Life is pretty cool sometimes. I’ve said before how much I love this little hiking community. Somehow everyone seems to know each other. Back in the fall, I saw some photos on Facebook through a hiker friend of a couple that had done both the Sierra High Route and Wind River High Route last year. Their names were Virginia and David and I decided to reach out just to hear about their experiences on the high routes since so few have done multiple ones in a single summer. It turns out that we were both on the Appalachian Trail in 2014 (going opposite directions) and Virginia saw me in New Hampshire, but had a shy moment and didn’t say anything.
Fast forward a year and I’m contacting Virginia randomly on fb to ask about their SHR and WRHR experience. We hit it off and realized I could come down to Big Sur (which I’ve never been to), before I start the SHR and have some much needed getaway recharging time. It’s been just wonderful! Virginia and David lead a very calm and relaxed life in an amazingly scenic place. I was able to spend a day in a rental that they caretake and it was just what I needed.
Then we spent a day on the southern part of Big Sur sightseeing and relaxing at another private property overlooking the ocean that their friends caretake.
It even had a private beach access. Like a personal beach no one else could get to on the Big Sur coast. Yep, just surreal…or Big Sur-real…I know, corny.
This recharging time is just what I’ve needed before setting off on the SHR. THANK YOU VIRGINIA AND DAVID!!! They have an action packed season ahead starting in August, so check out their blog, Unbound Routes, to follow them on a section of the SHR, the Colorado Trail, and the Lowest to Highest Route. I’m sure this isn’t the last I’ll see of Virginia and David. These are some quality hearts that I plan on holding on to far into the future<3. It’s Gonna Hurt
I want to elaborate a bit and give a realistic take on how this first leg of the Sierra High Route is going to go. This route does not have reception, so there will be a gap of at least 5 days between posts. I think I’ve decided to just post them all at once when I am able to rather than to spread them out. That way people can decide if they want to binge read or spread them out. The next group of posts probably won’t be up until Sunday or Monday.
I want to start of by letting everyone know that we (myself, Rockin’, and Why Not) are not delusional. We are well aware that there is still plenty of snow out there and are actually thinking this may work in our favor for both scenery and minimizing time on tedious talus. Check out Rockin’s full post from her family summits of Banner and Ritter Peaks last week. It’s amazing out there with all the snow!
Another thing to take into consideration is that I personally am not in peak hiking shape. To put it bluntly, I am not in shape at all. I’ve had very little sleep the last few weeks and have done close to no physical activity in the last month. My body does take to exercise quite well, but I’ll be honest that it is NOT good with elevation. This trail starts around 5,000ft and within 24hrs, I think we will be over 10,000ft where this trail will often be between 10,000 and 13,000ft. To put this in perspective, I live at sea level…like seriously 0ft elevation. I visited Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood a few weeks ago at 6,000ft and was nauseous the whole rest of the day even after returning home…and I didn’t even hike!
I’m ready for it to suck this first week. My pack will be heavy, but thankfully I won’t have to add the 2lb bear canister until the second week after Mammoth Lakes. I am concerned for how I will react, but I hope it is something I can just tolerate and acclimate to. I get dizzy, nauseous, a headache, and in 2013 on the CDT I randomly needed an inhaler because whenever I was over 10,000ft I got an uncontrollable dry cough like a cat with a fur ball. Yep, it’s gonna hurt, but I know I will adjust in time and it will all be worth it to be out in the Sierra on those peaks.
Well, that’s about it. I am meeting Rockin’ and Why Not today and we will get permits and probably camp at or near the trailhead to really kick-off this hike tomorrow (on the 22nd). Check out the awesome interactive map I have on the site that will show our location each night. You can zoom in to see the terrain map of our location and also see the ground we covered each day with a slider that shows the elevation. Seriously, look at that first day and how it goes UP!
I want to say how happy I’ve been with the reception of the newly designed blog site. I’m really glad this transition has been relatively smooth and is providing a better experience for both me and all of you. I’ve had many people write comments to the effect of “I can’t wait for our trip” or “we are going to have such a great time this year.” I want this to be an experience that feels like we are doing this and that is why the blog is Walking With Wired. It’s the best feeling to know you all get that and that you feel that camaraderie and intention through the blog. Ok, let’s get going on our next journey!