Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Leaving Agnew Meadows - 15 miles or so into Yosemite

It rained in the night for the first time and the tent stayed waterproof.

For some reason I had a bit of a late start. I wanted to let the tent dry out a bit but that's not a very good excuse for leaving at 9.30 especially when I was trying to catch Amtrak.

As I slogged along the PCT I met a very nice lady called Jenny coming towards me. She was out for several days hiking and had done some tricky descent of some big mountain yesterday. She is doing a PhD in Sustainability and Complexity at Berkeley University. We sat and chatted for a while and went our separate ways, which was a shame, I think we could have talked for hours. I would really like to work in Sustainability!

I met a few guys doing trail maintenance work. One of them, sitting apart from the others after digging a different bit of trail, turned out to be a former teacher and told me this paid much better. Hard to believe. He was a nice bloke (Chris). I asked what he did in the winter and he told me he's finishing his masters in French. I asked a bit more about it and he told me a whole lot about the evolution of the French language, the french revolution and all about french culture. You don't meet many American's who know very much about France so it was a bit of a surprise to learn about the French Revolution from someone digging holes in the trail. I think he should work for the government in a different capacity, though he liked working outdoors. I really like meeting people on the trail - there are so many interesting stories and things to learn out here.

As the JMT and PCT converged I found Amtrak taking a rest in some rocks near Thousand Island Lakes. We had some lunch and chatted and headed towards Donahue Pass which seemed a long way away and a lot of climbing for so late in the day. Everyone we met heading the other way seemed to confirm that it was a long way still.

We finally plodded up the pass, me in attack mode getting ahead (I like to attack climbs for some reason). There was a nice lake at the top where we could have camped but I thought we could find another in about a mile. It turned out I was wrong and there wasn't much camping for a couple of miles and further down (where bears infamously lurked). So, we found a couple of small slots between some rocks and camped. I was surprised to be able to get my tent up in such a small space but was pleased to. It's somehow more comforting than cowboy camping to have a silnylon barrier between me and the bears/bugs. Stealth camping in unlikely high spots seems to may bear encounters less likely and seems to have worked well so far. My food hang tonight was unimpressive - no big trees.

We planned an early start for tomorrow because I had 13 miles to go before meeting Sienna at 11am.


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