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Archive for July 10th, 2006

Destination: Aloha Lake
Starting Location: Steve & Peggy’s cabin
Today’s Miles: 8.00
Trip Miles: 1102.10

Highway 50 (1093, 7220) to Aloha Lake (1101.0, 8133) ascent (1627) descent (771) NERO
Food comatose is the word to describe our situation. After nearly 48 hours of eating we had great difficulty leaving the cabin. We consumed between 25,000 to 35,000 calories (that is not a typo) in those hours and as we laid around the thought of hiking was not an attractive activity.
The vortex that can suck hikers in was stronger at Steve & Peggy’s than any other I have felt. This is not a bad thing but was the result of the warmest hospitality I have ever experienced. 10 stinking hikers moved in for 48 hours and Steve & Peggy created an atmosphere that can only be achieved in one’s own home. And it was hard to leave because it was like home & I miss that.
I thought the Forest Service could not top the absurdity of the snowmobile issue near Sonora but we saw evidence that they are trying. Two examples of incredibly poor land management decisions: first, two separate mountain bike trails that terminate at the PCT. The trails terminate about 1 mile apart & if you connect them via the PCT you can create a loop ride. Guess what? There is a lot of bicycle use on the PCT between these two points. Second, while walking or riding a horse on the PCT near Highway 50 you come to the beginning or end of a trail labeled the Pony Express Trail. This trail is clearly marked that it is multiple use and mountain bikes are allowed. However to get to it or to finish a ride there requires carrying your bike down the PCT to the parking area or to the start of the trail. Guess what again – a lot of bikes seem to be using the PCT to access this trail or the parking lot. I would really like to talk to the planner who came up with these strategies that make it nearly impossible to comply with the National Trails System Act requirements for the PCT. The Forest Service is the federal agency that the U.S. Congress designated as the lead land management agency for the Trail. They can do a better job in this area.
I am realizing that I am always a bit depressed or even melancholy after a zero day. I do not exactly know why but it has to do with missing my other life & the difficulties of hiking every day. Seeing Liz was wonderful & made leaving more difficult. Fortunately she headed home first. Liz & I had not seen each other for about 5 weeks and that is long enough to make the heart grow fonder while also creating some unfamiliarity. While hiking up the trail I longed to be home. But I know that is not what I really desire. I am supposed to finish this thing and I plan to.
Our stinky group is dispersing & tonight we are only 6 (Sugar Daddy, Pang, Swiss Miss, Tadpole & Sunny). Everyone has different plans & schedules & we will not capture these great group dynamics ever again. But there will be new groups & new experiences as the trail keeps me focused not on the past or future but on the now.
Liz liked my Swiss friends and that made me very happy. I overheard Swiss Miss & Lucky Liz discussing a potential trip to the Alps. I heard they yodel there & I like that.

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