Thursday, June 29, 2017

Letter, but no pictures

Fri 6/23 Day 43
Last night's camp 703.76 (just above Kennedy Meadows)
Tonight's camp 724.1

  • Before going into details about my trip, I want to tell you about my daughter, Leanna.  She is high achieving in all that she does.  Leanna is an EMT in Mobile, Alabama.  Because she is hard working and dedicated, they keep throwing more and more responsibility her way.  Leanna also works for the Christian Medical Ministry of South Alabama, where they send medical students to medically primitive countries in order to show them medical care in other parts of the world.  She has been to Rwanda, Peru (twice), and Honduras, and in December she is on the list to go to Costa Rica.  Becky here:  Leanna let me know that Kevin left out one thing on his list of her accomplishments.  She is a student as well, and in January hopes to be a full-time student in an accelerated nursing program. She will also keep the other two jobs, if at all possible. 
  • And then, Leanna is a runner.  She has run several marathons, including the Boston, and she has qualified to run the Boston more than once. In case you are wondering, I'm very proud of Leanna.  Her support for me on this trip is immeasurable. 
  • The hike from Tehachapi Pass to Kennedy Meadows was not just hot, the temperatures set all time records for the week. Maybe this was one of the hottest hikes ever on the PCT. It was brutally hot.  Every hiker I've talked with is glad Section F is behind us. 
  • Hikers I saw at the bridge (South Fork Kern River)
    • One-Eleven--from Fort Worth, TX
    • Rory and Emily--from Boston.  They are leaving the trail after climbing Mt Whitney.  It's really too bad, because I would liked to have spent more time getting to know them.  Very Nice
    • Beer Breakfast and ???
  • Today's hike was hard.  From South Fork Kern River  (PCT mile 716) to camp at mile 724 was an unrelenting uphill.  And it was hot to boot, even at 9500 feet.  Camp is at 10,500 feet.  I am pooped, stiff, and sore.  Just another day on the trail. 
  • One-Eleven stopped for dinner.  He ran out of fuel, so I loaned him my fuel canister.  One-Eleven is pretty sure that he was picked up at Hart's Pass by a guy who picked up two friends (young women).  Likely it was my son, Garrett.  Small world. 
Sat 6/24 Day 44
Last night's camp 724.1
Came off PCT at 745.3 (21.2 miles)

  • Started before 4:30 am.  Had breakfast around mile 729.  My water report said that the water at 730.8 was sketchy and then perhaps none until mile 743.  I was down to one quart and I desperately needed two more quarts anyway, as the day was going to be hot again. 
  • One hour mistake Twice I left the PCT looking for water.  Both times I found water, but when I dipped my cup, the water had lots of floating algae and other floaters.  When I got to 730.8, the water was great.  I wasted an hour or more. 
  • For a while I leap-frogged with a couple--Michelin (the tire) and Cheeseburger.  They started April 18. They were surprised when I said that I started on May 12.  
  • The day ended hot, the miles dragged on.  Near the end are three different trails for going to Horseshoe Meadows and a ride to town.  At the first junction, (Mulkey Pass), was a group of hikers--Boy Scout troop.  I asked if they were headed down to Lone Pine and if I could get a ride.  A thunderstorm was cracking and popping so they were headed down, and yes, I could get a ride. 
  • As I was headed down Trail Pass, it started to rain--the first drops of rain I had experienced the entire trip.  Getting across the river with dry feet took a little doing.  
  • James Rogers, Boy Scout leader, gave me a ride to Lone Pine.  He's taking the boys to Yellowstone in a couple of weeks.  I really appreciate men who so freely give their time to helping boys become men. 
Sun 6/25 (Day 45)
  • A zero day in Lone Pine
  • Section F, the last of the desert and the hike into Lone Pine beat me up physically and mentally
  • I went to the Mt Whitney Baptist Church this morning.  It is a very small, Bible teaching church. I got there thirty minutes early and the worship team was practicing. I had not been to church since before I started the hike on May 12.  
  • A lady named Linda led a study of Psalm 138 for Sunday School
  • Hymns during the worship service
    • Worthy of Worship (new to me)
    • This Is My Father's World
    • Shout to the Lord
    • Ten Thousand Reasons
  • The man who gave the message focused on their Vacation Bible School and what they taught.  
    • From Matthew 16: Who do you say I am?
    • From John 20:30-31, the purpose statement of the Book of John
  • During announcements, I was asked to stand and introduce myself.  
  • I had a good discussion with two men--Dave and Marty
PR--Personal Record
  • Before this trip, my backpacking PR was 165 miles of the PCT in Northern Oregon.  I have now completed 745 miles of the PCT.  So I guess I have a new PR.
The Plan
  • First thing, I've got to get more food in me, especially calorie-dense foods, such as nuts and GORP/trail mix. 
  • Through the desert, I kept the Gorp in my pack since the chocolate melts (even M&Ms). This should not be a problem in the Sierras
  • The next section features Mt Whitney, Forester Pass, Kearsarge Pass, 
  • Lone Pine is where Becky sent my bear canister for food, the micro-spikes and gaiters.  Thanks, Becky!
  • But for some reason Garrett's ice axe is not here.  I'll check the post office first thing in the morning.  
  • The easy 5-day plan would be
    • Cottonwood Pass
    • Crabtree Meadow
    • Mt Whitney
    • Base of Forester Pass to going over the top to other side of Pass
    • Kearsarge Pass and out.  
  • There are opportunities to shorten this by a day. 
Many thanks to those who have contributed to Camp Korey.  I appreciate it very much.  This provides encouragement to the children, their families, and could even be a life-transforming event. 


  1. Here are some things I noticed:

    1. I picked up people at Hart's Pass twice last year. The first time I picked up a guy and a girl, neither of them I had met before. It's possible the guy was One-Eleven. The second time I picked up four people, including the two friends Dad mentioned (Wizz Sisters you can see their website here: One-Eleven was definitely not among them. If he got a ride with two young women as Dad's post suggest, it wasn't from me.

    2. Dad did get the ice axe I sent him. I still don't know why it didn't make it to the hostel.

    3. Dad's hiking pace really slowed down on the hill he mentions after the South Fork of the Kern River. I think it was because he didn't eat enough. When he described how much he was eating each day, I was horrified at how little it was.

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