35026Plan A becomes Plan B becomes Plan C
- Sep 14, 2013Hi, Group - reporting in from Mammoth Lakes on night 17 of a 20-day NB trip..
Plan A was hiking Northbound from New Army Pass to Crabtree (2 days)
to Happy Isles (18 more days -- at least in my dreams). One resupply
at MTR and tying to avoid seeing any wheeled vehicles or other signs
of civilization at Reds Meadow or Tuolumne.
Too hard. Thought I could do 12 miles per day and found that 10 was
about the best I could do with a large load of food, etc.
Plan B was to just hike North as far as I could in the same 20 total
days and exit wherever I was and take public transportation or hitch
to Yos vlley where Straw Marmot had ferried my car (leaving his at The
Portal). Figured I culd reach TM and take the bus from there on a
reopened 120 (ho long could it stay closed?).
Plan C. In light of uncertainties about Tioga Road (resolved after I
had already committed to "C"), I decided to exit at Reds at about 4 pm
on my day 17 and hitch or public transit to TM and walk from there
(with my remaining days 18, 19 and 20) to the Valley to reach the car.
(Short enough daily mileage to allow at least one side trip)
Turned out that public transit worked well (lluckily, I got to Reds on
a Saturday), so I ditched the idea of hitching. and took the Postpile
shuttle and YARTS
I had wanted to avoid civilization for the full 20 days. But I have to
admit that a 12 oz Ribeye, a couple of beers and a shower feel pretty
good at the overpirced Mammoth Mtn Lodge.
I have seen a number of members, but do noice that many people seem to
be doing just fine withut our help.
Had a dinner with Ray Rippell before heacing down the Golden Staircase
(last part with a failing headlamp). Judging from the 10 lb camera
he's carrying (I'm exaggerating, but not by much) he should have some
great pics for the next edition of his PDF Guide to JMT planning and
Spent a night camped near Daryl Abrams and noted that Bob Shattuck and
some other southbounders were wearng his new glove design (at his
Palmflex website). They have the free fingertips that I prefer (thumb
and first finger free on his) and good palm protection against falls,
where the base of the palm can easily be injred.
Had minor surgery on the trail thanks to a M.D. from Pennsylvania.
Some kind of fingernail bacterial infection that apparently can get
nasty if the accumuated pus is not expressed. I've been carrying a
small surgical blade in sterile packaging for about the last 10 years
and finally had a chance to have it used. He said I got the same
treatment on the trail as I'd have gotten at an ER and the infection
felt much better immediately after the on-trail procedure and has now
resolved. Used a course of azithromycen (again carried many trips
before it bvecame useful) as well as his tretment.
Most dramatic gear issue was arriving late to a campsite just Noth of
Woods Creek, opening the JetBoil to the smell of isobutane and
realizing that all my fuel from my sole canister had 100% leaked
during the day. (I should have detached the canister from the burner
each day but didn't).
I decided to carry on and met with Straw Marmot the next day and he
gave me his 1/4 full can as he had a full spare and only a few days
remaiing (he moves way faster than I).
Thanks to all the other members I met along the way and esp. to those
who have agreed to participate in a survey I plan to distribute after
rreturning and to those who promised to send me pictures (I did ot
bring a camera).
Any one have a good picture of the stormy day above Rae lakes on about
Sept 9? Looking South from Rae Lakes toward Glen Pass (where I had
just met with Bob Shattuck on his JMT #13) looked like Mordor in Lord
of the Rings. This was one place where I really wished I had taken a
camera. But hopefully some of you can help here.
The other great picture I am missing is the sunset from the lakes
North of Silver Pass on Sept 14 or 15 where th smoke frm the fire
created sunset colors that could have come from a Disney movie.
If you have pics of me, yourselves (if we met) or particularly good
pics of scenery we would have had in common, I'd love a picture sent
off board to JohnLadd at gmail dot com.
I'll be home by Sept 19th. I've still never done a full legit JMT in
either direction though this was the closest I have come. Ah, well.
Others can have way more bragging rights than I (esp. the repeat
hikers like Roleigh and Bob Shattuck).
At least I've had a great relationship with this beautiful trail since
about 1970. It's a great trail and this is a great group. A number of
people I met on the trail (members and lurkers) have told me how much
they have appreciated both the informatn the Group provded them and
the civilized tone of the Group.
John Curran Ladd
1616 Castro Street
San Francisco, CA 94114-3707
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