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[pct-l] weathercarrot PCT update

took a jaunt on the PCT down to the middle fork feather river this weekend,
in the hopes of hooking up with weathercarrot and sam-i-am as they venture
north.  also i wanted to see the cool arch bridge over the middle fork, the
largest equestrian bridge on the PCT.  the trip did not disappoint.

arriving at the trail head about 8:30, i discreetly left the cooler full of
various and sundry sugared and malted carbonated beverages and fresh fruit
where a PCT hiker might notice it, but not someone driving up to the trail
head (needn't have worried about that, there was nobody else around for the
entire w/e).  i did not know where on the trail they were, but if they were
behind me, i did not want them to miss out on rare PCT trail magic.

trundled the 8 miles and 2500' down to the middle fork in 2.5 hours,
thinking that if they were ahead of me, i might catch them or they would be
lazing at the river taking lunch.  neither were true, and i enjoyed 4 hours
by a beautiful wild and scenic river whose waters are still flowing high
due to the late snow.  the bridge is, INDEED, cool, and provided a great
scout for the nice rapid below.  if only i had portaged my kayak those 8

after conversing with a day hiker from another trail head, i headed back up
the canyon around 4, hoping to make fowler lake by about SEVEN.  my logic
here was that, depending on how many miles they would do that day, they
would either be spending the night at fowler or the river, there being no
campsites between the two.  i would either meet them hiking down, or spend
the night with them at the lake.

i roll up to fowler about 6:30, and scare a deer in thick underbrush taking
a drink from the outlet stream.  but this deer was wearing a white hat, and
had a red beard.  weathercarrot and i look at each other through a tangle
of thick alder, with big grins on our faces.  

turns out the cooler at the trail head was a life-saver for them.  they
have gotten quite dejected with all the snow they've had to traverse, but i
tell them that 15 miles a day, with 10-12 of them snow, is pretty good
time.  anyway, at the end of another snow-filled day, a beer, and soda, and
fruit were a sight for sore eyes and a taste for lipton-numbed taste buds.
more than that, they were in complete disbelief that i could have found
them.  i told them it took two evenings of calculations and studying maps
and guidebooks.  i also tell them, guaranteed for them, in fact, that the
next 20 miles are snow free, and probably snow free into belden, 42 miles
away.  they were very happy.  they were even more happy when i pulled out
of my pack more soda and beer, a pound of home dried beef jerky, and a box
of little debbie swiss rolls.  eyes the size of saucers.

we had ourselves a small fire, a large dinner, and many hours of chat
staring either at the glowing embers or the sparkling stars.  we were
visited by a large deer (real, this time) in the middle of the night, very
upset that we had encroached upon his favorite watering hole.  we could
hear him snorting and stamping all the way around the other side of the lake.

breakfast for our happy campers was more swiss rolls and coke.  mmmm, just
what the dietician ordered.  we found sam a new hiking stick, after she
broke her old one from the AT by driving pine cones off of cliff tops
better than a great big bertha.  after hiking back to the trail, we all
embraced, and they headed down, north, for a 23 mile day (no snow,
remember) newly invigorated, while i headed up, south, back to the car and
100* weather in the central valley.  they were very happy, very fit with no
physical problems, and very glad not to have attempted the sierra this
year.  me, i just sits and waits my turn.

DEFINITELY, a great overnighter, one of the best...

btw, they report no bear activity so far (about 100 miles from donner
summit to fowler lake)  and still lots of snow, some as low as 6500 ft
(solid cover).

ke kaahawe   AT92 TYT94 PCT2000
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