Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 67: experience is the greatest teacher

Sunday 6/24/12
Miles 826-846 (20 miles)
Elevation 10,000'

Yes we actually did 20 miles. :). That's a pretty. Big day for the sierras. Not having any snow definitely helps. So was the fact that the entire 2nd half of the hike today was all downhill. Although the entire first half was all uphill. Lol. Muir Pass was pretty much a 10 mile ascent. Whew, that's pretty tiring. After we did around 17 miles I said to Kyle, "hey if we do 3 more miles it'll be a 20 mile day!". So we went for it. Unbeknownst to Kyle, I'm slightly masochistic. Lol. Sometimes I get a bug in me and I just wanna keep going til I literally pass out. In fact the day before I started hiking with Kyle I did a 36 mile day on no sleep. Lol. But Kyle is kinda masochistic too, he was regularly doing 25 mile days before he started hiking with me. So I guess it works out. Lol.

Anyhow, Muir Pass was quite amazing and interesting. It is, as you may have guessed, named after the legendary John Muir. There is a cool hut at the top of the pass built in his honor, and also as an emergency shelter for hikers caught in a snowstorm (that whole area is super exposed). I took pics of it. And there's a pic of Kyle eating his peanut butter tortillas inside Muir Hut.

The ascent today was quite gentle. Muir Pass is just under 12,000', so I think we had a 2,500' elevation gain over 10 miles. It was awesome. Today was also the day of dramatic waterfalls. I think I might have gotten some pics of that. Gosh it was pretty incredible. There was just waterfall after lake after waterfall the whole way up. Über awesome!!

You know, it's really amazing how much I learn doing this hike. Especially since I haven't ever done anything longer than a day hike until I started this trip. I read a PCT handbook and talked to a lot of precious thru-hikers to try and prepare so I wouldn't be totally screwed. And that definitely helped a lot. But honestly, the greatest teacher for me is experience. It's insane how much more I know now than I did when I first started. Its one thing to read a book or watch a video and gather knowledge, it's a completely different thing when you actually have to apply it to real life. Lol. You just have to go out there and screw up a few times. That'll teach you real quick. Lol.

Another thought that's been crossing my mind every night is, we've had absolutely amazing campsites almost every night for the last 3 weeks. People pay so much money to go on vacation, for a very short amount of time, oftentimes to a manufactured or manicured version of what I get to experience and see everyday. I'm from Hawaii, and so tourism is a huge thing out there that I experience on a daily basis. For the average cost of what I imagine a family vacation to Hawaii would cost, you could easily go on a thru-hike. And experience the earth in all it's raw glory. All you gotta do is walk a couple thousand miles. :)

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