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A Storm Is Coming

Grab your bear can or camp chair, kick your feet up and chew the fat about anything Sierra Nevada related that doesn't quite fit in any of the other forums. Within reason, (and the HST rules and guidelines) this is also an anything goes forum. Tell stories, discuss wilderness issues, music, or whatever else the High Sierra stirs up in your mind.
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Re: A Storm Is Coming

Postby Shawn » Tue Feb 17, 2009 1:46 pm

Hey Hetchy -

Mostly I've been lurking more than posting on HST recently (except for right now and I'm at work to boot). Just wanted to assert that your posts are great and make for outstanding reading when the opportunity presents itself!

Thanks for the smiles. :D

PS. I'm in Paso Robles, and while it ain't much - we've had about an inch of rainfall for the current storm so far (a little over four inches for the season). Can't wait to see the snow in the high country this spring.



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Re: A Storm Is Coming

Postby hikerduane » Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:07 pm

Yeah Hetchy, I can see why SnowNmyph missed you, thanks for the uh, uh, uh, conversation?
I work away from home all week, so on Friday night when I go home, I get to see what surprises Mother Nature left all week. To get my pickup off our private road last week, I had to stick it in the snow off to the side of my garage approach, so I could clear that off before I put my pickup inside the garage, after I dug out from under my pickup.

Hey, when might you be thru the Buck's Lake Wilderness next summer? I live a few miles away, between Bucks Lake and Quincy. If it is during the week I'll miss you, or the second week in August, I'll be on my dream trip.
Piece of cake.
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Re: A Storm Is Coming

Postby Hetchy » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:25 pm

Thanks for the kind words Shawn! :) I hope it snows buckets till April too Bro! The best thing that I could hope for is alot for the section beyond Kennedy Meadows in June.. my kind of travel ;) Hope I don't drive y'all too crazy in the meantime.. I know I can be a spazz at times.
Hey Hikerduane, where are you going on your Dream Trip?
I will be be passing through on the PCT at Buck's Summit/Buck's Lake Road.. if I am figuring rightly, Friday July 10.
At least that is the plan at this point. I am still deciding on a couple of extra resupply stops(Mammoth) and a possible extra layover at Blue Lake(My boss and his Parents might meet me there with supplies!) which might affect my schedule by a couple of days. I guess that weekend Saturday July 11 or Sunday is likely if I am delayed. Maybe I'll see ya!
This all seems funny deciding on where I will be 5 months in advance after hiking 1265.4 miles(from Campo to Bucks Lake or 1270.2 Buck's Summit) But it needs to be done!
I have been running the numbers and such and figuring I might not want to miss Mt Whitney's summit afterall(16 mile roundtrip from crabtree).. and I am thinking I want to resupply twice in the Sierra section(Independence via Kearsarge pass and Mammoth via Reds Meadow)
Because I always love the snow covered Sierra in early season..and I don't want to rush through too fast.
These extra stops don't really save me all that much packweight 'cause I have to leave the trail and all, but I think it will prevent me from bolting along which I am prone to do on snow for some reason.
From what I have learned many previous thru's wished they had spent just a bit more time along this stretch and besides, I have never been to Mammoth before.
There I go again.. too much information.. this is all very exciting! I spent the day off hiking around the horse trails with my pack on and the umbrella setup I am planning to use in Washington rain! Thank God no one was riding the trail today! HA :)
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Re: A Storm Is Coming

Postby hikerduane » Wed Feb 18, 2009 7:36 pm

You are doing good, great to hear your thoughts. Funny, I have pictures in my mind of you hiking around with an unbrella tied on your pack, whether you did that or not. One of those weirdos who walks around in the woods I guess?:) An instructor at the local community college was labeled as such, because he liked to take off into the woods. I guess if you don't use a trail or road it is considered strange. One of the neatest walks I had, was when my two dobies were still alive and one snowy winter day, after getting cabin fever, I donned my rain gear and let the dogs out and we went for a hour hike in the heavy snow, big flakes and all. That was the best walk I have ever been on. So neat with the big flakes falling down, quiet and peaceful. Of course, the dogs loved getting out of their pen, because when we got home, they got to come inside to dry off.

