Thursday, August 25, 2016

Day 112- The One With All Of The Blow Downs

Aug 22, 2016
Highway 140(1770.9) to Stealthsite(1798.2) 27.3 Miles
Total up/down: +3,942/-2,631 feet

I thought I was going to have a nice and easy day today, but I was wrong. Due to the way the water sources were spread out I planned out a twenty seven mile day. I have been doing up to thirty miles pretty consistently so I thought twenty seven would be easy. The elevation profile seemed like a breeze as well. What I hadn't planned on was the horrendous trail conditions. I felt like I was hiking through molasses. Every few feet trees were blown down. Some I could easily step over, others I had to climb over, and most of the time I had to hike around. 

The day started off pretty normal. I had no inclination of what was to come. I cruised through the first eight miles and I made great time too. I stopped for second breakfast around nine thirty. As I was sitting on a dead tree eating my poptart I looked over and saw an Oreo on the log next to me. I only hesitated slightly before picking it up and eating it. It didn't taste too stale so I'm guessing it hadn't been there for long. 
My mother will be horrified by this tale

I thought that this Oreo was a good omen for the rest of the day. Shortly after the mysterious Oreo I hiked past a clearing with a lake in the distance. Too bad it was so far away. I could have used a nice dip in a lake. Alas, every time I have extra time in my day for a lake it is too far away. 
Pretty sweet lake in the distance

Twenty minutes after I passed the lake my day went to hell. At first I had fun hoping over and around all of the blow downs. After hours and hours of it, not so much. 
At this point I was still enjoying myself
Thirty minutes later the novelty was beginning to wear off

As the day progressed the downed trees got much worse. They were closer together and the trees became bigger and bushier. I probably added a few miles to my day for how much I had to walk off trail to get around the trees. I think I hiked about fifteen miles of my day through this madness. I had one short section were I was mostly above tree line and could walk normally. I also had cell reception through this section so that brightened my day. I was able to get a few blog posts published and to check the tracking on an Amazon order. Sometimes it is the simple things in life that can make your day. 
Big tree down
Several trees down. There is a trail under all of that mess

The cell reception couldn't have come at a better time. I just finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I took the opportunity to download the Audible version of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Once I got the audiobook downloaded the downed trees didn't bother me as much. I find that audiobooks are a better distraction than music. I prefer music to get me up big climbs. 
Great view while I downloaded Harry Potter 

Unfortunately, after being above tree line I descended into more madness. I'm super thankful for all of the hard working trail maintainers. I have heard that this section was even worse just one month ago. A lot of people just turned around and gave up, skipping this section until later. In order to clean up all of the downed trees the maintainers come in via horseback and use chainsaws and pulleys to clean up the mess. It is hard to believe that it was even worse just one month ago. 
Obstacles as far as the eye can see

When I started out this morning I expected to make it into camp by 5-5:30. Instead I got in around seven. Oh well, looking back on it now it wasn't a difficult day of hiking. It was just time consuming. As I was cooking dinner my friend, Mozart, walked by. I haven't seen him since Mt. Whitney. It was great to catch up. By the sound of things we are hiking roughly the same daily mileage. It would be nice to have a friendly face around for awhile. Ever since leaving Tahoe I see new people and hike around them for a day or two and then I get ahead and never see them again. If I can't hike with the Wolf Pack I would at least like to be in a bubble. 

"Conquering any difficulty always gives one a secret joy, for it means pushing back a boundary-line and adding to one`s liberty.” 
~ Henri Frederic Amiel


  1. Happy you were able to skirt the downed trees and brush; with a third of the trail left to go now is no time for a twisted ankle, knee, etc.. Good miles too. Outro isn't too far behind you according to her blog; can't say about the rest of the Pack. Keep stepping, Far Walker!

    Double G

  2. Wow! Rough day but Yah for downloading Harry Potter!!! I would totally have eaten that Oreo also!! I'm surprised it was any covered, but extra protein I guess, if it was! Love you! Alie

  3. There was a secret monitoring device stored in that Oreo...a distant planet and curious beings are watching...they think you represent the human race...and will think average humans walk 30 miles a day...

    They are in for a shock when they see the rest of us..

  4. Of course that Oreo hadn't been there long! Any self-respecting hiker would have eaten that. (Hi Jeannette...). Sorry about the rough trail, I could see that getting old in a hurry.

    1. Airlock, we must of been writing at the same time. Hi to you and Gary.

  5. I am appalled that you would eat anything just sitting on a log. Berries you weren't sure of name and now, a stray Oreo, what's next.. I'm sure the Oreo had been there longer than the 5 second rule. What would NH Kathy say to that? Annoymous could be right, something could have been put inside!! I'm sorry you are missing Wolf pack. I sent Outro a note that when she catches up to you dinner is on me and Hannibal. Either you slow down or they go faster. I would like to see you finish together. Be safe out there. I miss and love you, hiking daughter.

  6. Extra not-your Oreo? SCORE!! And you didn't even have to pack the weight of it before consumption? Double SCORE!! Sorry General(Momma Yoda) I would have eaten that good alien monitoring Oreo with a smile on my face😘.

  7. WOW...that lone Oreo sparked a lot of comments!
    It did not look like it had been there long, so I wouldn't have worried about the tree it was on...but a germaphobe , I would have wondered about how it got if human hands touched it. You were fine to write about all is well. If you left it, you would have craved an Oreo for the rest of the day....can't have that!
    We at home that only read about your hike know that rules while on the trail are different than "the real world". I am sure none of you would pick up a cookie(oreo or not) while walking down the street.
    Maybe there are "trail fairies" out there as well as trail angels......... let them continue to sprinkle oreos on the trail!
    stay safe and healthy, and hike on!
    Kathy in NH

  8. Of course it wasn't there long, a critter would have wandered upon it if it had been!