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Archive for July 6th, 2006

Destination: Pennsylvania Creek
Starting Location: Boulder Creek
Today’s Miles: 24.60
Trip Miles: 1058.00
Boulder Creek (1032, 8600) to Pennsylvania Creek (1056.9, 8140) ascent (4419) descent (5098)

With rumors of potential trail magic at Ebbetts Pass I joined a break away group that left the peleton (cycling term for main body of cyclists in a race). We had heard lunch time was a possibility and thus we did 17 miles by 1 pm. Ouch! As we neared the pass we began to see day hikers & we inquired if they had seen anyone who was looking to bring food joy into our lives. The answer repeatedly was no. When we reached the parking lot we met some nice folks who were interested in our hike. We were talking nicely & while disappointed we were glad for the break. We were about to eat our hiker food when the women in the group said “oh you must be the hikers the people on the road are looking for. They have a whole table of food & a cooler with beer & soda.” It was so embarrassing. Rolling Thunder nearly plowed over a 12 year old, Sunny & Tadpole cut the trail as a short cut & I was running behind yelling to the nice people that it was nice to meet them but we “had” to go.
Sure enough Dick & his wife had heard Thunder was coming (he had stayed with their daughter & husband who are hiking next year) & fresh fruit, raspberry bars, soda, beer, brownies, were abundant. What luxury.
The rest of the group should have rolled in at about 3 and when they did not show we got concerned. Finally Sugar Daddy made it in and after eating was able to let us know that Pang was sick but was still walking. We waited another hour & Sunny headed back up the trail. Shortly they came in with Sunny carrying Pang’s pack. I knew that was not a good sign. I have been hiking with Pang for weeks & I have never heard a single complaint about his well being. We got Pang a soda & some fruit & he said he was feeling better. Better enough to go 7 more miles? We completely emptied his pack and distributed everything to those with capacity & ability to carry more. Sunny took most of it, & the rest of us picked up a few pounds. When Pang got into camp he went to every person and said the same thing: go-BIG thank you, Rolling Thunder thank you, Three Gallon thank you, Sugar Daddy thank you. You are welcome Pang.
We are now eight as M&M & INIKI did not want to push this hard & they are not trying to reach Tahoe by Saturday afternoon. We are having so much fun & laughing so hard that the trick is to not wet yourself. The scenery is breathtaking with huge volcanic pinnacles & open landscapes.
Three Gallon, who got his name by carrying 3 gallons of water in the Sierra, is becoming a verb. For example if you have a truly magnificent fall in the snow, mud, or a river crossing you can be credited with a great 3 gallon. This is because Three Gallon is famous for spectacular crashes. And he keeps having them because he is living at the edge and he keeps challenging his abilities. At one really steep snow slope he was skiing (on hiking shoes) with a high probability for a crash. I told Three Gallon “this is beyond our ability” & he said “yep, let’s go anyway. We both stayed up on that one but we tumbled a lot keeping pace with the birthday (24) boy Sunny.

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