for this day.  I remember the feelings of depression setting in.  I was feeling down from the sudden stop of hiking and the thrill that goes along with it.  But also, I was thinking in general my trip was over and that was really getting me down.  Moss Water and Dragonfly did the shuttle tour of the rim.  They wouldn’t be back until after we had to check out.  I tentatively said goodbye, but I think we all knew I would still be there when they got back.   I just ate and lay comatose outside the store.  I did some research on metatarsal stress fractures, blisters underneath calluses, infected blisters and septic infections.  It was actually relieving to try and figure out what was wrong with my foot and what options I had or what I could do to help.  All in all I didn’t come up with much, but laying my feet out in the sun and trying to keep them dry and dry out the calluses as much as possible.   
Feet looking better after a day in the sun
             Moss Water and Dragonfly returned.  It was so nice to have them there, to talk to, hang out with and ultimately ease my worried mind.  I decided I would stay one more night.  My foot seemed to be getting better and so I devised a plan.  I would spend the night, get a good nights rest.  Dry my foot all day in the sun, it seemed to help a lot doing that today.  Then just go for it in the afternoon.  Like most of our national parks, they are tourist shit shows and not designed for people to hike and enjoy.  Apparently, there is no camping in the park boundary and they are serious about it (enough to have infrared vision to find hikers camping in the park.  So apparently I have to hike 25 miles minimum to the park boundary.  This also, means that Moss Water and Dragonfly would have to leave very early to make sure they make it out of the park.  I had asked about getting a room again, and I was waiting for a cancel/no show.  Finally, by 1700 they told me there was one.  Dragonfly and I snatched it up and settled in.  Moss Water wanted to get the hiker experience out at the campground.  We went to dinner again, despite our previous experience. 
Even the parking lots 
            Getting back to the room, I was still just exhausted.  It was fun lying on the bed, half asleep, with my feet up watching Dragonfly try to sort out what food to bring or ditch.  Amusing, but not enough to keep me from falling asleep.  I would wake up 30 minutes later with my foot lotion still in hand.  Take a few gulps of water from my bladder, apply another coat of lotion to my feet and pass out again.  Eventually it was early in the morning.  Dragonfly was finalizing packing and about to take off.  I had to say a somber farewell and see her walk off.  I hoped I would run into her again when I continued hiking on down the trail.  I fell back asleep and didn’t plan on getting up until checkout
Lotion and Water; I am all dried out!


Thursday, March 10, 2016

PCT Day 41: Dragonfly, oh my!

Day 41 6-28-2015       Sleep 130 – 900
Miles 1827 – 1830

            I woke up a few times during the night with my foot aching.  I thought about getting up at 600 and just going for it.  But I decided if my foot hurt there was no rush.  I would be heading into Mazama to resupply and I could rest all day there.  I might as well sleep now while I can.  Finally, a gentleman rolled along.  I said good morning and he back.  He paused, we entered conversation.  Turns out he was heading into Mazama and hoping to get a room for the night.  I asked, well would you want to split it?  And that was that.  I got up as quick as I could and we walked and talked into Mazama Campground.  His name was Moss Water, he was sectioning the trail in the summers.  He was a very understanding gentleman and oozed kindness.  I was fortunate to meet and be sharing a room with him.  He was great moral support for me, as I tried to figure this all out. Well what is the first thing a hiker does when they get to town?  FOOD, of course.  I was shopping at a national parks snack bar/gift shop.  None the less.  They had the fruit smoothies and I went to town.  I thought the best thing I could do was try to nourish my body and heel as quick as possible.  Plus, feeling good, would help me make a better decision.  We got a room and headed there next.  I took an hour shower and still could not get all the dirt of my body, especially my feet.  I guess that is what happens when you haven’t showered in 44 days, been hiking on dirt trails and sleeping on dirt at night.   
I woke up in a blur
It was nice, but I didn't think twice, back to bed

