Getting in the Groove

Day 61

Today we woke to a mosquito haven. We needed to eat in our tent! A no no in bear zone for sure... but we packed up the tent and left there anyway.

The first couple hours were beautiful, snowless miles. We followed the trail for a change, and could see all the wonderful colors the Sierras has to offer. After our first break came the hump of the day, Selden Pass. For the next 7 miles we would slowly be going up 3,000 feet. It wasn't too difficult, and there wasn't any snow until the end of the climb, but it was long and arduous.

After the peak of the climb, we relaxed in the baking heat of he sun (weird to think of being burnt to a crisp while being surrounded by snow) -and went the 4 miles to our camp spot. It was all downhill, so that made it quick, but we were ending the day on one of the most difficult fords of the trail.

Through it all, we went up three thousand feet, back down 2, forded a burly river, and hiked 15 miles -- a good day indeed. It looks like we are finally shaking off the few days off, and getting back into the groove of things.

Also, thanks to my girlfriends dad Jim, we will also being doing a 'PCT Creature of the Week'.

This weeks is: the yellow bellied marmot

The yellow bellied marmot has been on nearly every mountain top in the sierras. They are curious little critters that look like big guinea pigs or woodchucks. Whenever you see 8 inch holes surrounded by networks of tunnels pushing up the dirt -- that's a marmot! We have yet to feed this creature which is part of the squirrel family. Maybe they don't like chocolate, since they usually only eat vegetation So far that has only been successful with a chipmunk. While they aren't known to live in elevations over 11,000 feet, we have definitely seen them on peaks above that scampering up the rocks making us look like loafs. However, we won't see them for much longer, as they begin their hibernation in August, and that lasts until February or March.

--Ian