Following an old trail like this is a way of keeping alive the idea that there is something bigger in the world than our own human pursuits. I don’t have to pretend that I’m the first one here; I just need the possibility of finding something new and surprising (to Me), a landscape that puts our human endeavors into perspective. I cling to that possibility as if it were a life preserver.
~Lawrence Hogue, All the Wild and Lonely Places: Journeys in a Desert Landscape
compliments of Hamburger Helper
Palisade Lakes to Wanda Lake
I got a super early start knowing that I had a big climb up Le Conte Canyon to Muir Pass that was going to be hot and in the sun. I met a hiker on the trail this morning, which is very rare at 6:00 in the morning and guess what? She is from Scotland and is hiking a very large section of the PCT from Walker Pass, north of Tehachapi where I live, to Crater Lake, Oregon. Her trail name is Scottish Lynn.
Anyone that has ever hiked with me knows that I really don’t do well in the heat. I have come up with many solutions over the years. Today I brought out my favorite strategy. It looks like this. Every mile or so in the heat, find water deep enough to dunk my whole body in and simply take my pack off, walk in clothes, shoes and all, put pack back on and keep walking. It only takes a few minutes and works wonders.
I thought a lot about this hike today. I needed to make this hike unique and different. The Sierras are humbling. Everything is straight up or straight down. Humility is a very good thing. It tests your inner strength and character. And hiking solo…all rules change. It demands attention, concentration, and determination. Notice I really didn’t say anything about a sense of humor. When hiking in groups or with a hiking partner this quality is king.