My dream trip, number 1 on my list of things to do in life, is a trip to Alaska. Not only to Alaska, but a bush pilot trip into sorta remote country. Fishing, glacier climbing, bping and all. The plane ticket is paid for and out of the way already, all I have left is to pay the bush pilot the balance, shared part of an SUV rental, cell phone, hostel and some appropriate gear. Woohoo! Outta my way.
Piece of cake.
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Alaska Trip

Postby Hetchy » Thu Feb 19, 2009 12:38 am

Hey, Hikerduane. That Dream trip to Alaska you are talking about is something we share.. but you are actually well on your way towards doing it! That sounds like a slice of heaven to me. Fly into some remote country.. Grizzer Bear country at that! I sure hope you post some trip reports here when you get back and some pictures too.
I have always dreamed of doing something similar but never acted on it.. thus all the quotes I keep posting from Bradford Angier (actually he lived on the Peace River in a cabin in Cananda but for a newby like me it is all the same).
Wow, I feel a bit silly now talking to you about MY adventure.. Alaska to me, at least in my dreams, trumps everything.
This brings to mind many other books I have read.. Farley Mowats "Never Cry Wolf".. (Hey don't go eating all the Lemmings!) Jack London..
Then there is that self made documentary they would play on PBS every so often("A Home in the woods" I think).
The one where the guy went up North and built his own cabin from scratch in 10 days.. even made his own tools! I always remember the part where he carved out the door hinges from a solid piece of wood.. and it was a French door!
Then lived in it for 30 odd years. Just him, the cabin he built, and the lake. Bliss.

No, I don't have too many romantic notions about anything really! Can you tell?

Anyways, I hope you hook the biggest Salmon in the River!

PS. Yes, I really do all the stuff I post.
Hey, I didn't think the umbrella thing would work as well as it did till I tried it. I saw it in a picture Ray Jardines Book so I tried it.
I found the following positives:
It Eliminates all the swooshing noise of a parka hood, Kept the pack dry(drier), and I can see better than a hood.
The Negatives were:
Any wind takes the thing out(unless you grasp it quick!), low branches are a pain, and I look like a total dork with it.
But fortunately on that latter point I already look like a dork so that one cancels out!
Cheers, Hetchy
You can make more money, but you can't make more time.
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Re: A Storm Is Coming

Postby hikerduane » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:35 pm

Loved the last part of your reply, very funny.

Don't put your PCT trip down, that may be something I may never do, due to the punishment on the body day after day for weeks. I was surprised last summer that I had no issues on my around 40% off trail bp trip in SEKI. Doing the PCT isn't up at the top of my to do list, but I would say it is in the top 5 or 10. I think it becomes like a job, having to do "X" miles everyday and some haven't handled it too well. The JMT is closer to the top. You never know. By chance I signed on with some guys from TheBackpacker, thinking I would have my money back from any expenses in quick order, the money didn't come in as fast as I thought, I was committed to the trip but things have improved money wise luckily. I have enough money saved now to easily pay the remaining expenses and have some breathing room with this economy and I still have this summer to make some more money selling a few cords of firewood.

I will post a report, but as some know, I don't post photos, but I'll get links to some of the others photos from our trip.
Piece of cake.
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Our storm is coming! The PCT and Alaska!