          After showering I was hungry once more.  I made my way back to the shop.  Ate until my stomach hurt and then waited until my stomach didn’t hurt to eat some more.  I asked at the information booth if there was a medical facility in the park. No she said, but it is only an hour or two to a town with one….Not for me.  Back to eating.  Stomach ache break.  I met a hiker by the name of Dragonfly, who was a veterinarian.  Well I am an animal, close enough.  She had a look see at my footsy.  She thought that one of the blisters on my left foot looked dark red and thus maybe infected.  Moss Water and I decided that the more the merrier and asked Dragonfly is she wanted to join us in the hotel room.  Of course she did.  We went back to the hotel room, cleaned my foot and jammed some needles in.  If we could only drain the blisters, maybe I could recover and head back out there.  Well the small needle did nothing.  Bigger needle nothing.  It was nauseating.  We could get through the callous, but when the needle was pulled, the callous would squeeze close and not let anything out.  Oh well.
Suns up, Lets go! Go back to sleep

            Dragonfly and I decided to treat ourselves to a nice dinner and headed over to the restaurant.  Moss Water thought that it wasn’t worth it and turned out to be correct.  So here I am, middle of my PCT hike, rest day, got a hot date…I never rest.  The food was menh.  But the company was amazing!  It was so nice to have a conversation with someone.  Dragonfly was fascinating.  Somehow we just clicked and I felt like I knew her for years.  In my experience when you are hiking a long trail, it slowly wares down your prejudices-predispositions and leaves you very open minded to understand.  It makes it really easy to listen to a person and understand (or think you do) their life.  It was a very nice distraction from the fact that I had no clue what was going on with my foot, how to fix it and if my hike was over.  After leaving the restaurant, the tenth of a mile walk back towards the store made me hungry.  We decided a little dessert was in order.  Dragonfly had one treat.  Of course, I had to try em all.  Stuffed, but not really satisfied we retreated to the room.  Although I didn’t do much today, I was like 40 days of over doing it tired.  I could barely brush my teeth before passing out.    
Even "towns" are beautiful out here

Just a little dessert!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

PCT Day 40: Fall at Your Feet

Day 40 6-27-2015       Sleep  2000 - 200
Miles 1782 – 1827
           
            Ahh, so much better.  It was nice and cool and I felt fresh.  I was still walking on the volcanic rock but that soon turned to dirt.  I hit the highway and crossed.  On the other side I was met by a wall of mosquitoes.  Now I grew up on some swamp lands in the northeast, but I had never seen mosquitoes this thick.  Usually, mosquitoes don’t bother me that much.  They land and I either swat them or they bite, but I don’t pay that much attention.  This was brutal.  I had two, three, four biting me every second.  I could not keep up.  I grabbed my thermal mummy and put it over my head.  It is the perfect bug net…except it is a thermal mummy and thus keeps the heat in.  It was okay in the early morning hours.  But as the sun rose and the temperature shot up, I was dying.  But hot was better than being eaten alive, sort of, kind of.  Well let’s try it.  No mummy.  This isn’t so bad.  A minute goes by and the mosquitoes most have caught onto my scent.  Okay, this sucks.  Mummy back on.  Ah no mosquitoes.  This is nice.  Eff this is hot.  And so we wind on down the trail. 
            Now I need to get water here at Christi Spring.  There is not much water on the trail for a long ways.  My plan would have been to sit there drink a bunch (camel up) and probably still carry three liters.  It is a lot to carry, but I feel that I have become perpetually dehydrated and that is helping fuel my break down.  Well, mosquitoes love the water and I swear they are ten times thicker at the spring then any where else.  So I improvise.  I was able to turn my pack around and pull out my bladder underneath the protection of my cloak.  But the mosquitoes are so thick they are able to get to me once in awhile through the mummy when it is flush to my skin.  Some even sneak up the bottom.  AHHHH.  I stand on two rocks above the spring.  I bend down, fill my bladder and drop in my iodine and run.  Shit I only got two liters, I thought the bladder was full.  Well I am not going back.  Just get more at the next one…
            I was hiking in my cloak and the hot hours were passing by with ease.  But I was running out of water.  It is okay, there is a creek up here in a few miles.  I drank my last water with the thought that in a mile I would have a full bladder again.  I walk and walk, no creek.  I think I see what used to be a creek.  But the water report says it is always running.  I am sure it is coming up.  An hour goes by nothing.  Two hours go by.  I start to worry.  Well where is the next water?  I look.  My best guess is a long effin way.  Shit.  There are lakes all around me, but most are a mile or more off trail.  Eff that.  Three hours go by.  I was feeling a piss coming on.  I decided to pee in my extra bladder just in case.  It was dark yellow and only amounted to about 10 fl oz.  FUCK.  Swearing helps.  I sat down and cried.  Crying does not help, it dehydrates you more and sitting still does not get you closer to water.  I get back up.  I am pissed.  Pissed at myself for botching the last fill up.  Pissed at the weather for being so hot and dry.  Pissed that I am going to have to drink my own piss.  Finally, I see a sign for snowy lakes.  It said .6 or .7, I can’t remember, but farther than I wanted to walk off the trail.  But I was just happy to not have to drink my own piss.  Turns out there was an upper pond/lake just out of sight from the PCT.  I walked maybe a tenth to fifth of a mile.  It was delightful.  I pumped and drank and pumped.  I filled up and laid there for thirty minutes.  I remember looking over and seeing some smoke on the other side of the lake.  I didn’t care.  I finally got up and filled up a final time.  I rinsed my extra bladder and I was on my way. 
My Savoir

