Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for July 1st, 2006

Today’s Miles: 19.80
Trip Miles: 963.80
Tuolumne Meadows, Highway 120 (942.7, 8595) to Matterhorn Canyon Trail (962.5, 8510) ascent (1066) descent (1150)
Pang suggested a soccer match & I told him that the American team was only interested in playing a game we knew we could win. The group agreed that was typical. Amazingly we are camped with 6 Americans and 6 hikers from other countries. We have Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and New Zealand represented. The PCT has more notoriety internationally than it does with our electorate. I wish I could more effectively convey to our members of Congress the magnitude of a world treasure they posess but do not adequately protect.
This morning was very difficult as I felt I literally & figuratively had the world on my shoulders. I was really down for several hours until the granite slabs & domes surrounding the Tuolumne River brought me back into the present which is really all that is relevant. The past is done & the future is anybody’s bet.
I forgot to mention it the other day but we saw motorcycle tracks on the PCT well into the Ansel Adams Wilderness area. This was a first. And how? Because of easy road access. The USDA Forest Service has an established road & campground at Agnew Meadows that is immediately adjacent to the Wilderness boundary. Forget about buffers and other appropriate protection measures; let’s have motorcycles in one of the last remaining partially wild places in California. If you ever think a new road is insignificant think again. Roads have all sorts of associated impacts that are never evaluated under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The reports that we would likely die today once again seem exaggerated. We had heard we would face heavy snow & impossible stream crossings. We found neither & compared to where we had been, today was hiking bliss. But we did see some jaws drop as we approached Virginia Creek crossing. At the crossing was a group of weekend backpackers & it was obvious the crossing had stopped their northern progress. And here we come. I rainproof my camera & maps & jump into the water as those wearing boots take them off and go barefoot or with water shoes right behind me. Then Swiss Miss & M&M show up, strip to bras and underwear & join the crossing party. After we crossed, those camped there walked to the waters edge pointing and shaking their heads. We waved, acted like we do this every day (which we do) and moved north.
With our current big group we have some very good waders and when we got to a tougher crossing in the afternoon it was so neat to have the 4 strong waders spanning the entire crossing. We just handed the other team members off to one another like the links in a chain. Those who needed help took it, those who could provide it gave it. On the other side, a simple high five thank you & a you’re welcome said it all. What wasn’t spoken was the absolute commitment to each other – we all cross, we all help each other reach a common goal.
Another thing about this morning. When I got to feeling better and was back in the now my pack weight literally got lighter. If you could measure the perceived weight differences the numbers would be staggering.
I must have put my tent up on the nightly cruise route of the local deer population. It is like a freeway outside my door (10’ away) with deer coming and apparently going.
Not sure if you heard it but the Sugartex sucked in a second Swiss Army knife today. Sugar thinks it is going to appear as go-mom (my mom’s new trail name) does a load of laundry for us. I am not convinced as the Sugartex gives up its bounty very reluctantly.
Okay, now I have a herd of deer outside. All does with last years fawns. If I move quickly they get jumpy but if I just watch them while I write they just walk on & take a bit of grass now & then. They are well fed with no ticks bothering them this early in the season. We just had a little deer spat as one ran another off. My mistake, I now see we have a spike horn buck in the group. His horns, not more than 6” long with no laterals, are covered in velvet.
Destination: Matterhorn Canyon Trail
Starting Location: Tuolumne Meadows
Today’s Miles: 19.80
Trip Miles: 963.80
Tuolumne Meadows, Highway 120 (942.7, 8595) to Matterhorn Canyon Trail (962.5, 8510) ascent (1066) descent (1150)
Pang suggested a soccer match & I told him that the American team was only interested in playing a game we knew we could win. The group agreed that was typical. Amazingly we are camped with 6 Americans and 6 hikers from other countries. We have Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and New Zealand represented. The PCT has more notoriety internationally than it does with our electorate. I wish I could more effectively convey to our members of Congress the magnitude of a world treasure they posess but do not adequately protect.
This morning was very difficult as I felt I literally & figuratively had the world on my shoulders. I was really down for several hours until the granite slabs & domes surrounding the Tuolumne River brought me back into the present which is really all that is relevant. The past is done & the future is anybody’s bet.
I forgot to mention it the other day but we saw motorcycle tracks on the PCT well into the Ansel Adams Wilderness area. This was a first. And how? Because of easy road access. The USDA Forest Service has an established road & campground at Agnew Meadows that is immediately adjacent to the Wilderness boundary. Forget about buffers and other appropriate protection measures; let’s have motorcycles in one of the last remaining partially wild places in California. If you ever think a new road is insignificant think again. Roads have all sorts of associated impacts that are never evaluated under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
The reports that we would likely die today once again seem exaggerated. We had heard we would face heavy snow & impossible stream crossings. We found neither & compared to where we had been, today was hiking bliss. But we did see some jaws drop as we approached Virginia Creek crossing. At the crossing was a group of weekend backpackers & it was obvious the crossing had stopped their northern progress. And here we come. I rainproof my camera & maps & jump into the water as those wearing boots take them off and go barefoot or with water shoes right behind me. Then Swiss Miss & M&M show up, strip to bras and underwear & join the crossing party. After we crossed, those camped there walked to the waters edge pointing and shaking their heads. We waved, acted like we do this every day (which we do) and moved north.
With our current big group we have some very good waders and when we got to a tougher crossing in the afternoon it was so neat to have the 4 strong waders spanning the entire crossing. We just handed the other team members off to one another like the links in a chain. Those who needed help took it, those who could provide it gave it. On the other side, a simple high five thank you & a you’re welcome said it all. What wasn’t spoken was the absolute commitment to each other – we all cross, we all help each other reach a common goal.
Another thing about this morning. When I got to feeling better and was back in the now my pack weight literally got lighter. If you could measure the perceived weight differences the numbers would be staggering.
I must have put my tent up on the nightly cruise route of the local deer population. It is like a freeway outside my door (10’ away) with deer coming and apparently going.
Not sure if you heard it but the Sugartex sucked in a second Swiss Army knife today. Sugar thinks it is going to appear as go-mom (my mom’s new trail name) does a load of laundry for us. I am not convinced as the Sugartex gives up its bounty very reluctantly.
Okay, now I have a herd of deer outside. All does with last years fawns. If I move quickly they get jumpy but if I just watch them while I write they just walk on & take a bit of grass now & then. They are well fed with no ticks bothering them this early in the season. We just had a little deer spat as one ran another off. My mistake, I now see we have a spike horn buck in the group. His horns, not more than 6” long with no laterals, are covered in velvet.

Read Full Post »