More Sierra High Route “Bonus Miles”

Abram – the mysterious fellow I met on my L2H hike in October – introduced me to the concept of “bonus miles.”

We’re lucky enough as it is to be hiking, thus, any extra miles hiked to get here or there that aren’t on the itinerary are “bonus miles.”

Bonus Miles – Pics

These are shots from the bonus miles tagged to the end of my Sierra High Route trek.

I was done with this epic route at around 1pm October 21st, but I was still deep in the Sierra. A matter of note – the old Taboose Pass trail is very cool. It’s marked on topo maps but little-traveled, a tiny bit hard to find in spots, and quite steep, but I loved it. I took it on the way out for variety.

While taking a much-needed break in this vast meadow, I saw how little birds would fly up 5-10 feet in the air and hover, then return to the ground. It was windy, so it was quite a feat, and a good show.

It wasn’t until about 1pm on the 22nd that I set foot back in Lone Pine. So though I was dreaming of getting to the trailhead and miraculously catching a bus ride to Lone Pine the evening of the 21st, the reality was I spent an extra night on Taboose Pass and came down the next morning.

First I saw these guys – four four-point bucks hanging out during rut. Odd. I hated scaring them, but as they were on the trail there wasn’t much I could do. I took a quick video and kept moving.

Want to walk a little of the trail? Here’s what it’s like:

Nobody was on the access roads except a ranger zipping by in a dune buggy. I decided to cut through a huge field of lava bed to get to Aberdeen.

Maybe there would be some ice cream or a cold drink there for me? I was out of real food, and had big cravings. Big dreams…

It turns out Aberdeen was shut, and I had to walk myself to the highway and stick out a thumb. I usually put my thumb down when semi trucks pass because I don’t expect to be able to hitch rides from them (nor do I really want to), but for some reason, call it exhaustion or exasperation, I shot my fist into the air and did that tugging-a-string-honk-your-horn thing for this semi. And he stopped. Instantly. In his huge truck. And he gave me a ride because he was worried about me there in the “middle of nothing.”

Those final 6 extra miles and a ride in a big truck were a great capstone to this summer of hiking! I backcountry hiked through a weird lava wasteland in my panties, sorta delirious, and didn’t get hurt. I got my first hitched ride in a semi truck and didn’t get hurt! And I did have that milkshake and burger once I got back to Lone Pine. All is well.

Yay! I have completed the Sierra High Route!