            The whole ordeal behind me, I thought ‘alright, Imma gonna crush this shit now.’ But in reality, I expended a lot of energy being stressed and dehydrated.  My body was in rough shape.  After an hour of hiking I felt exhausted.  I laid down for an hour and watched the sun setting from an exposed ridge.  It was breezy and nice.  I didn’t want to leave.  But the mosquitoes returned to join the army of ants in making me uncomfortable.  I was trudging on now, like a drunkard trying to rally his friends to the next bar.  Eventually, the cool of night sobered me up and I was moving well again.  Why can’t it just be like this all the time.  Well, that lasted…my left foot started absolutely killing me.  Shooting pain from the distal head of the 4th metatarsal.  I fall to the ground, rip off my shoe and try to find the culprit.  I can’t.  It just hurts like hell.  I take out the trusty duct tape and rearrange my foot in a position that doesn’t hurt as much, in fact almost not at all.  Ha.  See I can fix anything!  Shoe back on, I am moving well once more.  I have a very high belief that I can work through/around anything that comes at me.  But now between my 4th and 5th metatarsal is aching and deep.  It feels like it is deep in the bone. Maybe a stress fracture? I don’t know.  Why don’t you just go to sleep and see if it is better in the morning.  Good call.  Sleep.  

Friday, March 4, 2016

PCT Day 39: Have you ever seen the rain?

