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Archive for June 6th, 2006

Destination: Junction at Bird Springs Pass
Starting Location: Landers Creek
Today’s Miles: 24.10
Trip Miles: 631.70
Landers Creek (607.3, 6300) to Junction at Bird Springs Pass (631.4, 5355) ascent (3501) descent (4462)
The Sierra feel of yesterday was a dirty trick. Knowing we had 35 miles to our next water, we rose early to a very cool morning. So much so that Weed & I headed out before Sugar Daddy was ready in order to warm up. If only that feeling had lasted. The trail quickly plummeted down the rain shadow of the mountain & rapidly morphed into a desert with the accompanying heat. At Kelso Road a small cache of water had about 1 gallon left. We had left Landers with 6 liters each & an agreement that we would only drink 3 liters before our dry camp. We were still full & left the water for others.
As we prepared to depart, Cloudwalker & his wife (Mrs. Cloudwalker) drove up and offered us fruit, power bars & water. Given we were starving we gladly accepted & treated ourselves with a half liter drink. Then we headed into the toughest environmental conditions of our hike thus far; steep fully exposed climb, deep hot sand, no water, & temperatures approaching 100 degrees. Are we having fun yet? At 1:00 we could go no farther & contorted our bodies to fit slivers of shade provided by a Joshua tree. Weed had previously conducted a pagan cloud dance (minus the Peyote) & Sugar Daddy had asked for a breeze provided it was God’s will. I, being the heathen, did nothing. Unbelievable and quickly clouds developed and a breeze began to blow . . . I kid you not! We grabbed our packs and headed back up. It was still brutal but not impossible. Then we heard this loud buzzing and looked up to see an enormous swarm of bees immediately above us in a Joshua. Weed and Sugar rushed through & I ran in the opposite direction and then went off trail to avoid them. We finally got to our night camp and found 3 cups of water in the 40 gallon cache. We toasted and each enjoyed a cup.
We all made our goal & had 3 liters when we arrived. The next group in only had one liter left and are going to be in for a tough 11 miles in the morning. We will be thirsty but should be fine. I have enough food for breakfast & a mid morning snack & then nothing but food fantasies until we see pop at 178.
Despite the tough conditions today, I was strong & am still off the vitamin I. How much you take seems to be in direct proportion to how much you hurt.
Starting to think more about the snow north of Kennedy Meadows. Heard today that highway 108 (Sonora pass) is now open & that 120 (Tuolumne pass) will open in a few weeks. This is potentially good news but we won’t know for sure until we are above 10,000 ft. I am not too worried about the snow but the route finding could be a challenge and heading down the wrong drainage in the Sierra can have consequences, so I have some apprehension.
Destination: Junction at Bird Springs Pass
Starting Location: Landers Creek
Today’s Miles: 24.10
Trip Miles: 631.70
Landers Creek (607.3, 6300) to Junction at Bird Springs Pass (631.4, 5355) ascent (3501) descent (4462)
The Sierra feel of yesterday was a dirty trick. Knowing we had 35 miles to our next water, we rose early to a very cool morning. So much so that Weed & I headed out before Sugar Daddy was ready in order to warm up. If only that feeling had lasted. The trail quickly plummeted down the rain shadow of the mountain & rapidly morphed into a desert with the accompanying heat. At Kelso Road a small cache of water had about 1 gallon left. We had left Landers with 6 liters each & an agreement that we would only drink 3 liters before our dry camp. We were still full & left the water for others.
As we prepared to depart, Cloudwalker & his wife (Mrs. Cloudwalker) drove up and offered us fruit, power bars & water. Given we were starving we gladly accepted & treated ourselves with a half liter drink. Then we headed into the toughest environmental conditions of our hike thus far; steep fully exposed climb, deep hot sand, no water, & temperatures approaching 100 degrees. Are we having fun yet? At 1:00 we could go no farther & contorted our bodies to fit slivers of shade provided by a Joshua tree. Weed had previously conducted a pagan cloud dance (minus the Peyote) & Sugar Daddy had asked for a breeze provided it was God’s will. I, being the heathen, did nothing. Unbelievable and quickly clouds developed and a breeze began to blow . . . I kid you not! We grabbed our packs and headed back up. It was still brutal but not impossible. Then we heard this loud buzzing and looked up to see an enormous swarm of bees immediately above us in a Joshua. Weed and Sugar rushed through & I ran in the opposite direction and then went off trail to avoid them. We finally got to our night camp and found 3 cups of water in the 40 gallon cache. We toasted and each enjoyed a cup.
We all made our goal & had 3 liters when we arrived. The next group in only had one liter left and are going to be in for a tough 11 miles in the morning. We will be thirsty but should be fine. I have enough food for breakfast & a mid morning snack & then nothing but food fantasies until we see pop at 178.
Despite the tough conditions today, I was strong & am still off the vitamin I. How much you take seems to be in direct proportion to how much you hurt.
Starting to think more about the snow north of Kennedy Meadows. Heard today that highway 108 (Sonora pass) is now open & that 120 (Tuolumne pass) will open in a few weeks. This is potentially good news but we won’t know for sure until we are above 10,000 ft. I am not too worried about the snow but the route finding could be a challenge and heading down the wrong drainage in the Sierra can have consequences, so I have some apprehension.
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