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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Day 23: Dance on Forester Pass!!! My first 4000m pass!!! YEAH!

Saturday 14th September 2013: Campsite next to Bubbs Creek (close to Center Peak) – Forester Pass – Tyndall Frog Ponds

Oh Fiiiiiinally… I slept WELL! Thank you lord! Left camp at 8am. Slow but steady. 3,5h to Forester. What a smooth and breathtaking climb! Stairway to heaven! I was like “AUS’M HÄUSCHEN” when I hit the pass. MY FIRST 4000M PASS! So exciting! Took a hell lot of pics and I DANCED ON FORESTER while the boys were singing that silly milkshake song HAHAHA! Party for my first 4000m!

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Day 22: TRAIL MAGIC on friday the 13th!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday 13th!!!! (from now on that’s a LUCKY day) September 2013: Dollar Lake – Rae Lakes – Glen Pass – Bubbs Creek (close to Center Peak)

Jee I slept so bad I had a hard time leaving camp this morning. Still I managed to do some laundry and hit the trail by 8:15am. At breakfast we saw a bunch of deer hanging around camp. Maybe they made the noises I so freaked out about at night. Hm that mountain lion night might have caused a bit of a trauma I’m afraid…

http://walkingwomad.blogspot.de/2013/09/day-2-and-3-half-dome-and-mountain-lion.html
Anyway I left camp together with Stephan and Tilt, though hiked a bit on my own for the first few miles. Oh I love those first few hours of hiking in the morning where the air isn’t too hot yet and my legs and mind are fresh and happy.

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Day 21: The long way down from Pinchot Pass

Thursday 12th September 2013: Marjorie Lake – Pinchot Pass – Dollar Lake

Left early at 7:30am. Enjoyed the climb up to Pinchot Pass. Played the ukulele on top. Long long long way down. Meeting Pat with his Z-Packs Backpack (told me he gave the boys a cliff bar for me… hahaha they met him before and told him they have a skinny person in their group who could use some extra calories…. eh yeah… that’d be me…. Ain’t that sweet?) BEAUTIFUL RED ROCKMOUNTAIN (no idea how to describe it) along the trail. Hard afternoon down a valley which gave my eyes a break from the majesty and beauty of the mountains we saw before.

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DAY 15: A KITKAT for CAT!!!! Resupplying at MTR!!!!!!

Friday 6th September 2013: Sallie Keyes Lake – Muir Trail Ranch:

Wow this must have been a cold night cuz when I put my sleeping bag on the rocks ice would form on it. (My sleeping bag has been named “THE MOTHERSHIP” cuz I have the warmest and fluffiest bag of us all… yeah!) After breakfast TAW played the ukulele and I sang when the sun rose over the rim of the mountains. It was just perfect. Right now everybody is packing their stuff and I am enjoying the sun and the gentle breeze at Sallie Keyes Lakes. O man!
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DAY 14: Tooooo much beauty OH GREAT MOTHER EARTH!!!

Thursday 5th September 2013: Rosemarie Meadow – Marie Lake – Selden Pass – Sallie Keyes Lakes:

After a great nights sleep I watched the sun rise on the mountains around Rosemarie Meadow. Again it took us ages to break camp…. Jeeeee seems like I’m getting slower every day (well hm that’s what you get when you unpack the Ukulele after breakfast… wouldn’t wanna miss that though!!!!!)

Wow I can’t believe this is day 14 already. It doesnt’t feel like it. But I love it that my body does so damn great (well except for my knee but that was my own fault, hiking more than 25miles in one day before I leave)! So far I haven’t had any muscle aches, blisters or what so ever! That’s amazing!!!
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DAY 11: Fighting the mountain lions in my head

Monday 2nd September 2013: Deer Creek – Purple Lake – Virginia Lake: After breakfast I was
the first to get moving. I felt like hiking alone and I was pretty fast. The first 4 miles after Deer Creek I hiked uphill through a forest and I kinda freaked out cuz I imagined a mountain lion in every tree. As I saw three deer running away I stopped breathing for a sec and I heard my heart banging in my ears. I started imagining me being a wolf and I was all ready to fight. Meanwhile words came to my head. And I kept repeating and repeating and repeating them. Here’s how they go:
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