Sunday, May 11, 2014

Kickin' Baden-Powell's Behind - Day 40 (5/11/2014)

Day 40
Mile 370.9 to mile 384.3
13.4 miles

It was freezing cold and windy this morning and most of last night. In fact the wind and chilly temperatures lasted all day. It made it tough to get rolling this morning but we scrambled to get dressed and out of the tent as fast as we could. We then grabbed all of our gear and hid out in the bathroom alcoves at Visitor Center to get out of the wind. There we made coffee and had some breakfast. All packed up and ready to go, we hit the trail close to 7:30a. 

As I mentioned it was very windy today and cold. I don't carry a wind measuring device but we estimated the winds to be around 50-60 MPH. The wind was so loud that sounded like we were hiking next to a jet engine the entire day and it was hard to hear yourself think. Every once in a while we would either find a place were the wind was blocked or travel to the windless side of the mountain and it was so serene and peaceful. When we found these pockets of silence we stopped and took a moment to enjoy them. 

We hiked wearing cloves, beenie hats, and wind proof jackets for most of the day. Even with all that stuff on we were still freezing cold, our joints were stiff, and it was very difficult to get our muscles warmed up. But that didn't stop us. 

Based on our Acorn Trail lesson, we decided not to take the alternate trail around Baden-Powell Mountain. The alternate would have been 6 miles longer so we sucked it up and climbed the thing. It was quite a hike at 4 miles long and 2,700 feet of elevation gain. We even did the extra .1 miles and actually summited. (The PCT goes close to the top but not actually to it.) We actually dropped our packs and did the extra 0.1 miles to the top without them. No reason to bring all that extra weight up there for nothing. 

I'm very proud of us for making the tough decision to hike up the mountain but also for going the extra distance to summit it. 

When we were close to the top, Mandie and I were going slow and letting faster hikers pass us. Two hikers passed by us and recognized us from our blogs, Jerusalem Cruiser and Not A Chance. Somebody else who passed us recognized us as well, Carrot Quinn. Carrot hiked the trail last year and is doing it again this year. Both Mandie and I read her Trail Journal from last year and followed her on FB. She is pretty well known in the hiking community so it was really cool to meet her but even cooler that she knew us. 

For those wondering how I felt on the hike up, did I 'hit the wall' or not, I did not. Before we started up the mountain I made us each a bagel, salami, and Ramono cheese sandwich to fuel the fire. I also ate snacks every chance I could today which I think helped a lot. I was still tired after hiking up there but it was nothing like how I was the past few days. I hope nutrition actually is the solution to that problem. 

We are now at Little Jimmy Campground all bundled up for another cold night. We can hear the wind racing around but the campground is tucked away between a couple of hills so it isn't too windy here. Our plan for tomorrow is to hit mile 400.