The path to our destination is not always a straight one, Ed. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.
–Leonard to Ed, NORTHERN EXPOSURE
UPS truck stops regularly.
Food packages cover kitchen table.
Maps in various corners.
Random small gear piles.
Up Tehachapi Mountain with a loaded pack once again.
All signs a big trip is close on the horizon.
During spring break Dan and I will be hiking about 135 miles from Badwater in Death Valley National Park (279 feet below sea level) and ending at the top of Mount Whitney (elevation 14, 495). The route, part cross-country, jeep roads, and trail was created by Brett Tucker.
Long distance hiker Swami introduced us to L2H last year after completing the route with Malto, Dirtmonger, and Bobcat. Along with the inspiration to do this route Swami also gave us tips and detailed planning information. The week-long trip passes through desert, mountain, and alpine terrain with about 33,021 elevation gain and 20,780 elevation loss. It crosses through Death Valley, up the Panamint Mountains, down to Panamint Valley, up the Inyo Mountains, down through Owens River Valley, then up, up into the Sierra Nevadas. The hike is recommended for seasoned hikers that like a challenge.
My hope is to blog daily along the route, but posts will be delayed because the area does not have regular cell service. Also, I am hoping to feature some guest posts sprinkled in from a certain man.
Our first day hiking will be this Saturday, March 28th. It will be a cooker with temps forecasted to be nearing 100. Dan’s parents are kind enough to shuttle us to the trailhead.
Resupply: Panamint Springs and Lone Pine
Water Cache: The longest waterless stretch will be 43 miles from Hwy 90 to Owenyo Lone Pine Road hiking through the Inyo Mountains. We are planning on stashing three caches: Minietta Road, Hwy. 90, and one right as we get out of the Inyos stashed by our hiker friends Love Note and Burly. 🙂
- Brett Tucker the creator of the route at simBLISSity.net – This is the go to site for maps, water information, and details of the route!
A Couple’s Gear List:
Planning gear for this route was a bit different from a regular thru-hike or backpack, because of the extremes of temperatures (low and high), elevations (very low and very high), waterless miles, snow, desert, and cross-country travel. We focused on safety and carrying a lighter pack load. This trip is a great opportunity to test some new gear choices and test some new recipes.
I have had so many requests over the years to post more about guy’s gear. After all, I have outfitted my husband, Dan and my son, Grant for years.
But I thought why not only list what Dan is packing, but also how as a couple we divide our gear up. It is much different than hiking with a buddy that you might part ways during the day while on trail. The idea is to stay together, so there really is no need to double up on a few large and small items. We try to have about equal weight, but always Dan will have a slightly heavier pack.
This was a great exercise to weigh everything again and question every piece of gear and its function.