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.


PCT Day 33: Gas Station Heavenly Oasis

Day 33 6-20-2015       Sleep  2330 – 400
Miles 1478 – 1506
           
            I woke up feeling exhausted and depleted.  Nonetheless, I started moving.  I always feel better once I start moving.  But here I was moving and all I felt like doing was stopping.  Resting.  All I need is a bit of rest.  To get some energy back in the tank.  I need a break.  I moved a long an overgrown trail. I was annoyed.  I had my hand ups blocking the branches from slapping me in the face.  My knee clunked into and rock.  I tried to ease off as I did a forward somersault to the ground.  I was pissed.  Cursing, I punched the ground, threw a rock and then started crying.  Why can’t anything just go my way.  I just need to catch a break.  I got up and kept moving, I always feel better once I start moving. 
            I was feeling in a fog but just trying to keep the forward progress.  I decided to call my brother and get a second opinion.  He answered, I explained.  He listened so well and just calmly suggested that maybe I just need to take a break.  Yes.  Why hadn’t I thought of that?  The old proverb, when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.  Oh yeah, now it is on.  I had a plan, motivated and moving well once again.  Now I am flying downhill to my resupply.  I was feeling so good; I couldn’t help but think, maybe I should just grab my resupply and keep going.  Geez Joey, not even an hour ago you were crying on the ground.   Okay, just a thought.  Calm down.  We can decide when we get there.  Or let the trail decided.  As I finished the long downhill it was the middle of the day and a scorcher again.  I hit the road and started on my two mile approach to heaven (a highway gas station).  The sun cooked me and my brain rotted once again.  By the time I arrived at the gas station, hiking was the last thing in my mind that I wanted to do.

I went to town.  I had five of those Juice Smoothies, got to rehydrate (can’t choose a flavor, try em all!)  I should probably get a half gallon of OJ too, wouldn’t want to break tradition.  Then to get some calories in, I bought two of the nasty gas station sandwiches, two blocks of cheese, 3 bananas, a sleeve of oreos and a half gallon of ice cream.  As I devoured it all sitting against the shady wall of the gas station, I realized… I said no ice cream before the trail.  It was over 100 degrees out and “Ice Cream was a bad choice”  I passed out comatose and dripping sweat.  I woke up probably no more that an hour later, hungry, super dehydrated and now my feet were in shooting pain.  I was a sloppy drunk just trying to get my shoes on to go back into the store.  Struggling for a bit, I finally made it in and out of the store acquiring some lotion.  Making it back to my shady cement heaven.  I ripped off my shoes and applied copious amounts of lotion somewhat easing my pain.  I was falling asleep again.  Food comatose? Dehydration? Extreme fatigue? Heat exhaustion?  Probably a bit of a combo of each.  Still, makes it difficult to get anything done.  Thirty minutes asleep.  Wide awake feet aching like crazy.  Apply lotion.  Fall asleep.  Rinse and repeat for the next few hours.  Finally, around 1800, the sun was going down and the temperature had dropped a few degrees.  I finally was awake and ready to go grocery shopping.  I was under the impression that I was getting my energy stores very depleted and that was ultimately leading to the fatigue, foggy and otherwise edgy me.  So to prevent that from happening again, I would make sure I would get plenty of extra calories and make sure there were a lot of carbohydrates.  In my nature I over did it; $150 later, I walked out of the gas station with only a hint that I had bought too much.  As I tried to fit it all in my pack it was confirmed, yes, yes indeed I got too much food.  I off loaded some stuff to two hitchhikers in the parking lot.  They wanted to give me something in exchange.  I tried to explain to them, that was the problem.  I have too much stuff and am too lazy to carry it all.  They did not understand nor complain.  Finally all resupplied, I walked back a half mile to the Highway underpass and set up camp right under the rafters.  I was not going to hike the two miles back to the woods in my current state.  I have always been curious about people sleeping in the highway underpasses, so I figured I would give it a try it.  Goodnight!  
Shady 5 feet of heaven: between a bathroom and a portapotty

PCT Day 32: Hot And Fried, But I Tried

Day 32 6-19-2015       Sleep 000 - 300
Miles 1429 – 1478
           
            I felt good and was moving well in the morning.  I felt like I had survived a storm and things were going to go smooth for awhile.  The trail was easy but exposed out in the sun.  I was getting fried again.  Am I just not able to handle the heat in my current situation? Or is it really that hot?  I passed a few days hikers that looked like they were struggling.  One of them said it’s a scorcher out here.  Sweet, I am not losing my mind.  But that doesn’t help me not get fried.  Ugh, what to do?  So I found ten feet of shade behind a clump of trees and laid down.  Maybe I will get my nap and go later into the night.  It didn’t really feel that much cooler.  When you are up and moving, there is a breeze and your blood is pumping.  Here on the ground, everything is still, the blood pools and you get hazy and weak.  Then the insects come.  First the flies land, then the ants crawl.  FUCK.  Yelling to no one in the woods.

Some creatures you don't mind landing on you

            So I get up and hike again feeling light-headed, weak, and woozy.  Off to my right is Mt. Shasta, how I wish I could be up in the snow.  Skiing and feeling the cool breeze.  What torture!  I just tried to find my rhythm and groove out the day.  It was a struggle for sure.  But not before long the sun was lower on the horizon and I could feel that cooling breeze.  The trail tipped downhill and I could feel the momentum shift.  I was flying!  Yes, that feeling of satisfaction.  I had survived another midday meltdown and things were good again.  A mile later I could feel my legs getting heavy and my brain getting slow.  Damn.  I am just fried.  But I have 10 more miles of downhill to fly!  I did the best I could, but it was a struggle.  I would start walking.  My brain would snap out of its day dream and yell at my body to run.  This would happen almost every 5 minutes for the next two hours. 
Goes on for daysssssss; Fried
  Finally, I reached the river and the dark.  The flats and then the uphill.  Finally I could justifiably walk.  It felt refreshing to walk and not feel as though I should be running.  I set off daydreaming or duskdreaming?  Sleep walking? Who knows.  But I was woken from my glorious marching slumber, by two bright little spots off in the trees to my right.  Dumb deer.  I turned my headlamp up and it was a kitty kat to my surprise.  Well that sure woke me up and right as I was getting some good sleep and miles in.  I strode on until the trail tilted downhill again.  The steps hurt.  I thought it was best to get some rest.  Good day.  Goodnight! 
Shas Daddy, Lets go skiing!