Pacific Crest #02


Date:​Aug 1, 1979Time:​6:48 am

Alt.:​10,160 ft.



Place:​Wolf Creek Lake


I slept well but was awake often. Too much liquid before bed. Sometime during the night the coyotes turned to wolves. I suppose the place names had a subliminal effect. Wolf Creek Lake, Deadman’s Creek…  

This morning is outstanding. Oatmeal, grapefruit juice, protein drink and coffee. Very satisfying, and the first light of dawn extremely cheerful.

The noise of modern life echoes here with some regularity. It seems Sonora Pass is directly under a major jet traffic lane. The normal quiet is only broken by the sound of a small waterfall about 30 yards to the west, until the next jet comes, and then the echo vibrates down the canyon for some minutes after the jet is out of sight.

A hummingbird had breakfast with me, just stopping in front to witness my oatmeal, then flying off only to come back at meal’s end. What thoughts? What decisions to make? What song to humm?


Ground marmots are extremely busy on the far side of the lake, I’m not so busy on this side and dally far too long. I can see that I’m not going to get hiking before 9:00 am. The trail leads down the Carson river for a few miles, going down the old emigrant trail that leads up to the Pass.


I did say that today I would ponder relationships. Hmm, two failed marriages doesn’t give me much credibility even if I pretended to have some insight.



Date:​Aug 1, 1979

Time:​12:48 pm

Alt.:​8400 ft.


Barom.:​rising slowly

Place:​above the East Fork of the Carson River


Stopped at 10:30 this morning to chat with my fellow hiker, the German. We talked of wild flowers, trails we have known and useless equipment. He laughs at my stuff, too expensive, too heavy. All he carries for meal preparation is a Tupperware bowl, rolled oats, milk powder, vegetable oil, and some sunshine to warm everything up. Thanks but no thanks.

I’ve left the river and have started climbing up to a saddle between Boulder Peak and an unmarked 9000 ft peak. I have about 4 more miles to go before reaching the camp that looks good on paper.




Date:​Aug 1, 1979

Time:​9:18 pm

Alt.:​9040 ft.



Place:​Golden Canyon Creekside


Whew! A very rough haul. My feet are very sore, no blisters, but the pounding has caused a good deal of discomfort. I’ve started to soak my feet at every opportunity and exchange my socks at every rest stop. The last four miles I hiked with Claus and perhaps pushed myself just to keep up. Claus is probably in his late forties, single, and makes his living by playing the stock market. He’s economically comfortable enough to take off quite regularly in order to hike the mountains, following the tradition of a European Alpinist. Quite a strong hiker.

My meal this evening is garnished by a variety of wildflower that Claus has introduced to me. It has a strong onion flavor but not overbearing. Beautiful and a nice touch added to hot soup.

The trail promises to be quite easy from here to Ebbetts Pass, two more hikers coming from the north have stopped here to share our campsite and our talk. They have come down from Mt. Shasta area and have been on the trail for a little over a month. Their information about the trail north of Sierra City is a little disheartening. Steep switchbacks, no water, no shade. Hmm, maybe I don’t go all the way to Beckworth Pass.

I ache, most all over but especially the soles of my feet. If I feel this bad with the training I’ve had, how much worse would it have been without the training? If I’m to slow down, I will have to get on the road at 7:00 tomorrow morning.