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Burning Man 2016

Burning Man 2016

Burning Man made me remember. So many people say that Burning Man changed their life. But for me, it made me remember that my life had changed already. After almost a year back in civilisation, I’d begun to grow back into London life. Working, commuting, buying, rushing, worrying. I hadn’t forgotten, but I had noticed that certain thoughts were becoming more distant. Lessons I’d learned were slowly becoming a haven of memory, a place to visit by choice, rather than…

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Day 38: I’m Back, Baby!

Day 38: I’m Back, Baby!

With more bug bites than when I left. Also more tired. The interaction-heavy days and the late nights mean I’m coming back to the trail mentally drained although physically pretty rested. My legs are recovered at least. We had had a wonderful offer from Frankenstein to pick us up in San Jose and drive us back to the trail at Walker Pass. He didn’t want any money for fuel, and just said he was thankful for the distraction from Netflix…

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Day 37: Intermission

Day 37: Intermission

Today’s hike took us into Walker Pass campground by lunchtime. We started early, as Dolittle’s mom was coming to resupply the boys for the two days into Kennedy Meadows and we didn’t want to keep her waiting. I’d struggled with sore tendons for a couple of days, but uphill hiking of any gradient is now pretty painful and slow. Downhill is fine, and I was looking forward to a mostly downhill hike into Walker Pass where I was expecting a…

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Day 36: Hotting Up

Day 36: Hotting Up

Today was the first properly hot day I’ve had on trail. The weather has been gradually warming up over the past couple of days, although we’ve had some respite from the wind and the trees. The morning today was a bit like that, starting out in the forest, but the trail soon emerged into the open and I was reminded that this definitely the desert. Climbing is now painful, particularly on the sandy trails which sap the energy from every…

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Day 35: A Sunset Makes Me Smile

Day 35: A Sunset Makes Me Smile

The alarm at 4.45am is getting more offensive as time goes by. I love hiking early when it’s not too hot and miles go by quickly, but I’m getting tired and would appreciate more sleep on occasion. This morning, I awoke to condensation on my sleeping bag, and remembered that one of my major fears on the trail is getting cold. My sleeping bag is so warm, but it’s down and if it gets wet it’s essentially useless. The condensation…

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Day 30: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

Day 30: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

The Andersons’ place is wonderfully chilled even at breakfast time. They had coffee on the go at 6am, with pancakes following at 7am. Terrie gave rides to the trailhead, dispensing advice on the road walk around the fire closure. She had said we should walk the 12 miles on the road to the Lower Shake Canyon trail and then 23 miles on the PCT into Hikertown. Most people seemed to be opting for a 21 mile roadwalk into Hikertown instead….

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Day 20: On-Trail Swimming Holes

Day 20: On-Trail Swimming Holes

The day’s hiking was pretty uneventful. After the morning’s descent from the campsite on top of the mountain, the trail wound round the hills flanking a large creek. I suppose the uneventfulness of the day reflects a progression in terms of fitness and strength. The hiker box at Ziggy and the Bear’s had yielded some very useful things, not least of which was a knee brace in size small. It is still too big, but it is having some proprioceptive…

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Day 11: Moving Again

Day 11: Moving Again

Siestas are definitely something I could get used to. An early start meant hiking in the cool part of the day, as well as alongside a shady creek. This made for a huge contrast as the sun came over the top of the hill. The trail started to climb and the temperature was rising. The desert smelled of rosemary today. At 10:30 I decided to make lunch and veg out for a while, not hiking again until 2pm. I found…

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Day 7: Whoops

Day 7: Whoops

Hiked out early from camp and cranked out around 10 miles by 10:30am. We passed mile 100 just after breakfast, all feeling pretty good about life. We’d started early so it was cool, especially in the shade of the mountain. It got hot even by 10am though, and it started to become a switchback-laden few miles into the Barrel Springs campsite. The PCT is graded for stock, so the inclines and descents are pretty reasonable which on one hand is…

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Day 6: Back on Trail

Day 6: Back on Trail

Having spent a while yesterday diagnosing my knee injury, I took a stab at taping it up to be able to hike on it. An ACE bandage wrapped tightly above the kneecap with a thick pad over the ITB seemed to help and although I hiked slowly I managed to get 16.3 miles starting at 9:30am. The hitch out of Julian took a little while because it was so early – I think it would be easier in the afternoon…

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