Category: Frontcountry

The Lost Sierra: Sierra Hot Springs to Quincy

After the National Scenic Trails Workshop, my mom and I took a Mother’s Day weekend tour north of Truckee.

It was wonderful Mom. Love you.

I'm ready to go back.

I’m ready to go back.

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I’m a Wilderness First Responder again

I just re-certified my WFR for my fifth time. It was one of the better courses I’d taken and it was easily the most beautiful location out of all of my courses. Even more so than Jackson Hole surprisingly. Where was it? Point Bonita in Marin.

I was incident commander for our large scenario. This woman lost a few fingers after a fall down a cliff. There were six or seven other patients around the scene.

I was incident commander for our large scenario. This woman lost a few fingers after a fall down a cliff. There were six or seven other patients around the scene.

Unexpectedly, my friend Jack Laws (on the right) was in the class.

Unexpectedly, my friend Jack Laws (on the right) was in the class.

ALDHA-W 2013 and a smidge of the Sierra

The sleeping bag speed stuffing event during the Hiker Olympics.

The sleeping bag speed stuffing event during the Hiker Olympics. Anish won the event and eventually the gold.

I attended another wonderful hiker gathering last weekend. The size, format, venue and schedule of this ALDHA-W Gathering seemed just right. Not too big, not too small. Just a perfect weekend of slideshows and hanging out with really great people. You are some impressively strong, skilled and experienced hikers. Hot damn that’s a lot of walking. Thanks for being my friends.

After the Gathering, I spent the rest of the long weekend higher up in the hills. We lunched in Downieville, snacked in Sierra City, camped at Packer Lake (in a fall drizzle), and road tripped through the “lost Sierra”. Ambling around Truckee, Tahoe City, the lake, shopping for a SUP and exploring the Donner party’s history happened too.

Reading small town bulletin boards is a worthwhile way to spend my time.

Reading small town bulletin boards is a worthwhile way to spend my time.

PCT Days 2013 and Portland

I traveled to Oregon for my first ever PCT Days. I love hiker gatherings and this one ranked right up there with the best.

I'll write more on the PCTA blog.

I’ll write more on the PCTA blog.

With the little time I had before returning to the airport, I rode bikes, ate at a food truck and went to the Portland Art Museum.

We caught the last day of Cyclepedia.

We caught the last day of Cyclepedia.

 

Backpacking Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass; PCT Section J, Alpine Lakes Wilderness

I stopped to enjoy this view for over an hour.

I lingered here for over an hour.

It poured on the second half of my hike. Thankfully, I was prepared after having accounted for the weather forecast. Pack cover, pack liner, dry bags for everything, ziplocks, a floorless tarp, good rain gear, a rain skirt and an umbrella. Instead of being a downer, the rain was a fun bonus.

This section of the PCT is one of the trail’s most scenic. It’s high, jagged, and beautiful. Traveling at far less than my thru-hike’s pace, I had time to sleep, stare, ponder and play. I also chose my night’s destination based largely on it’s beauty. Picking those gems made for a more special trip. I jumped in lakes three times between the deluges.

While I had the time and intention to do some side trips. I didn’t. They were all either too much work, or too stuck in the clouds.

Through the most dramatic areas, the clouds only made the mountains more interesting. I watched at they moved up and over ridges, screamed past summits and blew across lakes. Luckily, the heavy weather came during the less stunning stretches.

Chased by the rain and moving with Waterman, a distance hiker from New Zealand, I moved out of the backcountry a day early. The two nights at the Dinsmore’s were plain old fun.  Getting to know Jerry and Andrea better was a big bonus to this hike. The thru-hikers passing by were all happy, fun and jazzed. The first bearded face in the dorm was my good friend Gehaz. We met hiking in Nepal in 2009 and it was great to reconnect with him in such an unexpected place.

The last day, Hot Sister, a friend from PCT ’06, picked me up, put me up and toured me around Seattle. We went to somewhere north of 25 separate places and now I know for sure that it’s a really great city.

Thanks also to Magic Man for the very kind airport pickup, conversation and ride to the crest. I found some hikers after you left and they gobbled the donuts.

Lake life in Tahoe

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Spent a really fun weekend with some buddies on the west shore. Boated across the lake, jumped off rocks, SUPed, kayaked, drank, played bocce ball, horseshoes, cards, and even squeezed in some relaxation. Tahoe life is immensely beautiful.