The trail is not the journey, the journey is not in the destination. If the destination is not the answer to the journey, is it important to answer of where Im going next?
2017 is probably the worst year to attempt the thru hike. The amount of snow, that the trail had received, had made the trail north of Kennedy Meadows all the way to Washington state a white canvas to make an experience mountaineer orgasm and drooling of excitement. Their ice axe wagging like the tail of a dog about to walk, their crampons dancing flamenco on this divine white gold. They will orgasm, drooling for more than 500miles in the High Sierra. When they will come out of those mountains fulfill, they maybe lucky to have an overdose with the rest of the trail as the snow might not completely melt.
For the common and ordinary thru hiker with no experience in those conditons have two choice:
1) Attempting to do the High Sierras which the most challenging section of north of Kennedy Meadows. They may get the proper gear, the best trail buddy. They may succeed or not. If they don’t or find it to difficult (if they can admit that to themsleves), they can get out at either Lone Pine or Independence. For those who will succeed is to early to say if they will do and what they will say
2) the second option is to avoid the High Sierras and skipping further north like Sierra City. It is tough to early to go on north of Sierra City. It still have a lot of snow out there. Some have already try and it is a gruelling walk as the first words we hear.
At this stage, a lot of thru hikers are floating in California not knowing to do. Some are Kennedy Meadows thinking of what to do, some in Bishop after they try, some in Sierra City, Truckee, Old Station, more north on the trail trying their best to go closer to the border.
Some like me went on a road trip, back home, stay at trail angel’s house, waiting the snow melt a bit or try to figure out what it is next.
I dropped the rental car today after passing a week driving around to Zion, Flagstaff, Tehachapi, Malibu, San Luis Opisbo, Onion Valley road. The road tough didnt bring me any answers on what to do next. The trail in Sierra City is still difficult from what I hear.
I drove today with to Horseshoe Meadow Road and Onion Valley Road to have a look where hikers comes out out of the High Sierras in the first about 80miles of the trail from Kennedy Meadows. The first road bring you to Lone Pine and the second, to Independence for resupply.
It is without no doubt the view is spectacular and gosh I would love to be there looking at those mountains capped with permanent icing. My sense of adventure is tease but I really dont feel to have to hikes for more than 5 or 6 weeks in deep white quicksand. I desire to learn mountaineering and have the experience but I want to learn it in right and safe way. It is also not a place to be out there on my own. When I was in Kennedy Meadows and I didn’t felt in vibes where I could team me up with someone or a group, not glued to them but more in natural or like a flow with any of them.
If Im able to arrive at the border of Canada with time to spare and money, I would love to come back to the High Sierras with almost snow free trail.
It remain that right now as I write those words, I still to figure out the next plan. I know how it is exhausting to walk in snow and if Sierra City and more north is still in snow, I don’t think I want to be there right now. The best way to solve that problems is to waste another week or two to let the snow melt a bit more.
Of course, I have to watch at my finance and the road trip was a good chunk of spending but worth it. I can trust my imagination to bring ms a lot of ideas but it is not easy to decide if I want to stop one? two? weeks and if I do stop, what I do of the time. I am certain that i dont want to stop and going home. I feel deep down the journey is not over yet. Anyway, I didn’t work 2years to end this when I just start to have fun.
Some of the options are:
1) Going to do another long distance hiking somewhere and coming back to keep on going and I think like maybe the Oregon Coast Trail
2) Find a park where I can hike some small hikes for a week or two lile Yosemite.
3) If I spend only a week hiking and I want to stop another week I can couchsurfing in SF for a week.
4) Found a place where I can work for a week or two in exchange of food and lodging.
5) I can stay at Rachel as long as I want as she offered it. She is a trail angel in Tehachapi where I stayed with Shrimp and Chris. It is where Valentine stay in the last 2weeks.
So it have some choices but it is difficult to choose. I dont think it haves a wrong choice it is more of my heart and my guts feels.
The first three days of the road trip was that to much of blown away of mind. My proverbial bad timming made traveled during a long week end where I ended up in a two hours traffic jam. I had a down on Monday and ended up to stop and crashed for the night in Tehachapi at Rachel’s house in the good company of Valentine that last to the next day.
I was able to talk to her about my disappointment about the road trip. She had initially suggested to me and we talked about it along the trail well before Wrightwood. When I was at Ridgecrest during an exchange of text she mentioned she will do the riad trip we talked and she suggested to me with Rachel and her daughters. She didn’t promise to me and I don’t keep any grudge but it remain disappointing that she turn around and decide to do with someone else. I had already build a little hope and excitment at this up coming trip.
Then I made way back to San Bernardino to pick up Teresa for a road trip to the beach. After seeing the desertic Southern California for more than a month, I was in need to hear the ocean and smelling it. I met Teresa at Casa da Luna but we didnt chat much there and we met again at Kennedy Meadows and we chatted there much more. I gave her ride out of Bishop and we kept contact during my first days of the road trip.
Im glad she had accepted my offer because I had a great time with her with a lot of laugh, music sharing and meaningful conversations. She is also a very good navigator and easy going with the choice of destination.
We are now both here in Bishop and we may kept going together on this hiatus if we both come up with a plan or a decision.
As for Valentine, I dropped her off this morning at Kennedy Meadows on my way back to Bishop as I had to bring back the car today. She will hike southbound until Tehachapi, which will take about a week and then go on the road trip with Rachel and her daughters for a week. Then, hopefully, going back on the trail and maybe we will back meet back again on the trail. It was a bit of sadness that I said to her goodbye this morning.
Let tomorrow be my guide to what I will do next.
Im out and over.
Good night folks.