Alacoque Dupacrac. Hiking. April 24th , 2018.
The desert areas of Southern California were hard; I told myself then that I never wanted to hike them again. We had to constantly be aware of where our next water source would be and many times carried three to four liters of water. And yet they had their own beauty they didn‘t last forever and they provided bonding experiences. They were also broken up with the snowy mountains and beautiful trees. The town stops were frequent and gave us time to relax with other hikers as well.
You realize how long California is when you hike the whole way it took three months and one week to reach Oregon but I never got tired of the continually changing and always beautiful scenery. From Mt. Shasta on we had numerous forest fires causing hazy skies beautiful sunsets and closed trails and detours. For the last month we weren‘t sure we would be able to finish the trail at Manning Park. We did have to skip a section in Oregon due to fires but the final section before the Canadian border reopened just before we got there. Unlike some just ahead of us we were able to finish at the official terminating point and get our pictures at the border monument. That is the through-hiker‘s "summit" moment similar to when a mountaineer reaches the top of the mountain.
Shoes. Since mountains have an uneven surface you will have to wear cleat-like hiking boots that have spikes and tread marks under them to allow you to have a firm footing over the rugged surface. Shoes like these will prevent you from slipping while mountain hiking.
We entered the Sierra Nevada on June 11 in a very heavy snow year so we spent about a month hiking through snow sometimes only getting down below snow level in the evening to camp. I had very little experience hiking in deep snow and no experience navigating when the trail was covered with snow most of the day. Mostly we did it with map and compass but we did use a GPS some to pinpoint the trail location and to confirm which was the right pass a few times. I had crampons at the beginning of the Sierras but soon lost them off the back of my pack before I ever used them. One thing we didn‘t have to worry about was water. We got spoiled by only having to carry a liter or two of water. We often drank directly from springs and the snow melt streams without bothering to treat the water.
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