Chuckanut Coast

Went kayaking to a favorite location of mine: the Chuckanut Coast.

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The wind created some fun waves to play in and surf with. The weather wasn’t supposed to be very favorable for kayaking- but it looked like it wouldn’t be too bad… We lucked out! The trip isn’t too long to get to Chuckanut Island but the views are amazing- the sandstone walls that you can kayak around make the trip just a little bit more photogenic. I didn’t take many pictures from my kayak this time as the waves were spraying me fairly well- but I took a ton the last time I was here- so it wasn’t too bad.

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Kayaking and PNW hiking

 

Goat Island

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My first goal was to go kayaking when I got home- so I went to Goat Island! Home of an old military base (Fort Whitman) and now a natural area for Eagles, the island has a lot of character. The old cement buildings where the turrets once sat are fairly moss covered at this point which gives it a lot of character. If any of you have been to Fort Warden before, it is very similar but much less known and not as easy to access. Some further information can be found here: http://fortwiki.com/Fort_Whitman

Hiking: Bare Mountain

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Going from hiking at 8-12kft in California to a hike that peaks at 5kft is very noticeable. I was able to breathe! The humidity was impressive as well and made me sweat a little more than I had anticipated. Overall the hike was exceptionally easy and I loved the smells, wildlife, scenery, and views from the top! There used to be a lookout up here but it did not live for very long as it was destroyed in 1973. Unfortunately there is not much recorded history that I could find, but there were still hinges, bolts, and other artifacts up there. The basin of Bare Mountain has a lot of mining history as well but I did not visit there as I was craving iced coffee. From what I heard though, there was not much to see other than some rusting relics, a plane crash, and some adits.

Sick

After going 20 miles out of Mammoth, I woke up to quite a bit of vomiting and other symptoms that spell out quick dehydration. This wasn’t very comforting as I had no idea what my illness was or how long it would be hitting me for. My three options: stay put and wait for it to subside, go north to the next place where I could find a ride to town (14mi, 1k gain), or return to mammoth (12mi, 1,490 gain) I decided to return to mammoth since I knew it well and it is a bigger town. The topic then turned to staying hydrated… I couldn’t keep water down so I started asking hikers if they had powdered Gatorade and found two awesome people who did. This worked and I made it back to town!
This worked out well as I had not gotten  pictures of the trolley and I found a cheaper room to stay in.

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Isn’t it a nice trolley? I am still not 100% today so I am not eating much.

The Sierras

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The sierras technically started before this bridge, but the challenges and beauty increased dramatically after this point. I had looked forward to this point as it is a pretty cool bridge and it marked mile 800.

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The views were epic as the air got thin. The sierra passes were fairly sketchy and there were some close calls as we descended on the north faces in the snow. We made it safely though and are out of the bad ones.

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Muir pass has a hut up top for hikers that get caught in bad storms up there- some people slept up there the previous night but I stayed back with Mr. President below the summit and headed up while the snow was still fairly solid. Lots of postholing happened on the north side… It was annoying and tiring.

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Beyond muir pass were a few frozen lakes with some frogs in them. It was an odd sight to see them try to swim on the top of the ice.
I am currently located in Mammoth Lakes, one of the bigger towns that I have been in recently. I was fortunate in getting a free bed to sleep on tonight and I am not sure if I will stay here for a full zero or not. My legs could probably use the rest though.

Past two weeks

After killing my phone… I was out of communication with the world… Until now!
I will try to summarize the events that you all have missed 🙂

Section f started after tehachapi and is known to be the least favorite section for hikers on the pct. I would agree with them so far… The real desert happens there and it isn’t very much fun. There are some cool things however. I finally saw my first scorpions which was on my bucket list… And they all wanted a hug!

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We also got out first “waterless” stretch that lasted 31 miles. I say that with quotes as there are a couple water caches that kind people place out there. I try my hardest to not rely on them as I don’t feel that they should be used that way.
I also supposedly saved someone from falling off a mountain by stopping their flight reaction when a rattlesnake scared them near a cliff. I found it amusing more than anything.

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The end of the 31 miles was marked by some awesome trail angels that setup a small tent city and served burritos, chocolate banana and strawberry pancakes, and grilled cheese sandwitches. This trail magic was totally unexpected and greeted me after doing 3 days which covered 82 miles. I was almost to the point of dropping out but they saved my hike with their kindness.

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I also made some more hiking friends and they live in Washington as well! I have been very good about bumping into random groups and meeting new people and I actually prefer this style instead of being stuck in a group.

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I have officially made it more than 25% of the trail- I should be hitting 800 miles tomorrow. My knees are holding up quite well!

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I also climbed to the highest point on the pct: Forrester Pass (13,120ft) and I did it without vomiting! Out of all of the sections of the pct I looked forward to Forrester the most as the trail is carved into a rock wall. I was also very concerned as it is the highest I have ever hiked. To add to the experience we had a thunderstorm forming around the south side. Special thank you goes to mother nature for that motivation!

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We were then greeted to epic views of kings canyon and I did a fun glissade down to a frozen lake. I promptly tested the temperature of the lake by postholing into the water. Guess the shore was a couple more feet away…

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I then decided that I wanted internet as vvr is lacking in that department… So I hiked 7mi out and about 2kft up/3kft down to independence where I am currently writing this from a hotel room. It is more expensive than I normally pay but I want some quiet time tonight and a room full of hikers didn’t sound appealing at the hostel.

Reversing my opinion

Southern California rule: filter the crap out of your water… Literally! Look closely and you will see a hook worm that is about 6″ long. If I hike in the southern areas of California again… I will actually use a filter. Northern areas are not a problem but the cow population makes the water rather […]