Postby Hetchy » Thu Feb 19, 2009 9:27 pm

Back in 1991 I was one of those that did not handle the PCT well.
For many reasons, imagined and real. The main mistake, the one that I have been 18 years trying to remedy, was not gear, or shoes, or food.. it was in my head. The mind set I had in '91 was "I will just hike along down the trail so long as it suits my preconcieved notion of what a long trail hike should be like. I had very little experience in the woods back then and almost zero solo time. I did not even know what to do with time alone in the woods, I just had this big romantic notion of casually carrying this 60 lb pack along as if in a city park and everything would be sunshine and rainbows all the way to Canada.
In the intervening years I actually discovered what it is really like out there in the snow and rain, and heat of summer. I was lonely, cold, scared most of the time at first.
As my confidence grew with each solo trip I began to realize that there was soo much more I never noticed out there. Sure there are all those beautiful scenes like something out of a book, but there was also something remote and yet stirring about the total solitude of some of the out of the way lonely places. I also began to relish the journey between those places as much as the goal of getting there. I found in the past few years as the length of my trips have grown that what I most yearn for was the lifestyle. Getting up before dawn and putting all of my little backwoods economy into a sack and carrying it into the sunrise, hiking the day away and resting at the foot of a peak that had been so distant just that morning.
Of course, Mama nature still kicks me in the confidence every once in a while so I have learned to be, at times, self depricating. I find it helps me cope with the unexpected or the truly scary stuff that happens if I take a step down from the pedestal every so often and sometimes just laugh at myself. Pride comes before a fall.

This time, of course, my goal is still to hike from Mexico to Cananda in one season. But the underlying reason for seeking that goal is to journey each day.
Hey Hikerduane, Thanks for being a friend. It sounds corny but I have not had a conversation with anyone else in a while that was as helpful towards coalescing my thoughts. As much as I like to be alone and solo hike and all that. I have a need to write things out and just knowing others are aware of my thoughts is a comfort to me. Thanks, Hetchy
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Re: A Storm Is Coming

Postby hikerduane » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:40 pm

Gosh. :) Just being myself. At least you put into words, stuff I have a rough time writing down. The guy who is organizing the trip to AK, put into words how he felt and what he saw on his first trip to AK last summer. I thought, that's how I feel or would react too. My worst subject in high school, composition and writing. English.

In my younger days, I never would have been able to do a long trip. After I was in a position to keep a dog, I took him bping, that was so much better, a buddy, company. My job as a store manager never put me in a position to go do anything when others were doing stuff, I had to work Saturdays and only had Sunday off for years. It took me years to get the gear and confidence to not worry when it rained or was windy. I still hate the wind.

Keep in touch, always good to meet another like minded person.
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Re: Still Raining Here.. The Big Gear Water Test Rolls On

Postby Sierra Maclure » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:40 am

Hetchy wrote:ancient Sierra Designs Divine Light


And I thought I was the only one with one of those coffins. I love that tent!
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Sierra Designs donates organ to Eureka! Solitaire

Postby Hetchy » Thu Feb 26, 2009 2:34 pm

My Sierra Designs Divine Light no longer kept me dry.(It was like losing an old friend but..) I swipped the wonderfull prebent aluminum main pole to use in my Eureka! Solitaire (replaces the horrendous fiberglass horror it came with).
All that was needed was to shorten the ends of the pole by 4 inches on each side with a tubing cutter. The ring and pin of the Solitaire even fits right into the open end of the aluminum pole!
I never thought I would be bringing a frugal tent ($70) like the Solitaire but the dang thing breathes, allows stargazing, and is relatively light... now that I removed the bathtub floor. I left tabs of floor material at the corners where the poles reach the ground, attatched grommets and strung parachute cord in between to hold the tent in tension sans floor. This setup allows condesation to drip down into the ground and not onto the bathtub foor where it inevitably soaks into the contents of the tent.
It also makes my Solitaire 2 lbs(was 2lbs 9 oz factory). Very competitive with tarp tent setups I have seen and used with the advantage of bug protection and the roll 'em up fly for stargazing! I already contacted Johnson Outdoors/ makes of Eureka! tents and suggested some mods (Did not tell them I cut the floor out of their tent.. thats my patent HA HA! But I will share it with all my buddies on HST!).
I also suggested they tone down the "safety-orange" color as the current trends are stealth colors and reducing visual impact etc. Surpisingly I got an immediate response by email. Said they would forward the ideas to the right people and thanked me.
I might become a Eureka! convert.. Hey the price is right, and if the thing holds together for any lenght of time on the PCT I will be a happy hiker! (Inside joke: I am always a Happy Hiker!) :)
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