PCT Day 15: Kennedy Meadows Cheddar Cheese Massacree
Day 15 6-2-2015 Sleep 2000 - 330
Miles 671 – 718
It was breezy and cold when I first started. I knew I was in the mountains and this would become more the norm. What a relief. Being too hot to hike midday, trying to sleep during the day and hike all night was really wearing on me. Sleep is import, to me. I don’t think more is better. You want to sleep efficiently. I believe in the ~90 minute sleep cycles. I think mine are closer to 86 minutes, they all vary and person to person there will be huge variation. 90 minutes is easy to calculate. So when I am falling asleep I set my alarm at four hours and thirty minutes or a full six hours later. I figure it takes me a few more minutes to fall asleep therefore less than 90 minute sleep cycles. But this is all guesstimation and I have not perfected sleep. That being said, 90 minutes of sleep, which I was getting the last three nights out of the desert was not enough. Physical exhaustion; I’ll work through. But when your mind is exhausted; forget about it. You start questioning everything, why are you out there killing yourself? It is a real motivation zapper. So it was nice to get a huge night of sleep and I look forward to getting back to “normal” for me.
|Cold Mountain Morning|
I was jogging along, feeling good and flowing. A resupply always gets me in a good mood. It seemed like forever since the last resuply so that was adding to the sensation. Also, it was a big resupply for me. 205 miles. That is a lot of food, not to mention the bear can and extra warm layers that waited for me as well. I cruised down a long descent, soaring over a rattlesnake at one point as if it was just a hurdle on the track; without missing a step. Yeah, I am on one. Ran the rolling sandy section all the way to the road. Three quarters a mile off the trail down a road I was greeted by a roaring applause (they do this for every approaching hiker, I am not special). What the eff. There were ~100 hikers hanging out like a big block party. Okay, relax Joey, you can do this. You are probably wondering why this is such a big deal. But I am a total agoraphobic. Dinner and a movie with friends is a nerve racking scary experience for me. It is just how I am wired. Put me on a 1,000 foot shelf on a mountain, I am okay. But showering, wearing jeans, getting in a car and going to dinner. Whoa, fill my valium script doc. I have worked on it in the past, with some success too. But going to a mall, movie, dinner; it is just not me anyway, so why spend effort to do it easier. I will say, public speaking and giving presentations doesn’t bother me, go figure. But I assume that is because it is a “performance” a “challenge” and so I get all in my competitive mode and stay relaxed. But as far as social events, I rather just enjoy the freaking out I do, for the few times I do “go out” Its sad sure, but it is who I am. I’ve accepted it, now give me some mountains!
|Long Smooth Descent: Also LSD|
I go in the store and ask for my package. While waiting I pick out some V8, OJ and a block of cheese. I housed all three by the time my package was ready. The lady said. “she had never seen anyone finish a whole block of cheese that fast” (not the first time I heard that) then she mentioned that I had some dangling off my beard…guess I didn’t quite finish it. I went to pack up my bag and leave as quickly as I could. For the life of me I could not figure out how I was suppose to pack it. I remember practicing at home and something was attached to the outside of my pack, but I just couldn’t think straight and remember. Finally, I realize it was my dry bag (warm clothes and sleep situation) So with my pack bulging at the seams and a dry bag hanging off the back, I finally got out of there and made my way back to the trail. I knew this was going to be rough. But I told myself, it is only a few days. My legs will be stronger and I will be used to carrying this heavy bulky pack. Then I will have a light pack and feel like I am weightless.
|Horned Toad? Hornyd Frog? Horny Lizard...I'm lonely|
The trail climbed ever so slightly for the next 12 or so miles. I felt no reason to do anything other than walk. I survived the desert and I was entering the mountains. A feeling of satisfaction swelled inside me. Hardest part done. Second hardest part ahead, but also the most enjoyable and one I look forward to the most. I knew the Sierras would be beautiful. I had never been except for up to Tahoe for skiing. Which is beautiful in it’s own right, but it is not summer in the Sierras. The sun set and the temperature cooled. I was content with the day and wanted a good nights rest to start this next amazing part of my journey fresh. I found a nice sandy spot and was out before I even realized.