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Friday, June 29, 2018

HE'S AT IT AGAIN!



BACK ON THE TRAIL AGAIN
As many of you know, Dick is back on the Pacific Crest Trail. He flew to Bakersfield, CA mid-June and took a shuttle to the town of Lake Isabella where he picked up his cooking fuel, shipped ahead of time to the post office (not allowed on the plane). He slept behind a church and caught the 5:30 a.m. shuttle to Walker Pass and began hiking north. He hiked in triple digit temps the first three days to Kennedy Meadows, the gateway to the Sierra Mtns. Fortunately, it's cooled down to 80s and 90s in the mountains.
HE HIKED 8 MILES OFF TRAIL TO REACH THE TOP OF MT. WHITNEY
AND SAID THE VIEWS WERE AMAZING AND WORTH THE EFFORT.
(
It took him 11 hrs to hike the 16 miles up and then back to the PCT) 

MODELING HIS NEW HAT MADE BY PATAGONIA
HE SAYS HE LOOKS DORKY BUT THE FLAPS PROTECT
THE SIDES OF HIS FACE MORE. (
Health before handsome).
For this trip I convinced Dick to purchase a satellite communicator. This was a very good investment. Out of his first 12 days on the trail, he only had a phone connection twice (he has Verizon. He noticed the hikers with ATT were talking on their phones). His first call was from the top of Mt. Whitney and the second when he made it to Red's Meadow Camp near the town of Mammoth Lakes. It eases my mind to receive his pre-set messages via satellite morning, mid-day and evening, and what's really fun is that I also get a map of where he is.


By the time he reached Mammoth Lakes (where he took a "NERO" to regroup) he'd hiked approx 255 miles out of the 6 or 700 he plans to hike on this trip. A total of 905 miles since the border of Mexico. There has been a lot of snow at Muir, Forester and Mather Passes and he ONLY fell twice. On one fall he tore his hiking pants, and on another he lost his favorite knife that he's had for nearly 40 years, plus both water bottles came out of their holders and slid down to no-man's land. He also broke a piece of camera equipment. He sent one message to me through the satellite communicator that read, "Send spare pair of hiking pants to Mammoth Lakes. Ripped the ass out of these and they are sewn together with dental floss."  See - I knew that thing would come in handy.

GRUMPY BEARS at Kennedy Meadows

GREAT TO MEET UP WITH LINDA MOORE
(Kennedy Meadows is a place where many hikers stop and get food and water. )


We have been following a friend on Facebook (above) who started hiking the PCT in mid-April. Dick said there would be no way he would meet up with her because she would be way behind him. When he arrived at Kennedy Meadows there she was. She had skipped ahead because of the triple digit heat.

When Dick finally got a phone connection, he told me all of his woes about falling and losing things and the heat and mosquitoes and another small leak in his sleeping pad etc...  I made the comment that I thought he sounded discouraged and wasn't enjoying the hike. He quickly pepped up and said, "Oh no, it is fantastic. It is so beautiful out here and especially on the John Muir trail and I'm loving it."
DICK AND GEORGE
(I'm sure there was a lot of blarney going on between these two Irishmen)
I coordinated a meetup with a friend (above) we met in 1981 while working in Alaska. When I saw on Facebook he was hiking the John Muir Trail and heading south in the same area at the same time Dick was heading north, I messaged George and sent him a picture of Dick and told him to watch for a bearded 68 year old (not many out there that fits that description). George told me to tell Dick what to look for. Dick would have normally stayed on the Pacific Crest Trail but took the John Muir Trail cutoff so they could meet up. George sent the above photo and said, "Surprise, surprise, at 7 pm, who comes strolling in and finds us. What a fun hour we had with him, regaling us with all of his adventures! Truly a wonderful cap to our fun day!"

DICK ENJOYED HIKING A BIT WITH MANNE WHO IS FROM SWEDEN
(photo taken at Crabtree Meadows)
People ask me all the time if he is hiking alone. Yes, most of the time, but there are so many people on the trail. He passes at least a dozen a day. There is estimated to be over 3,000+ on the trail this year. Not all will make it to the end.

LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL LAKES AND GLACIER CARVED VALLEYS

PARK RANGER WITH MULE TRAIN BY RAE LAKE
(King's Canyon National Park)

CAMPING IN SOLITUDE

MUIR PASS SHELTER 

ANOTHER GREAT CAMPSITE


HE TOOK A 45 MINUTE PONTOON BOAT RIDE TO VVR  (Vermillion Valley Resort)
HE WANTED A HAMBURGER AND WIFI
(This is only the back half of the boat)


LOVE THIS PHOTO - COW PIE CAIRN

He is now at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. The only reason I know this for sure is I see food purchases coming through on our credit card. To be continued...

9 comments:

  1. Thanks, Gaila...good to know. Mary left home today to drive to Burns, Or to stay with a friend and will start hiking at Chester on Sunday. I will let her know where Dick is today. Great photos.

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  2. Oh me....Dick is something else again. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with you too! Those pictures are lovely - and your words - precious and delightful as ever! Thanks! hugs and love from Jean And Bob in Petoskey, MI Tell the old Bird to "Keep Smilin'"

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  3. What an adventure!! Hope the rest of Dick's trip goes just as well. I'm lucky to have met you both in Arizona last year.

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  4. Ha! A sign of life. Thanks, great pix, good hike. I take it all's well in Mish shee ghan.

    ET

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  5. Always enjoy reading about Richard’s adventures!....and the beautiful photos !
    When you feel like taking a drive Gaila, come out for a visit to South Boardman!

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  6. Laughed through the whole "ramble"!!
    Don't forget to send more dental floss!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚Stay healthy friend!

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  7. Glad to hear how things are going. Sounds like "normal" for Dick. So glad we got to see you both before he left for this next chapter. If we get back to Acme in August...will call. Frank and Faye

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  8. Thanks Gaila
    The microsecond taste of Dick's hike is such a gift. Hope to see you for dinner when he returns. And in AZ this winter!

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  9. Gaila, did you really know what lay ahead all those “I DO” years ago? The adventures of Dick and Gaila continue. He is one determined guy and we are mightily impressed! As for his being alone or with someone, we are sure there are enough stories up in that handsome head of his to keep him entertained with reruns. All the best to you both, and keep blogging! Love Marg and Larry.

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