I’ve made fairly quick work of hiking the 190 miles or so from Ashland to Bend, OR over the past 6 days. I’m now at mile 1990. I leave here this morning, planning to do the 160 miles to Cascade Locks and the Washington State border by Sunday evening. I’m very excited about being “home” and super motivated to hike everyday, as I know the end is near. Just 700 miles over the next 3 1/2 weeks.
The weather the past few days has been perfect for hiking, fairly cool and mostly sunny. However the nights and mornings are so wet and cold with tons of condensation. By the time I hit Washington, I’m afraid my legs and feet will be wet most of the time. In Bend, I have decided to ditch my stove and down parka, to make room for a little extra rain gear. The rains will provide the last big challenge I face and hope I can weather the storm okay. I’m sure there are still many other things that will challenge my resolve over the next few weeks, but I am more determined and confident everyday. I just need to watch my step and not trip over something dumb.
I came down with shin splints in my left leg this past Thursday hiking out of Burney. I had little choice but to carry on in significant pain for another 53 miles to a place I could hitch a ride to Mt. Shasta to rest. I have been here for a few days and I think my leg is improving a little, but its difficult to say. I can little afford any more time off as I need to finish the trail by the beginning of October. I will hit the trail again this afternoon and hope my leg continues to heal as I go.
Since leaving Sierra City a couple weeks ago, I’ve been hiking alone and making good progress. I am confident and motivated to get back on track and speed up through Oregon and Washington. I was hoping to be to Ashland, Oregon by more birthday on the 17th, but now that will be delayed a few days. I will provide more updates on my progress when I get there.
Other YouTube videos can be found here:
Including the deadly Mohave Green rattlesnake!
Mile 1197. I took a few days off to visit with friends in Downieville, CA. I have been anticipating this stop for a long time and can hardly believe I’ve made it this far.
Prior to arriving here, there were a couple other notable stops over these past couple weeks. I had a fantastic week hiking from Mammoth to South Lake Tahoe with Marty, Heather, Tina and Jeff. After a day off there and taking full advantage of the casino’s all-you-can-eat buffet, I then set off on my own.
I feel good and hiking pretty strong now, easily making the 36 mile hike from Echo Lake to Donner Pass (near Truckee) where my sister picked me up. I had not seen Jennifer and my niece, Peri, and nephew, Tyler, in far too long. so this was very special. We had dinner at their house, spent the night and had a big breakfast before they took me back to the trail. I then did another 100 miles in 4 days to Sierra City for my visit with BJ, Alisa, Liz and the Downieville gang for a few days. I had a wonderful time and wonder now what will motivate me for the next few weeks.
I can’t believe I’ve been living outdoors for 3 months now and walked 1200 continuous miles. Only another 1400 to go! I plan on being to Ashland, Oregon in time to celebrate my birthday on the 17th, the Columbia River and Washington State by September 8, and finally Canada by the end of the month. Thanks again for all the kind words and encouragement. It’s working!
Hiking sampler from the Lake Tahoe area:
Here are a couple older videos that I have only now been able to upload:
Video greeting from Kennedy Meadows, mile 700:
Bear encounter at Wood’s Creek:
I had a great week hiking since my last town stop in Independence. I’ve completed all the major mountain passes with my fear of heights mostly under control. The scenery has been absolutely epic, and even had an amazing close encounter with a bear. Also, my friend and former boss from Switzerland, Banz, surprised me last week by visiting and coming out to hike and camp with me for a day. This is a short post with some recent pictures, as I’m now leaving Mammoth Lakes after a day off and hiking onto South Lake Tahoe. I should arrive there by late next week. Oh, and I just shaved off my beard. It was time. I’m now at mile 907, and looking forward to breaking a 1000 in a few days.
Completed first week in the High Sierras, hiking at elevations between 9000′ and 13,000′. So far the weather has been good and I am feeling good, but things will get even more challenging ahead. The passes are very scary for me. I was in Bishop for the day yesterday for resupply with a great group of hikers, and I’m heading back into King’s Canyon today. Here’s a few pictures from the past week. There’s more on Instagram.
Well, I arrived Kennedy Meadows (mile 702) safely yesterday evening. It took me seven days since leaving Tehachapi and the section was filled with several mental and physical ups and downs (as previously shared!). I was very happy to make it and was treated to some beautiful evening light across the meadows and mountain ranges around me. Someone just happened to pick me up when I hit the road and drove me into this little restaurant for a late dinner by oil lamp, before setting up camp in an area around the general store. Unfortunately, I discovered that I pitched my tent on a colony of scorpions (so I will likely find a new place today!). There’s not much here, and no phone service or wifi for my iPhone, but there is a trail angel encampment here with a couple internet enabled PC’s in an old RV held together by duct tape which I’m now using. I will try and use the one pay phone at the store to make a couple calls during my day or two rest here. I have several boxes waiting for me to pick up today with food and new gear, and will need to organize myself for the trail ahead. It’s going to be physically difficult, but I’m very happy to have the change of scenery. There are probably 30-40 hikers all camped out here, many of which I have met or know in some way, so it will be nice to catch up a little today. A couple miles prior to arriving yesterday, I stopped in the middle of a meadow and made a little video of myself talking about the trip so far and thanking all my friends and family for your support and encouragement. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how I’ll be able to post that anytime soon. I will try to post a little more later today or tomorrow before heading out, as access to towns and communications will be difficult for awhile. I miss my best bud, Wesley.
Mile 631. I’m not thrilled, but hanging in there. Determined to not let the desert beat me. The winds are intense, the sand is deep, the water very scarce, and there’s very few places to escape the sun. I’ve been having some rather discouraging days lately and sometimes feel like throwing it in. I hope that arriving Kennedy Meadows (mile 700) in a few days will provide a boost. I’m feeling slow and missing some of the good folks I’ve met along the way. I did 15 this morning and now resting and eating for a night hike and long climb before camping somewhere. I’m posting this now with the first faint signal I’ve had in a few days and just waiting for the sun to set a little more. Can’t escape the wind. Had cold pasta and tuna for early dinner.