Day 39 6-26-2015       Sleep   2230 – 430
Miles 1745 – 1782

            It is actually a nice temperature in the early morning darkness.  I know this will not last and I wish I could get up earlier and crush more miles, but I have to wait for my resupply.  I reach the road and it oddly feels soft and easy on my feet.  I get to the lake resort and grab my package.  Quickly changing out my shorts and t-shirt behind a garbage can.  You tend to get very used to trail life and forget you are in public.  But it is 700 and anyone up should jump start their day with a dirty naked emaciated dude half crouching behind a garbage can.  I get out of there quick and am relieved when I hit the trail and am out of “public” So nice to vanish back into the woods.  I am having to stop every hour to change my socks.  It is so difficult for me to stop.  As soon as I sit an overwhelming feeling of fatigue hits me and I just want to stay put.  Even changing my socks every hour, my feet are just swimming in misery.  I am sweating and fading in the midday heat…well, it is only 1000.  I decide to take a thirty minute nap in the shade and maybe that will refresh me.
Hyatt Lake
            Nope. I wake feeling half awake and even more dehydrated.  I truck on, but my legs feel like a million pounds and my mind is melting in misery.  Everything bugs me. I try to stay positive but I am just overwhelmed but feeling shitty.  This is shitty.  Why can’t it just rain?  Be cool again.  I feel like I am trying so hard but only going a mile or two an hour on easy trail.  Ok, maybe another nap.  I try to get my feet dry while I am sleeping and I keep my legs elevated to siphon the blood back to my heart.  I wake again 30 minutes later, half awake and feeling absolutely depleted.  Geez Joey.  Why do you keep doing this, it is not helping!   I know, sorry.  I thought I would try.  Why don’t you just try harder? Fine.  For about an hour I was moving well again.  I don’t know what triggered it, but all of a sudden I was absolutely dead.  I laid down on the trail.  It is like my body is shutting down and I just keep trying to fight it.  I think of a million things that could be causing my body to break down.  Then my mind goes blank.  Nothing.  Absolutely peaceful.  Nothing. …. Hello.  Are you okay? Hello.  Oh yea sorry.  Just thought I would lay down for a second’ I say to some day hikers who stumbled upon me.  They ask me if I need anything, I said No and hiked off.  In reality, I needed a lot.  A lot of what I wasn’t quite sure. 


Scorpion on Volcanic Rock
            I was moving okay again as the sun was getting low.  I was thinking, “Yeah! Feeling good again.  I will just hike most of the night.  Make up for this stupid day.”  But not after long, I hit the volcanic rock around Brown Mountain and I was hurting.  Every step was like needles in my foot. I was wincing, crying.  I wasn’t sure if I was crying from pain or from frustration of how things were falling apart on me.  I was breaking down, mentally for sure, physically it really only seemed to be my feet.  I was moving too slow for anything else to really speak up.  But why? What did I do wrong?  Who cares?  Just sleep it off, you will feel better tomorrow.  And so I went to bed at the early hour of 2000. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

PCT Day 38: Hot and Bothered

Day 38 6-25-2015       Sleep 2315 - 515
Miles 1699 – 1745

            No time to rest on accomplishments.  Today will be just as hot as yesterday and I can’t sleep through the only cool.  I was moving well, how can I feel so great?  Who cares you animal, lets do this!  The music was hitting all the right notes, I was superman.  I passed a couple having sex hardly off the trail behind a rock out cropping.  They tried to play it cool.  I didn’t say anything, but I was thinking, “I don’t care, have at it, I am busy over here trying to break a record”  The sun surely rose and the mercury as well.  I was fading.  Already, geez it is 1000 and I got all day exposed out here.  I got to a water source.  I threw back a few liters, doused my head.  Fresh!  Lets do this shit.  That lasted…for 20 minutes.  Back to fading.  My feet have become a situation onto themselves.  I have sweaty feet but this heat is making them swamptastic.  I am changing my socks almost every hour.  Even still, I have two blisters forming underneath my calluses on my left foot.  I have very thick calluses and they have pulled away from a very deep immature layer of skin.  They tend to be pretty painful and difficult to drain.  But I take out the nail clippers and drive right in.  It is nauseating.  But the sooner I am done, the sooner the pain subsides, the sooner I am moving again.  I end up dissecting both, dab and pad with some TP.  Cover em in duct tape.  Put some food wrappers in an extra sock to pad the one on my heel.  And I am up and running once more.
Blister Fare and Shasta is Still There
            I am so delirious, there is a ski resort? Haha no it is real.  Doesn’t seem like there would ever be snow here.  It is so dry.  None the less, a cooler.  Wait a cooler.  Yippie.  Candy bars and Diet Dr Pepper.  You got to be kidding me, DIET?  Whatever, tastes just like the original; they fucked up! (Mitch)  I keep going, but I am in the sun, the heat is killer.  Time to change the socks again.  I found a low grown pine for the shade.  I went to change my socks but then realized, I could wait it out in the shade.  Put my feet out in the sun to dry and it might just make everything great again.  I had made it 22-24 miles already.  I could rally and pull off another 22-24 in the afternoon and evening breeze and have just a fine day.  Okay.  I rested, with the ants crawling, the flies landing.  I was too tired and understanding.  Not a bother in the world, slept a good 45 minutes just passed out.
Double Vision is Normal for Dehydrated Weariness
You know it is good when your phone is tripping balls too!
     When I finally got up and moving, I had a sense of urgency.  Nothing like sitting still for an hour and a half to light a fire under your ass.  I ran down and hit the highway.  There was about a half mile of pavement walking. It was slightly uphill, but I felt good.  I ran.  I was jogging up this hill.  30 miles into my day, with a ten pound pack on after covering some 1700 miles the last 38 days.  Damn, I am in good shape I thought.  I kept cruising up the climb.  I was just running along feeling fine.  Oh yea, this is Oregon, it really is easy.  Time to make up some miles for sure!  Well than high lasted until the sun went down.  Again in a dark scary forest.  Hmm just keep going.  It was still hot, but more tolerable.  There was dust floating around in the air and it was really doing a number on my contacts.  The contacts get so dry, they stick to my eye and will blur my vision from time to time.  It is already more difficult to see at night under a head lamp light.  But this makes it just obnoxious.  Grr.  I decide that there is no rush with Hyatt Lake Resort not opening until 700.  I set up camp and pass out.  Good day in the struggle way, but I worked it and did alright on miles(46)
Cool evenings feel so good

