Archive for July 13th, 2006

Destination: Knoll
Starting Location: Painted Rock Trail
Today’s Miles: 22.20
Trip Miles: 1169.30
Painted Rock Trail (1146.0, 7550) to Knoll (1168.2, 8120) ascent (4318) descent (3914)

Reached Donner Pass on Highway 80. From here I could go 80 miles & be home in 80 minutes. I thought about it but did not call for a ride.
Talked to my mom as she was returning from her chemotherapy orientation class. Sounds like the class was good & informative. She told me she was going to drive up to Sierra City with the family & was making deviled eggs. Now I love deviled eggs & my mom who is about to start a pretty awful medical treatment is making them & delivering them in person. As many hikers have commented what a great family I have. Sounds like my nephew Chris & his new beautiful bride Korbi are also coming. I am very excited and am looking forward to congratulating them in person – I am gong to be a great uncle. Is a backpack or fly rod an appropriate gift for a baby shower?
Now rumor has it my buddy Joe Sobinovsky is on record as saying my hike is looking a bit soft & sounding a lot like a “Hilton” hike. He is not talking about Paris or her sister but rather about mutual friends who thru-hiked in high style with a support vehicle following them. Like me they hiked the miles which maybe more than we can say about Joe. Seems like I heard something about him mounting a 4 legged creature for a, albeit very small, portion of the trail. Of course I would never repeat that as it is only a rumor.
Camped on a lovely knoll looking west. We stayed up higher tonight in an attempt to thwart the blood suckers. The strategy worked. Water does not typically occur on knolls but we found a patch of melting snow & were able to use Pang’s filter to get water. I have been treating my water for a few days now as we are in the realm of indiscriminate poopers as Rolling Thunder would say. Turns out that Agua Mira does have a taste. It seemed tasteless before but I realized that was because I am used to drinking municipal water which is often treated with chlorine dioxide in the gaseous form. Agua Mira is liquid. High Sierra spring water does not have a taste & yet it tasted wonderful.
Saw some major trail damage in the Granite Chief Wilderness from motorcycles. After looking at the map I am certain that they came into the Wilderness from the western boundary. Don’t get me wrong this hike has demonstrated the wonderful good in people but as a trend I still think we are in trouble. Our society has an insatiable appetite for more, we have come to expect it, & we are never satisfied. It is pervasive in corporate governance, and in our private lives. And while we often hear we have a supply side problem (oil for example) we actually have a demand side problem. This demand calls for more of everything and promotes a culture that makes it okay to take whatever we want regardless of the consequences. We deserve it don’t you know, and we will ride our motorcycles any damn place we please.
Smog creates nice sunsets & as I look west the influence of the San Francisco Bay area & Sacramento is evident. We are all taking many less photos now because the sky is hazy. The mountains are still beautiful but they seem shrouded by evidence of our excesses.
Not my idea but I have been thinking about the idea of no-fly zones over Wilderness & National Park areas. It first seemed a bit extreme but now I am a supporter. Okay high military or commercial traffic is fine but F16 horsing around or helicopter tours over parks & wilderness – no.
Gogo, 3 Bar & Sean passed us just out of Echo & seemed to be really moving out. We understand our buddy Cadence who was forced off the trail in Tehachapi with a stress fracture is now back on & is a few days north after starting again from Sonora. Hope to catch her. We know Rolling Thunder, Tadpole, & Sunny were at Pooh Corner & we think we are a few hours ahead. If so they will catch us in the a.m. Rita is missing and is ahead or behind but we can not agree on the most likely option. 3 Gallon is probably behind unless he passed us at lunch. Iniki is probably a full day behind. Hoping the stinking doze get back together at Sierra City. Jorgey from Canada also passed us.
I started across a steep & very frozen snow field this morning & turned around. After not finding an alternate route I went across but a little shy after my slip last week. Rolling Thunder calls that once bit, twice shy. It did not help that I took off my snow baskets at Echo Lake. The baskets suck when off the snow but make an indescribable difference on the snow. With forward momentum & poles going into deep I often walk right out of the poles. It is pretty funny actually – you are walking along and your poles get pulled out of your hands. Often someone behind me pulls them out while laughing hysterically.
Heard Judith had signed my guest book. Very cool. How many times has JC had you rearrange his travel plans, at the last minute, this month? I miss you and all the laughs we had as we like most if not all corporate employees lived out Dilbert.
Met a group of senior hostel folks out for a hike south of Highway 40. They were great with the elder stateswoman likely pushing 85. They all cheered and clapped for us but it was they who deserved the applause.
Many people, most weekend or day hikers, have said something like they would love to hike the trail but they could not get off work, or how could you get off work? It is interesting how work is such a dominant driver in people’s lives. I loved my job but in general work is often over rated & certainly over emphasized as being all important. So who does the trail? In our group: a court reporter, a landscaper, a truck driver/forest worker, an anesthesiologist, a cell phone computer code writer, a missionary, an electrical engineer & 2 outdoor educators for troubled youth. Economics – basically broke to financially secure. The point is, it is about choices and often excused are simply another way to demonstrate choices we are embarrassed or not honest enough to admit. Something about “lives of quiet desperation”.


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