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Archive for June 22nd, 2006

Destination: Senger Creek
Starting Location: Somewhere in a snow field south of Evolution Lake
Today’s Miles: 16.60
Trip Miles: 861.40
South of Evolution Lake (843.5, 10,820) to Senger Creek (860.1, 9740) ascent (3593) descent (4721)
Who said anything about swimming the PCT? While descending rapidly we watched as dozens of major tributaries & hundreds of smaller ones fed into Evolution Creek – the same creek we had to cross. At the crossing this was no creek but rather a class V kayakers dream. As recommended we walked up stream to just below the meadow & found a wide oxbow in the river. The gradient was very shallow & thus the velocity was manageable. It was about 30 yards across with a really nice gravel bottom. Only problem – last 6 yards 8 feet deep. Regardless this was a safe crossing because all you had to do was head up high, at the deep part, & let the current help throw you into the corner. Since it was “my” strategy I got “told” I was going first. I checked to ensure everything in my pack was water protected & I figured my pack would be pretty buoyant as a result of dry bags & a bear can. I unbuckled the waste belt (that was a really good idea) & headed across. In the deep area my pack did indeed float well but it was awkward still attached to my shoulders. Having shoes on & hiking poles in hand also added to the highly modified breast/freestyle/dog paddle. That water was snow melt cold but I was out in a minute & I was beaming. Yesterday I had thought to myself that I will swim across if I have to & funny I did have to & did. The others used a trash bag to float their pack across. Worked well – but a pack damn near went down river as a swimmer, appropriately, tried to get themselves to safety first. We are all good swimmers & everyone did great. On the other side we were shaking like crazy & celebrating our success when we realized we were now in a bog & the mosquitoes had found our newly naked bodies as we got dressed.
We later saw Sunny & tadpole & they had crossed below us. They didn’t swim but Tadpole said she almost took a very serious ride down the river. Fo us, our strategy was the safest & worked for all team members.
Stopped in at Muir Trail Ranch to pick up the Swiss food drop. Met Pat who is a most gracious woman who works at the ranch. We got the package & a hiker box full of military-meals ready to eat (MRE). Now I remember those being awful but we mowed through these things like it was the best food we had ever eaten. I will no longer be low on calories going into VVR. Muir Trail Ranch is an excellent resupply option & Pat is totally committed to getting the packages to hikers. They do no have other services but if you just need your stuff they will have it. I did not use this option because with the heavy snow it was uncertain if they would be open. Pat had been at work 4 days.
I am actually full & my stomach is confused by the feeling.
While my hygiene is still excellent & I am very careful with important matters such as using soap & water & Purell after going to the restroom, my cleanliness is dropping fast. We are so tired & cold by the time we go to bed that the last thing on my mind is to go to the creek & get cleaned u. Some nights I use a baby wipe & Purell but I have to admit sometimes I just get into my bag & pass out. I stink. I stink a lot. And this crap that hikers don’t smell themselves is just that. Do they care is the question. At Muir Trail Ranch I talked to some really clean people, and it was weird. I mean it, they were so clean & you could smell the soap, the shampoo, conditioner, & the deodorant. My sense of smell has changed (improved) dramatically in these two months. I can now distinguish different forest types by their smell, I catch scents of water before I hear it, & I swear it is true you can often smell day hikers or weekenders before you hear or see them. Using your senses – sharpen your senses.
Destination: Senger Creek
Starting Location: Somewhere in a snow field south of Evolution Lake
Today’s Miles: 16.60
Trip Miles: 861.40
South of Evolution Lake (843.5, 10,820) to Senger Creek (860.1, 9740) ascent (3593) descent (4721)
Who said anything about swimming the PCT? While descending rapidly we watched as dozens of major tributaries & hundreds of smaller ones fed into Evolution Creek – the same creek we had to cross. At the crossing this was no creek but rather a class V kayakers dream. As recommended we walked up stream to just below the meadow & found a wide oxbow in the river. The gradient was very shallow & thus the velocity was manageable. It was about 30 yards across with a really nice gravel bottom. Only problem – last 6 yards 8 feet deep. Regardless this was a safe crossing because all you had to do was head up high, at the deep part, & let the current help throw you into the corner. Since it was “my” strategy I got “told” I was going first. I checked to ensure everything in my pack was water protected & I figured my pack would be pretty buoyant as a result of dry bags & a bear can. I unbuckled the waste belt (that was a really good idea) & headed across. In the deep area my pack did indeed float well but it was awkward still attached to my shoulders. Having shoes on & hiking poles in hand also added to the highly modified breast/freestyle/dog paddle. That water was snow melt cold but I was out in a minute & I was beaming. Yesterday I had thought to myself that I will swim across if I have to & funny I did have to & did. The others used a trash bag to float their pack across. Worked well – but a pack damn near went down river as a swimmer, appropriately, tried to get themselves to safety first. We are all good swimmers & everyone did great. On the other side we were shaking like crazy & celebrating our success when we realized we were now in a bog & the mosquitoes had found our newly naked bodies as we got dressed.
We later saw Sunny & tadpole & they had crossed below us. They didn’t swim but Tadpole said she almost took a very serious ride down the river. Fo us, our strategy was the safest & worked for all team members.
Stopped in at Muir Trail Ranch to pick up the Swiss food drop. Met Pat who is a most gracious woman who works at the ranch. We got the package & a hiker box full of military-meals ready to eat (MRE). Now I remember those being awful but we mowed through these things like it was the best food we had ever eaten. I will no longer be low on calories going into VVR. Muir Trail Ranch is an excellent resupply option & Pat is totally committed to getting the packages to hikers. They do no have other services but if you just need your stuff they will have it. I did not use this option because with the heavy snow it was uncertain if they would be open. Pat had been at work 4 days.
I am actually full & my stomach is confused by the feeling.
While my hygiene is still excellent & I am very careful with important matters such as using soap & water & Purell after going to the restroom, my cleanliness is dropping fast. We are so tired & cold by the time we go to bed that the last thing on my mind is to go to the creek & get cleaned u. Some nights I use a baby wipe & Purell but I have to admit sometimes I just get into my bag & pass out. I stink. I stink a lot. And this crap that hikers don’t smell themselves is just that. Do they care is the question. At Muir Trail Ranch I talked to some really clean people, and it was weird. I mean it, they were so clean & you could smell the soap, the shampoo, conditioner, & the deodorant. My sense of smell has changed (improved) dramatically in these two months. I can now distinguish different forest types by their smell, I catch scents of water before I hear it, & I swear it is true you can often smell day hikers or weekenders before you hear or see them. Using your senses – sharpen your senses.
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