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Tonto

Can you see the big horn sheep? Find the cairn then look left. These guys are everywhere in the Grand Canyon. In fact, last night I was cowboy camped and almost got trampled by one. Believe me they’re a lot bigger, louder, and much more majestic when they’re almost on top of you. Last week… continue reading

Best Camp

About as alive as I can be, but sad to be leaving the depths of the Grand Canyon after a week below the rim. I slept on this ledge the other night, a long way above the murky Colorado River but also a long way below the rim. The moon and stars, a million gajillion… continue reading

Grand Canyon Bison

Learn more about the GCNP bison plan, and possible lethal culling, here. I felt a little guilty rousing these giants from their sand baths. After all, they became a part of me overnight after I gave up on finding clean water and drank a broth of their poop from a drying-up spring gone foul. It… continue reading

Annual Whitney Sufferfest

It’s sort of neat — in that I-have-a-headache-and-feel-like-barfing-or-pooping-but-it’s-20°-and-I-can’t-move-or-part-of-me-will-break-off way — to have the summit of Mt Whitney (1400′) to yourself for twelve hours. The new moon brought all the stars — and the milky way — out to play! But this is just this morning’s sunrise looking northwest.

Out of Nevills

My previously-sufferable chocolate allergy has finally blossomed into full blown eczema. I start another long hike across the Colorado Plateau next week. How the hell is it even possible to thru hike — to LIVE — without chocolate?! Ideas? No really, I beg your your lightweight, high calorie, healthy-ish backcountry meal ideas. (Self portrait taken… continue reading

Westfalia front end werk

This summer while a friend was driving my van through Yosemite to fetch me on the West side, my blower fan seized. He said he almost had a heart attack as my dash smoked and threatened to catch fire. (A reminder why all drivers should carry fire extinguishers.) “It’s ok. No big deal. It’s a… continue reading

Hashtagging

I’ve noticed the Star Wars window sun shade seems to be popular amidst Westy owners traveling the Owens Valley this summer! The bling peace sign grill emblem is more unique to Chief Pete, though. Takes guts! Hey… If you’re going to hash tag delicate places such as hidden away hot springs, please also consider PICKING… continue reading

Little Update

I aborted my big Spring thru hike because of weather and taxes. Meh.

Instead, I finished a solo tour of old mines in the Inyo mountain range of central California west of Death Valley. The “Lonesome Miner Trail” — what the late Wendell Moyer* called it — is 40-50 miles of rough, hard-to-follow disused trail involving somewhere near 17,000 vertical feet of elevation gain/loss.

More PCT high snow tips

In my last feverish post, I totally missed some really good points about hiking in snow – really crucial stuff like navigation. A 2011 nobo thru-hiker made me aware right away (but doesn’t necessarily want to be credited). So without further ado here are more tips from someone who has gone through the difficult and… continue reading

Dear PCT class of 2017

2017 snow pack is the biggest whomper we have seen in 20 years. Forget about 2005 and 2011, we are entering new territory with just about as much (well, more) snow but more heat from our warming planet. Snow is not only STILL falling in the Sierra, but has begun to melt, with significantly high and early – dangerous – runoff.

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