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Saturday, June 21, 2014

PCT Day 17-23



We ("Fat Dog" and "Marathon") had a really great stay at the Best Western in Mammoth Lakes. We really didn't move much and luckily, everything we needed was within a 5 minute walk from the hotel. They had an amazing complimentary breakfast buffet (fresh eggs, pancakes, french toast, sausages, bacon, potato mash, watermelon, cantaloupe....plus cereal, toast, oatmeal etc which we never touched) and we went to town on it every morning. The coffee was great too. Besides the $$$ I would highly recommend the hotel.

The morning we got back on the trail I woke up with a sore throat and wasn't feeling well, which is the opposite of how I would expect to feel after 2.5 days off. I was suppose to feel AMAZING, but I didn't and would have to deal with that for the next 1.5 days as we made our way to Tuolomne Meadows to re-supply. On the plus side, Peter was feeling really good after all that he had gone through in those first couple of weeks. The new shoes were feeling WAY BETTER then what he previously had and he was able to walk pain free (for the most part). Here is a mileage breakdown of the last 7 days:

Day 17: 26.5 miles (Tuolomne Meadows re-spply)
Day 18: 30 miles
Day 19: 28 miles
Day 20: 29 miles
Day 21: 35 miles
Day 22: 33 miles
Day 23: 15.5 miles (Echo Lake re-supply)

We had to avg 30 miles after day 17 because we only had enough food (in theory) to get to our re-supply in Echo Lake. However, the post office was only open from 11am-2pm and you can tell by our mileage breakdown that we had to bank extra miles to ensure our last day was going to get us to Echo Lake on time to get our boxes. Post office times are one thing you have to deal with out here. Luckily, many of them are connected to a store and an employee will often get your box for you, which is what happened in Tuolomne Meadows.

The next 5 days were amazing. The scenery was simply breathtaking and there is literally nowhere else I would rather be than hanging out in the wilderness all day every day. We have only had one 3 hour stint of rain on the entire trip so far (and we were sheltered)! On this leg of the trip I had a tiny bit of leg soreness (tight hamstrings) at the end of each day but I always felt good in the morning. I think it's a combination of totally shot running shoes, lot's of climbing, and just the wear and tear that 30 miles a day does to your body. My tight hammies felt way better on the last couple of days where there weren't as many hills to climb. The days and nights were a lot cooler. It wasn't until the second to last day that I even put on a t-shirt and rather hiked in my long sleeve, wind break jacket and pants most of the time. I should take a moment to talk about these Arc'teryx pants we got at the factory outlet store in North Vancouver. They are SUPER lightweight and durable. They were made for the military (they have a military line of clothing) and have zippers down the side if you get a little hot. They have a built in pocket you can pack the pants into and I will definitely be taking these on backcountry running excursions in the future.

We decided that we would pick up our boxes (we had 4) from Echo Lake and then try and hitch a ride to South Lake Tahoe (13 miles away) and take a full rest day. Both of us were getting new shoes, our re-supply box (with new socks inside!), and MEC sent Peter new poles. While we were waiting for our boxes I over heard a guy "Mulberry" who was getting a ride to South Lake Tahoe with a guy "Grey Wolf" he had met on the JMT. I asked if he had any extra room for us too, and he said he did!

South Lake Tahoe is an interesting place. Right near our hotel, there is a state line that divides California and Nevada. Literally on the other side of this line are a bunch of Casinos. There must be 500 Inn's/Hotels/Motels in this little city. I am just stoked that our feet feel good and we can actually go check out the town a little bit.





getting the rocks out of my shoes. 

My favorite gear list:

- La Sportiva Crosslite. This shoe has for the most part kept my feet blister free. My right foot (smaller foot) has had zero issues. My left foot, which is a tad bigger, has had one blister on both my pinky and big toe. The problems only started when we were going in and out of creeks all the time and my feet were constantly going from wet to dry. Even after 500 miles my feet never got sore. They have a built in gator so I don't have to wear a separate one. Peter wears dirty girl gators and he still has to empty out his shoes nearly as frequently as I do. Shoes are the one thing that take A LOT of wear and tear. Shoes are not meant to be walked on all day everyday and never get a chance to rebound. The fact that these low profile shoes took me over 500 miles is awesome! Thanks La Sportiva for sending me a new pair to Echo Lake! 