Shasta is still there!


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

PCT Day 37: Hasta Luego Cali

Day 37 6-24-2015       Sleep 2200 - 400
Miles 1650 – 1699

            I woke up feeling great.  I am going to crush it today I thought as I got moving.  It was warm but comfortable as the sun was rising.  I got to the store early and got right to charging my phone, it had been nearly dead as it hadn’t had a charge in three days.  It was so nice being out in the middle of no where.  But now it was time for society.  The very nice lady showed up and opened shop for me.  I did the usually juice pounding and snacking while I shopped.  The routine…one item every hour while I hike plus two extra items at bed.  20 items a day, 50 miles a day, 90 miles to my next resupply.  38 items.  But probably an extra night as I wont make Hyatt Lake Resort early enough in a day so I will have to wait until morning.  1, 2, 3 …40.  Sweet.  Do I need any tape, medical supplies, drugs?  Nope, they aint got anything I need/want.  Besides Hyatt is a drop box and filled with the goodies I want.  Check out.  Poop. Grab my phone/battery.  On my way…
Looking Back to Seiad
Dem Ridges, my oh my!
           Glad I got that dialed.  It was a billiongazzilion degrees as I made my way up the 4,000 foot climb to the insufferable ridge.  Ok I exaggerated a bit.  But the high temperature in Seiad Valley was 107degsF. It was hot.  I was exposed.  There was no wind.  No water.  The perfect storm of hallucinations waiting to happen.  Now I love me a good trip, but when you are trying to make a good pace, it is often better to have your focus and your brain working properly.  Yeah, and dehydration probably doesn’t help.  Eff that. We are beyond the physical out here.  This is ultra running as the legend Yiannis Kouros described himself.  Mr Kouros claims that an ultra marathon is not going beyond 26.2 miles as most people maintain. No, No, it is going beyond the physical limitations and expanding into the realm of the mind and spirit.  Well we have certainly ended up there.  Yiannis Kouros uses everything at his disposal to gain motivation and says it is the most important part.  "Like a tree that grows stronger with more  branches and roots, you need to find more and more ways to be inspired" says Kouros in a tip of the ice berg article by Runners World.  There is a great youtube documentary about him if you are interested. Here are the links
The Insufferable Ridge
            Well anyway, the sun is getting lower in the sky.  It feels like it is not quite as ridiculously hot.  Coming back to earth.  Time to find some motivation.  Hey, Oregon is coming up soon, as I resupply there tomorrow.  I wonder how far it is to the border?  15 or so miles, damn!  It is 1800, I bet I can get there tonight.  Game on!  With a new sense of purpose to the day, I enjoyed my last sunset in California.  It was quite the nice sunset.  I traveled back to my days in San Francisco.  I remembered my favorite locations to eat, run, bike, chill and my favorite people.  I was flying over the trail riding high on emotions.  Which is a good thing, because it is kind of hard to see with tears in your eyes.  When that wore off it was dark and I was in a forest.  I suddenly got an eerie feeling.  How did I get into this dark and scary forest? Well I better hurry up and out of here.  I was climbing uphill, it seemed so late.  My eyes were trying to close on me.  Man this seems so far, you sure that was only 15 miles?  Dude, I have no fucking clue, I am in the middle of the woods without good maps or anyway of telling milage.  Geez, calm down, sorry.  Its okay, there is a sign.  A sign?  Wooooh  Whooo!  I made it.  Done with my first state! Only 1699 miles after starting.  I snapped a picture and passed out right there.
California Love
California Soul

