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Little Package Archive : travel

Colorado River: 1, Me: 0

It was funny that just as I got back to Flagstaff after a 20-day float of the Colorado River, and was scrambling to get home after having lost my iPhone and wallet in the River, that I discovered I was chosen to write for the Listserve.

The Listserve is your chance to write an email to a million people. I’ve been a member of the Listserve for several years, and while frankly I don’t read all the emails, the ones I do read are charming and provide perspective for the day. I wondered when I would be chosen, but really I wondered if I’d already been chosen and missed my “You’ve won the Listserve!” email.

I almost missed the “You’ve won the Listserve!” email. With 72 hours to respond, I had already missed 70. I had two hours to write my email to a million… continue reading

french spring trail flowers

Little Update

I aborted my big Spring thru hike because of weather and taxes. Meh.

Instead, I finished a solo tour of old mines in the Inyo mountain range of central California west of Death Valley. The “Lonesome Miner Trail” — what the late Wendell Moyer* called it — is 40-50 miles of rough, hard-to-follow disused trail involving somewhere near 17,000 vertical feet of elevation gain/loss.

A Walk from Onion Valley to Road’s End

In the middle of October, after having finished an amazing L2H hike with two great guys (Bulldozer and Abram), I was looking at wrapping up my season and heading back to Portland to spend the holidays with my mother.

But it was driving me crazy that I hadn’t finished my Sierra High Route hike. I walked around Mt. Williamson, summiting two 14ers to compensate, and I made some excuses, but still it was driving me crazy when I wasn’t trying to put it out of my mind. I’m not sure I’d ever feel right if I didn’t complete the SHR in one season as I intended.

LoveNote showed up in Lone Pine and planted the seed again, a few days later. When I told her my excuses, she (and her dog) gave me this look:

And that did it. Next thing I knew I… continue reading

Making Steve Roper Proud

The Sierra High Route is a 195-mile long route charted through the backcountry — and along some existing trails — of the High Sierra Nevada. It was devised by noted Sierra climber and historian Steve Roper, and originally, discreetly, published in book form in 1982. I first learned about it in 2013 during my thru-hike when the wonderfully thought-full hiker “Manchurian.” Manchurian hiked a section of the Sierra High Route between Reds Meadow and Tuolumne, I’m not sure how much of it he conquered but I remember him telling me it wasn’t too hard, and that the only sign of humanity he found out there was a deflated helium balloon.

When the Pacific Crest Trail and it’s burgeoning “culture” totally disenfranchised me earlier this year, I made a rather knee-jerk decision to ditch the PCT and instead tackle that remote and “not too hard” Sierra High Route.

The only… continue reading

SHR me and the muir hut

Sierra High Route Part 2: Taboose Pass to Piute Pass

Day 1: Taboose Pass to Taboose Pass

August 16th. I started the day having leftover apple pie, cinnamon rolls, and fresh hot coffee with LoveNote and Burly White’s wedding party near South Lake. This was a beautiful wedding, a marriage of two great people who met while hiking the Continental Divide trail and fell in love. They crowned their hike and sealed the deal by adopting a puppy together, and this great dog, “Huckleberry,” dug holes between the two as they voiced their oaths. Behind them the backdrop of the Inconsolable Range and Bishop Pass Mountains Mt. Goode, Mt. Johnson, and Mt. Thompson seemed only painted on canvas — it was that perfect. I was watching them get married and looking at familiar High Sierra at the same time.

I was something of the “wedding crasher,” having not only just met the couple weeks before, but also under the circumstance… continue reading

Sierra High Route Part 3: Piute Pass to Reds Meadow

Day 1: Piute Pass Trailhead to French Canyon

July 24th. This hike was kicked off with a pleasant hitch in a big truck from a fellow named Kelly. Kelly had just dropped his niece “Sierra” off at Mt. Whitney so that she could summit, and was headed back to Bishop where he was visiting family. Kelly and his niece had just finished the John Muir Trail (JMT) and had themselves hitch hiked, so he was eager to “pay it forward.” He was not only super fun to chat with, but he stopped by Great Basin bakery in Bishop (so much better than Schatz FWIW) and bought me a coffee, a muffin, and a baguette to pack out, AND he drove me all the way to the Puite Pass trailhead. With such luck and grace in the morning, it was inconceivable anything could go wrong.

Well, a couple things could go… continue reading

Hitching Sign

860 Miles by Thumb

I just got into Portland, Oregon after hitching from Lone Pine, California to Cascade Locks for the 9th annual PCT Days. Most of the ride was much less eventful than anticipated, and took me much less time than I budgeted for. It took 16 hours in 6 strangers’ cars, with an overnight in Bend at a friend’s house.

Hitching Sign

Lassen National Forest

And then I was there at Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks having a great time with fellow hikers.

Bridge of the Gods

More on the wacky part of the hitch hike soon.

Stoned Boners May 14 2013 in Wrightwood

Backpack Choices for a Thru-hike

Here is a run-down of all the popular backpacks on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Also included are a couple pack comparison charts for you, looking at a range of the most common and reasonable packs for normal people. I hope this helps your selection. Please correct any mistakes or omissions in the comments below.

Index

Common Packs Outliers Other Ideas Considerations 55-60L Comparison Chart 65-70L Comparison Chart

Common Backpacks of the PCT

Here is a list of packs that would fall in the expected range seen on average PCT thru-hikers. One sees these being carried happily and successfully on trail, every day.

Osprey – For women the Ariel 55/65 and Aura 50/65 are most popular, and for men the Atmos 50/65 and Exos 58. Ultra-Lightweight Adventure (ULA) – The Catalyst (big),… continue reading

Tell it on the Mountain Giveaway

It’s now been 6 weeks since I walked off the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) in Canada. A lot has changed. Although I plan to adventure again very soon, my life has settled back into a reasonably-normal holding pattern. I’m eating wholesome foods, showering regularly, and sleeping on mattresses that hold air! I’m not walking much. The thick callouses on my heels are nearly gone. All that seems to remain are lots of great memories, some new ideals, and a longing to get back out into the woods.

I’m happy to have some people in my life who have made an effort to understand such a long and complex journey. Many people just barely manage to fathom what a 2660-mile hike entails, but some really try to put themselves in a hiker’s shoes. Along the trail I was surrounded by those people: other hikers. But off the trail, they’ve mostly dispersed… continue reading

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