Friday, June 20, 2008

The weather is here, wish you were beautiful!

Hello all! I know it's been a long time since our last post - thanks for checking in! We are now in Independence after completing our first stretch in the Sierra Nevada. This is why we are out here! I will not waste a lot of words trying to describe the incredible beauty that surrounds us - better to read some John Muir. Instead I will share a few of the many, many photos I have taken. As you will see, we walked through a wildfire to get to the good parts. Two days ago, we hiked over the highest point on the entire trail - Forester Pass (13,200'). As you can also see, Lori has been harvesting wild onions to embelish our meals.
Over all, we are having an amazing journey. We are safe and sound and hope you all are as well. It may be a few weeks until our next post. Please keep checking back and leaving those comments.

More photos

Friday, June 6, 2008

Crossing the Mojave

After leaving the Saufley's house in Agua Dulce, it was a nice but uneventful stroll to our next resupply town Lake Hughes. We got to the Post Office ten minutes after they closed for lunch but the nice Postmaster let us get our boxes which included many homemade goodies from friends and family. Thanks for the calories! The trail register was another interesting highlight for us. There are trail registers in most town along the trail. They allow hikers to sign-in and correspond with other hikers. What made this particular register unique was the fact that it had entries dating back to the late '70s which is when the first thru-hikers came through. Back then, the trail was actually routed through Lake Hughes. Now the trail has been rerouted and most hikers skip this town. There were also entries from our good hiking partners Stephanie and Brandan Hill from 1996 and Griz & Yum from their hike in 1999.

After Lake Hughes, we had to mentally prepare ourselves to cross the Mojave desert. In 1996 it was a mind-broiling stretch with little water or shade. This time it turned out to be a nonevent. Once again, temps were mild and we had a nice cool breeze. The downside is that the trail is routed to walk right on top of the LA Aqueduct for almost 16 miles. It may not sound bad but road walking is the most painful type of walking - monotonous and unforgiving. We actually did a 25-mile day followed by a 23-mile day. Not recommended! So we are now in Tehachapi taking a full day off to rest our weary bodies. North of Tehachapi denotes the start of the mighty Sierra Nevada mountain range. Although we won't hit the big peaks until after Kennedy Meadows, we are excited to be leaving the desert behind us for awhile. The Sierra Nevada is the highpoint of the Trail, both literally and figuratively.