            I figured it was faster than anyone had done before.  I knew  there was a CA PCT record because when I was planning my trip I read it somewhere on the FKT proboards.  –I was able to check in the next few days and by my notes I was pretty sure I set the new CA record.  Well I did; 36d17h36M for the 1699 miles averaging 46.25 miles per day.
Yeah, I Am Dirty

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

PCT Day 36: Marble Machine Madness

Day 36 6-23-2015       Sleep  2200 – 400
Miles 1601.5 -1650
           
            Magical morning heading into the Marble forest.  The cool is really just lighting a fire under my butt.  Flying.  As I write this, I was sitting in the bar…Yup.  Another awful analogy!  I was watching our bartenders hard at work.  Both whom are thru hikers in and of themselves (I don’t trust a non thru hiker to pour my beer) As I watched them work, I couldn’t fathom what they were doing.  It looked so complex.  I wondered how anyone could remember all the orders and work as smoothly as they did.  I often get that impression when I talk to people about my hiking adventures.  From the outside, it all seems so complex and difficult to fathom how it works.  But in reality, when you get inside, you see it is actually really simple.  Just repeated, often and quickly.  Same thing with hiking.  I wake up.  Tie my shoes.  Roll up my bivy, stuff it in my pack and I am walking.  Every hour my watch chimes and I eat one “thing” (Cliffbar, Ramen, Cheesey crackers, Pop tart, Gummy candy)  I poop when I need to poop (I stop walking for that one) I brush my teeth as I walk, I think, I daydream, I laugh and I cry.  This is how the time passes and the miles go by.  On the PCT I am able to walk most of the time with my head up, which is nice.  On the AT when I walked often times I would look up and then trip on some unforeseen root or rock.  When I run, I can almost always keep my head up no matter the trail.  I find this to be a big difference that I only noticed after a long time.  The AT was the tunnel, head down watching my steps.  Which, lead to my thoughts being internal and analyzing things driven from my own mind.  On the PCT I was able to keep my head up and enjoy the views.  This lead to my thoughts wondering and being driven by external stimulus.  Not that one is better or worse, but different for sure. 
One of my favorites from the trail

It was cool for along time today, but with the sun out the afternoon became hot once again.  The low (my high) was fleeting and the high (my low) was rolling back in.  I was up high on the ridge, so that was my saving grace.  But I knew eventually the trail would tilt down and I would be running into a hot valley.  I figured there was no reason to rush to the heat.  I found a nice shady spot, spread out my garbage bag, took off my shoes, put my feet up on the tree and laid my head on my pack.  I had done this move seemingly a million times before.  But now something felt different.  Like some deep satisfaction in my gut.  That I knew how to take care of my body so well that I was able to make it “machine” like.  I closed my eyes and thought about how ridiculous my life has been.  All these seemingly impossible things over the past few years, that I applied myself, worked hard, suffered but then was capable of doing.  Oh boy, now I was getting motivated.  Yes I can do this! I got this!  But I have only been laying here for a few minutes.  Calm down and get some rest.
Marble Forest
     Finally, my watch chimed and I was up and at it.  The trail tilting down, I was flying.  My mind at ease I was making great progress.  Fortunately or not.  I could only go so far; resupply tomorrow in Seiad Valley, store opens at 700.  I had made it down the majority of the descent and was running along a creek.  I decided to pull the plug rather early.  I knew tomorrow would be hot and I rather get some miles in before the store opens, while it was still cool.  My legs were still feeling good and I thought this was another one of my bodily intuitions; to stop before I was beat and broken, so that I would be feeling better tomorrow.  As I laid down, I realized I was a lot more spent than I thought and passed out immediately.

