Thursday, July 30, 2009


I am alive and well in Truckee and done with my hike. The SHR was amazing, making up my own way north and south of there was fun, and the TRT was OK but not great. Details, bear stories, killing rats with well-aimed rocks stories, complaints about how new king-sized Snickers that come in two pieces have 70 fewer calories, etc. to follow.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

On time

Garret called yesterday from Tuolumne Meadows ans is now headed to
Twin Lakes. He's right on schedule. Several days ago his idiocy caused
a 6 inch hole in his beloved tent. It's not causing big problems,
mostly it's just annoying. The same night a bear attacked his bear
canister and left a couple of teeth marks. He's glad to be off trail
right now and has 80% of the maps that he could use.

(posted by Marcus)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Running late

Garret called a few days ago. He convinced an older couple to give him some makeshift trekking poles and has started the Sierra High Route. He's moving pretty slowly--not more than twenty or so miles per day. He's continually looking to push boundaries of his own experience and wondering where this personal one-upmanship will lead him.  He figures he's a couple days behind what he originally anticipated.

(posted by Marcus)

Friday, July 10, 2009

On the trail again.

Garret called from Kennedy Meadows having left his trekking poles in the truck of the dude he caught a ride with--fortunately he only uses them while off trail or in the snow, both of which shouldn't be much of an issue for now. He should be on the trail right now.

(posted by Marcus)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Caught ride from lone pine south, should get to km early tomorrow. Read book the terror on way down, great so far.
Mildly impressed with reno's downtown river park, waiting for crest bus, stoked to almost be hiking again.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


Took car to dealership in Reno. Tried not to watch too much daytime TV/read too much People magazine in the waiting room, paid through nose for new camshaft position sensor and synchronizer(sp?). Light came back on after 12 miles. Cleared codes, I tried it again, light back on after 7 miles. Code reads 1309, which is what it said before they replaced the $$$ part. They won't charge me for leaving it with them for 3 weeks, so I'm taking it back to them tomorrow morning, catching the CREST bus from Reno, and starting to hike. I've noticed that car repair is like what I've read about medical malpractice lawsuits--regardless of who's responsible, nice doctors that explain things don't get sued, and the guy at the dealership is willing to explain what's going on. I just want the light to be off in 3 weeks. Or I want instructions to disconnect the engine light LED (or maybe just tape would work, thanks Matt).
Fix or repair twice daily. 630 down, light back on after 11 miles.
Cam sensor and synchronizer, 630 bucks.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


Well, I visited Pooh the local trail angel and scored a ride to Reno on Thursday so I can catch the CREST bus to Lone Pine. (Greyhound would get me to Reno too, and cheaper, but not in time for the CREST.) It's still 100 miles from Lone Pine to Kennedy Meadows, so I'm kind of wishing that shoes, my bear can, and a bunch of food weren't already at KM, but oh well. Also, the maps I ordered from National Geographic haven't arrived (all 3 of the packages friends sent arrived perfectly, the one I ordered commercially got screwed up) but maybe they'll get here tomorrow. The local guy couldn't fix the check engine light, so I'm taking the truck to the dealership in Reno tomorrow morning, and hopefully they can fix it the same day. Otherwise my head will explode.

As for the hike, here's the plan. 50-75(?) miles from Kennedy Meadows to Road's End in King's Canyon via the PCT (with a slight deviation to go over Siberian Pass). Then the Sierra High Route 112 miles to Red's Meadow (where I'll send a package), 52 miles to Tuolumne Meadows (where I might resupply, but am not sending anything), and 33 miles to Mono Village at Twin Lakes (where I'll send a package). Then 120~ miles to Tramway Market in Kingsbury Grade via the Tahoe Yosemite Trail (I hope--this is the part for which I really need the Nat Geo maps to arrive for me to be able to do anything other than just the PCT), the PCT, and the Tahoe Rim Trail. Then 108 miles around the eastern side of Lake Tahoe on the Tahoe Rim Trail and then a tiny bit of the PCT to Roller Pass, where I'll drop into Truckee where the truck will be. In total maybe 450-500 miles. The SHR miles are 1/2 x-country and super gnarly, so 20 miles would a huge day. After that, I'll probably be doing 30 a day, so I'm guessing the whole thing will take about 3 weeks.

Attempt to Distract Myself from Extreme Boredom/Frustration

Kurt Vonnegut's posthumous Armageddon in Retrospect is great. Rick Bass' Why I Came West is not. Neither is AJ Jacobs' The Know-It-All: One Man's Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World. In fact, even though I love NPR, I've never met a book by anyone ever referred to as an "NPR contributor" that didn't make me hate the author ($64 Tomato, Geography of Bliss, Sarah Vowell, and David Sedaris, I'm looking at you.)

Have a nice day.

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Check Engine Lights of Truckee

My drive is (hopefully) over. I went from DC to NYC to the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend to Chicago to the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library to my bro's in Cedar Rapids to Rocky Mountain National Park to a friend's in Steamboat Springs to Dinosaur National Monument to Logan where I did a cool hike with a friend up Naomi Peak in the Bear River Range, and then after watching Roddick take Federer to a 30-game fifth set, I drove across Nevada with no air conditioning. Sorry if I passed close and didn't say hello.

Now the plan is to (1)smog the truck (AKA Tighty Whitey) (2)register the truck (3)mail myself a couple packages and (4)get to Reno and take the CREST bus down to Ridgecrest or Olancha and hitch up to Kennedy Meadows and start hiking, I hope I hope I hope by Thursday. Unfortunately, I am still on step 1, because the check engine light is on, and that means automatic smog failure. I replaced the differential pressure feedback EGR system (DPFE) sensor, because that's what the local smog dude said could be the cause of the rather general engine misfire alert the computer was giving him (and that makes sense based on what I read about common problems with the car on the Internet), but after putting in a new one (easy) you have to clear the computer codes and drive it for 30 miles before the smog computer will let you test it, and in that time, the light came back on. So now TW is sitting at the shop waiting for the dude to check other electrical whozywhatsits, and I am looking at maps and wishing hiking didn't require any planning and just now thinking that my bro-in-law said the engine light was previously due to the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) valve, and the Haynes manual makes replacing that seem easy, so I totally should've done that too, except I think mechanics prefer to actually be paid for services rather than basically being asked what's wrong and them checking/clearing the computer codes for me and then me going and replacing the parts myself. Moral of the story: buy a code reader.