JMT II – day 4: A thousand islands, a thousand lakes

aka PCT day 54 . June 12th 2015: Lake underneath Donahue Pass – Donahue Pass – Island Pass – Thousand Island Lake – Emerald Lake – Ruby Lake – Shadow Lake – Rosalie Lake. Ca 15ml

DonahuePass7I wake up and feel like as if a heavy load has fallen off my shoulders. Sometimes it’s good to let everything out, the hurt feelings, the disappointments, the haunting ghosts. It gives them less power if you look them in the face, if you don’t let them grow in silence, if you don’t feed them chunks of your soul.

We hike up Donahue as if it’s nothing. Holy moly my legs got strong baby! After just 45 minutes we’re on the the pass, take a quick pic and hike down. It’s gorgeously green. Water everywhere, flowers o the wild flowers and… mozzies.

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JMT II – day 3: Thunder in my soul

aka PCT day 53 – June 11th 2015: Upper Cathedral Lake – Tuolumne Meadows – Lyell Canyon – Lake underneath Donahue Pass, 15-16 ml

Lyellcanyon7Bad sleep. So tired. Condensation. Everything damp. But the sky is clear. My heart weeps walking over the sandy patch of soil next to Cathedral Peak where I first met MG and TAW two years ago. I wanna sit down and cry but I walk on, down to Tuolumne.
The trees breath their damp breath into the warmer getting air. It’s beautiful. We have breakfast at the grill but it’s frikkin not worth the money. My food is cold and not well cooked.
A lady who can’t finish her plate gives us her left overs. I feel like we’re treated as homeless people, but I know she just wants to be kind to us. She says she always feels sorry for us hikers. Poor lady, how would she know nature is our home and maybe she should rather feel sorry for those millions of people caught in cities, fulltime jobs and unhappy relationships.
We do a quick resupply in the tiny store and then head on towards Lyell Canyon.

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JMT II – day 2: ‘Medicine walk’ up Sunrise Mountain

aka PCT day 52, June 10th 2015: LYV- Upper Cathedral Lake – 12-13 ml

forgot I'm a catIt’s 6:30am already when we get up. The clouds are still hanging low but a few ‘blue holes’ are in the sky. I’m relaxed. I’m on the JMT. No need to rush. I’m on the land that captured my heart. I wanna go slow.

We hike back up towards the Clouds Rest / Half Dome Junction and this time we go right, following the JMT. This is the place where I hugged Dave and Gordon, my trail angels who saved me from the mountain lion two years ago, goodbye.

Today I’ll walk my medicine walk. This path in the present connects my path in the past and my path in the future. Every step I take is memory, is hope, is prayer. Today all I do, all I think, is a prayer.
And then, while walking, I notice something has changed. A part of the land that used to be green, full of trees, is burned down. Burned land. So many lessons to learn from the burned land. New life is bursting with green and colors along the creek. Sometimes things have to die, so new life can be born.

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Strong legs and happy hearts

It’s June eighteenth. Day 10 on the John Muir Trail. We hike down Muir Pass. Yesterday we camped at Mc Clure Meadow, watched the setting sun color the mountains in red, orange and pink. A group of deer grazing just a few meters away. Perfect!
The downclimb of Muir Pass southbound is the way I remember it… a bitch… beautiful but still… A bitch. I told you so I say to HQ. Ya but I didn’t expect thís he replies. We curse while we stumble our way down… It’s cursing with a smile on our faces. We’ve gotten fast though. I’m almost twice as fast as when I hiked the same path two years ago. Does it matter? I guess not. My ego do is kinda pleased. My hips are not. They don’t like the Sierra. They hurt. So instead of going fast I try to be disciplined in going slow. I’m not too good at it. Society has thaught me differently. Time is money, fast is good, higher, better, more more more. Maybe we should start learning and teaching ‘going slow’. Wouldn’t that be the best thing to teach our kids? To slow down, to see, to smell, to breath, to hear, to listen to the voices of their heart? It’s not easy in times like these. But it’s important. I think it’s a key to happiness (just like gratitude)!
We have seen a lot of unhappy PCT-hiker faces lately. Grumpy faces hiding behind growing beards… rushing by… running from A to B… from somewhere to nowhere… from lost till found?
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Day 1 to 5 on the John Muir Trail: From Yosemite Valley till Deer Creek

Here I go again. Ready to hit the JMT for the second time. It’s funny how 2 years ago I started preparing for my solo thruhike probably like 6 months in advance and now… O well I just hike. Not much planning, just hiking. We sent one resupply box to VVR and that’s it. But damn my legs are so much stronger now. It’s awesome. Continue reading

JMT Journaling

During my JMT Thru-hike I did a bit of water colors in my journal… Nothing fancy, but just for the fun of it. I am no Kolby Kirk (check his journals, he is absolutely AMAZING!), that’s for sure… But I enjoyed painting so much (even when I’m not too good at it… who cares ;c) when I had a longer lunchbreak or I got to camp early… That wasn’t all too often, but still…. When I’m hiking the PCT I’m definitely taking my mini water color set along!

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My top 3 gear items on the JMT

Am I a gear junkie? Yes… No… Maybe…
Fact is: I love nice lightweight gear. Fact is too: The lightest gear is the gear you don’t bring. The JMT was my introduction to lightweight backpacking. I think I did fairly well, though there certainly is a lot of room for improvement. My backpack weighed about 26 lb (13kg) at it’s heaviest (leaving MTR with 9 days worth of food)… That didn’t feel toooo comfortable, so for my PCT thruhike I’m definitely gonna make some changes.

Here is my top 3:

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