Friday, February 26, 2016

PCT Day 35: Lets Do This!

Day 35 6-22-2015       Sleep 2200 - 400
Miles 1553 – 1601.5
           
            You know when you are really hot and delirious and then get blasted with cold.  How you sober up and suddenly you can think clearly again.  Bam!  Cold morning moving to get warm awesomeness.  I was trucking despite the toughness of the Trinity Forest.  But I am a machine, with a fresh oil change.  Lets do this! one of my favorite power sayings.  You know, when you are asked to do something, you give it a quick thought and realize there is no way you are not doing it.  So to make it a thousand times easier you just pretend you are stoked to do it.  Except in this situation, I do want to do it, I am just like really really ridiculously tired-looking.  Trinity forest is absolutely beautiful.  Definitely hope to go back some time.  I was in go mode, so I did not take a lot of pictures.  But you should just go there because pictures aren’t half as cool.  And I don’t think you have to walk 1500 miles to get there.
Forest

            I rounded a saddle by Russian Peak and there was a burnt forest.  I love burnt forests.  I think of a burn as a cleanse.  Clearing out the junk and leaving only the skeletons of the oldest and most steadfast trees.  I think a burn is a good metaphor for what you need to do in life some times.  When you are spending too much time with the wrong people, doing the wrong things or collecting too much junk.  Although it may hurt at the time.  It allows you to get back to your roots and start over as who you truly are.  It helps you regain focus on the things that are important to you.  And um, oh yeah, focus.  So here I am the hour getting late.  Once again, nothing major happened today.  Couldn’t help but have a deep satisfaction of how the last two days have gone.  The cooler air helps for sure, but maybe I am re-finding my rhythm at 48 miles per day!  Stoked and not wanting to over do it.  I set up camp before the sun was set and enjoyed thinking about having a great day tomorrow.
Under The Russian Mountain
So Fresh
So Clean

Supremely Satisfied
Shastas Still There



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

PCT Day 34: Trinity: Father Son and some effin Spirit

Day 34 6-21-2015       Sleep 2000 - 330
Miles 1506 – 1553                  

Clouds
They block the sun
            Turns out the break I need, was just a break indeed.  Feeling better mentally and physically, I was moving with a sense of ease.  As the sun rose, the sky was off.  I’m a cloud guy, bring the rain!  But that was short lived.  The beautiful morning definitely had me in a good mood.  It was 80 degrees and breezy the rest of the day.  It felt like being in the artic compared to the last few days; welcomed change.  I decided to call my Dad for fathers day.  Surprised, he answered.  We talked briefly.  And then I spilled into it.  I told him I was sorry about the debacle from the AT last summer.  And he apologized too.  We came to some understanding.  It was great. 
And more clouds

            I wasn’t going fast by any standards.  I would say I was cruising.  Movement was easy and my mind was at ease.  These were the kind of miles I need.  There was no one around that was awesome too.  Well except for Mr Bear over there.  He is too busy stuffing his face to care about my leisure pace.  And so on the day went.  Until the sun was getting low and I was cold?  Really?  I put my jacket on and walked until the sun was fully set.  Then I was getting cold even in my jacket.  I searched out a warm camp spot and that ended the day.  A fairly uneventful day if I may say.  It wasn’t hot, the miles passed with ease and shit didn’t hit the fan.   Alright, I’ll take it.  
 Castle Crags
Shastas still there
Cold? what is this sensation.