Hi from Mammoth. I realize that I have completely abandoned my journal here, as writing while out in the wilds feels too similar to homework. I was doing okay at uploading a photo every day to my flickr account (www.flickr.com/photos/elisabitch) while in the desert section, but once I lost cell reception in the mountains, that too has fallen by the wayside. Now I am just building an impressive bank of photographs on my camera, which presents another set of logistical hurdles before their public release. Oy.
I will say this: The mountains are incredible. There is so much snow and water, but carry enough food and stay flexible. Stop if you’re pushing or getting pushed around too much. Sit still and let the show begin — coyotes hunting in the snowy meadows, deer grazing, marmots coming up to check you out, a pika nibbling his lunch. Rock fall on the hillside, shooting stars overhead in the big night sky, water roaring under the snowbridges. Such beauty.
When we came into Mammoth, several hikers were in a tizzy over the conditions ahead. Fear factory up and running… We are tuning it out and going to see for ourselves — so far, it sounds more or less like more of the same, and so far it has been manageable. Yes, it is sometimes a lot of hard work. But SO worthwhile.
Go for the thru-hike, as 2000 PCT Alum Joe told me this week… We’ve got this, be patient.