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Archive for June 14th, 2006

Destination: Shepard Pass Trail
Starting Location: Rock Creek Crossing
Today’s Miles: 14.70
Trip Miles: 775.30
Rock Creek Crossing (760.3, 9,550) to Shepard Pass Trail (775,10,930) ascent (4,500) descent (3,500)
The mileage was easy but not without challenges. We had our first creek crossing within minutes of breaking camp. Sugar Daddy was not so sure so he tried a self castration by swimming across a log. That did not look so good to me so I opted for getting wet. It was good to get the first one completed early. We had 3 more throughout the day and they got progressively more difficult. After Sugar waded number 3 & 4 he commented on the huge confidence boost it gave him. I had the same feeling and was thankful for years of fly fishing & wading streams. These were not very tough, but the water was mid thigh level, cold, medium velocity & we were carrying packs.
The snow also got a bit more interesting today & we were off trail for 2 miles amid solid snow fields. Sugar has a great sense of direction combined with my fair map reading, & memory from my 2005 JMT hike we found our way. It was an odd feeling being off trail. We were in no danger but the trail does provide security, and a confidence. Being off trail does just the opposite.
Given that Sugar Daddy has a GPS with him, during a lunch break we decided we should see if we had any clue regarding how to work the thing. Now if you are thinking I should have done that before I left home remember that I did not bring a GPS. Regardless, we have one so we turned it on, and I am happy to report that after 26 years my memory regarding calling in artillery fire kicked in, and thus we owe another positive to the Marine Corps training. We first figured out latitude & longitude, & I made a grid so we could plot it more accurately. Then we focused on using the simpler VTM system & Sugar figured out how to reset the unit to that measurement system. So we can now locate ourselves on a map. If we played with it more we should be able to locate a point on the map & then navigate to it. Of course a compass & a watch does the same thing. I am glad we have the GPS but do not believe we need it. However things were exponentially more difficult today than yesterday & if that trend continues, hell, we may need a satellite link & locator collars around our necks…Hope not.
We are camped with our European friends again & we will head up Forester Pass together tomorrow. Greener went by late and was thinking about trying to summit tonight or setting up just below the final climb.
I am caught up on my sleep after two 10 hour nights. It feels really good. My shoes are soaked from the snow & creek crossings & putting them on tomorrow is going to suck. For now I have on my sleeping socks and have my feet wrapped up in my sleeping bag to get them warmed up (our last crossing was just before camp). Sugar Daddy has his socks hung in a tree & I am betting they will be frozen by morning. I learned that lesson last night & now have every thing in my tent including my wet shoes.
Been thinking about what I want to do with the next chapter of my life; nothing certain but time for relationship building with family & friends and most important Lucky Liz is a key component. I also want to be involved where I can make a difference. This may include continued involvement with the PCTA. I hope so. Living someplace beautiful is also on the list and Sacramento, while a good town, that has treated me well, does not reconcile in the long term. So we will see. That is in the future & this hike is increasingly demonstrating the value of now.
Destination: Shepard Pass Trail
Starting Location: Rock Creek Crossing
Today’s Miles: 14.70
Trip Miles: 775.30
Rock Creek Crossing (760.3, 9,550) to Shepard Pass Trail (775,10,930) ascent (4,500) descent (3,500)
The mileage was easy but not without challenges. We had our first creek crossing within minutes of breaking camp. Sugar Daddy was not so sure so he tried a self castration by swimming across a log. That did not look so good to me so I opted for getting wet. It was good to get the first one completed early. We had 3 more throughout the day and they got progressively more difficult. After Sugar waded number 3 & 4 he commented on the huge confidence boost it gave him. I had the same feeling and was thankful for years of fly fishing & wading streams. These were not very tough, but the water was mid thigh level, cold, medium velocity & we were carrying packs.
The snow also got a bit more interesting today & we were off trail for 2 miles amid solid snow fields. Sugar has a great sense of direction combined with my fair map reading, & memory from my 2005 JMT hike we found our way. It was an odd feeling being off trail. We were in no danger but the trail does provide security, and a confidence. Being off trail does just the opposite.
Given that Sugar Daddy has a GPS with him, during a lunch break we decided we should see if we had any clue regarding how to work the thing. Now if you are thinking I should have done that before I left home remember that I did not bring a GPS. Regardless, we have one so we turned it on, and I am happy to report that after 26 years my memory regarding calling in artillery fire kicked in, and thus we owe another positive to the Marine Corps training. We first figured out latitude & longitude, & I made a grid so we could plot it more accurately. Then we focused on using the simpler VTM system & Sugar figured out how to reset the unit to that measurement system. So we can now locate ourselves on a map. If we played with it more we should be able to locate a point on the map & then navigate to it. Of course a compass & a watch does the same thing. I am glad we have the GPS but do not believe we need it. However things were exponentially more difficult today than yesterday & if that trend continues, hell, we may need a satellite link & locator collars around our necks…Hope not.
We are camped with our European friends again & we will head up Forester Pass together tomorrow. Greener went by late and was thinking about trying to summit tonight or setting up just below the final climb.
I am caught up on my sleep after two 10 hour nights. It feels really good. My shoes are soaked from the snow & creek crossings & putting them on tomorrow is going to suck. For now I have on my sleeping socks and have my feet wrapped up in my sleeping bag to get them warmed up (our last crossing was just before camp). Sugar Daddy has his socks hung in a tree & I am betting they will be frozen by morning. I learned that lesson last night & now have every thing in my tent including my wet shoes.
Been thinking about what I want to do with the next chapter of my life; nothing certain but time for relationship building with family & friends and most important Lucky Liz is a key component. I also want to be involved where I can make a difference. This may include continued involvement with the PCTA. I hope so. Living someplace beautiful is also on the list and Sacramento, while a good town, that has treated me well, does not reconcile in the long term. So we will see. That is in the future & this hike is increasingly demonstrating the value of now.
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