Donahue Pass to Thousand Island Lake – 6.5 miles (53.5)
In July of 2014 I backpacked the John Muir Trail. I took the whole month to do it, enjoying side trips and rests when I could. What follows is a journal entry from the 7th day. If nothing else, it should reveal the mindset of a lonely traveler in the wild. Enjoy!
First day I really felt out there. It’s been a week now. Yesterday I felt strong. Also felt like an escape. Gone from the hoboken (?) tourists. Left them all and so everyone on the trail was a walker, an out there person. That felt good. Today I woke up at the same time. Stayed in bed a little, was gone by 8. Made another friend. Another older man. We walked together for a bit but I ended up taking my time. The plan was to hike Donahue Peak but at the top of the pass the weather was still bad. Windy, cold, drizzling. 90 minutes or so later I needed to put on my poncho cause of the rain. So probably good that I didn’t summit. Sometime after I showed up to 1000 Island Lake it started to rain strong. Rained for close to 90 minutes so if I did summit I probably would have been caught in that rain and forced to put up my tent wet. Needless to say that did not happen. When the rain came I was in the process of washing up–body and clothes (I did my face, hands and ass–no clothes). I ran inside the tent and there I stayed until the rain stopped. I was reminded of episodes of “Survivorman” when he gets stuck in the rain and simply stays inside the shelter, sometimes for days. It was one time at camp I haven’t been anxious.
Took a bunch of selfies today. Lifestyle and this beard seem to be treating me nicely. Physically I feel quite good.
Side note: Finally pooped outside. Your dumps definitely change when your diet is mostly nuts or nut based granola.
I don’t feel tired. I don’t feel weak. The walking is about finding the right pace. Today was all over the place. And it showed in the walking. But damn does it feel good to do this everyday AND not drink AND not eat anything extravagant. It’s really the right way to live. It’ll be cool if I can keep up an equivalent lifestyle when I get back. NOT walking 10 miles, but exercise of some sort and just eating consistent and not drinking so much. It’ll be hard to turn down alcohol when Joe gets here. Maybe I should text him when I have a chance, asking him to bring booze, but not pressure me. Yeah.
So I I texted with Kathryn a bit. I hope to see her when I get back. Gorgeous. Adventerous. Nice. And just a bit crazy. Also will see Angie who I also texted with. Sexually both seem to be on the right page.
I was going to hike Banner Peak tomorrow since i heard it’s a “walk-up”, but texted Dad and looked up a couple stuff and it looks dangerous indeed. Probably have to maneuver a glacier. A glacier! Wow. I’ll have to come back and try that with someone.
Side note: I certainly do not need as many fuel cannisters as I brought. The stove is a dream. Boils so fast. Still haven’t gone through one!
At camp this evening noticed a figure climb over the northern flanks, no trail, carrying very little and walking heavy. Couldn’t tell from the distance but could have been that strange guy I saw on the first day. He set up camp beneath Banner and I could see a bit of smoke rising above him from a small, illegal, fire. What’s he doing?
Where was I at this time in Africa?
Side note: You were in Africa. Africa! That’s so cool. Do things you think are cool. Not what other people think.
Today is the 7th. I left on my birthday, the 1st. Arrived on the 3rd. Slept. Had indian food. 4th I went to coffee plantation. 5th I went to the hotel, had orientation. 6th we hiked through forest. 7th we went up to 12k feet. Shira Cave!
King of Shira Cave! Haha
8th day? Lava tower.
Let’s have better luck tomorrow, k?
© 2015 Christopher Dart