- Mountain Laurel Designs Burn Pack: This thing is lightweight and has great outside pockets. I can easily grab my water bottles while hiking from the 2 side pockets. It has more than enough space for everything I need. I have had no chafing from the pack and it's comfortable as anything. I added on 2 waist belt pockets which is where I carry the majority of my food for the day. We have only seen one other hiker "Midway" with this bag but it is on the $$$ side, so maybe that's why? 

- Defeet Aireator Monkey Junky socks: These socks just make me so happy. They are about half the price of my Smartwool socks and have lasted about the same amount of time. You can buy these at MEC.

- North Face Eat My Dust Shorts: I really love North Face shorts. They are inexpensive and just fit my body right. These shorts are soooo comfortable hiking. You can get these at North Shore Athletics.

- MEC Uplink Jacket. This is my all time favorite jacket. We met another guy in Mammoth wearing one and instantly knew he was Canadian. Turned out he was from Victoria and we spent a bit of trail time with him when we ran into him a few days later.

- MEC T1 Long John. I know my crazy psychedelic tights do not look like long johns but they are and they are soooooo comfortable. I put them on every night when I snuggle up in my sleeping bag and often wear them hiking in the morning until I get too hot. I have had quite a few compliments on these tights. 

- Patagonia Houdini Windbreaker. I have really enjoyed this piece and love that it has a hood. I have a Sugoi one I love for running back home but it didn't have a hood and I am really happy with my choice to bring the Houdini. 

- Rainshadow Running Trucker Hat. I just love this hat so much and it does a great job at protecting my face!

- Petzl E + Lite: This is the only headlamp we both brought. We don't hike or set up camp in the dark and thus this is all we need. 

- GORP Bars: This is a relatively new bar on the market and is owned and operated in a small town (Niverville) in Winnipeg. It is high in calories and is packed with nutritious ingredients...such as Pea Fibre! I love the Peanut Butter Apple flavor. You can get these at MEC. 

- I Love My Muff wipes: I remember going for a run with some new friends and seeing these wipes in their car. The name had me more than intrigued and I knew these would be perfect for the trip. I met up with the owner, Ritz, and she so generously hooked me up with some to take on my trip. I have used these everyday and it is such a nice feeling to know I am a dirty mess everywhere but the important bits!





The greens are just amazing right now



The wind was CRAZY this evening! Thank gosh we had our Arc'teryx wind pants!









I hope you enjoyed the picture show. I am not sure when we will be in a town with wifi again. Our next carry is 3.4 days to Sierra City and then it's roughly 5 days in between re-supplies for a long time. We are both looking forward to getting to Oregon!

One funny thing out here is that (mostly) everyone has a trail name. It took a while for us to get use to introducing ourselves by our trail names. Mine is "Marathon" and it's a nickname my friend Emily gave me a few years back when she first met me and it just seemed fitting to use. We decided that Peter's should be "Fat Dog" because of the race that he helps put on in Manning Park, which is where the PCT finishes. People are pretty funny when he introduces himself as "Fat Dog". They often repeat it back saying "Nice to meet you"...'Mad Dog' or 'Bad Dog'. One lady even said, "Oooooo Fat Dog with a 'PH'". People have a hard time calling Peter "Fat" I guess. He has lost roughly 20 lbs already so I guess it's understandable how they get confused.

It's officially summer today! I hope everyone is enjoying theirs so far. I'll write back more tails from the trails when I get the chance. For now, we will enjoy the rest of our stay in South Lake Tahoe. 

1 comment:

Dennis said...

Hey Nic and Peter!

Pics look sweet, registered for Fat Dog today, meeting Heather tomorrow to drop off the merch!

Cant wait to hear about the adventure :)