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[pct-l] News from the Trail: Goforth

Joanne "Goforth" Lennox is sending me reports of her thru-hike for me to
post here with news about trail conditions for this year's hikers and a
glimpse of our beloved PCT for the rest of us.

Karen Elder


June 12, 1999
Saturday, 6 AM

Mailing List Folks,

        It is a frosty morning at Kennedy Meadows, a lot of people here for
the "gathering"; many are up at the Campground, so I haven't met them yet.
But hope to leave today + go slowly into the higher realms.

        I seem to be less the carefree traveller the last few days, a lot of
up + down + hot loose sand + my right knee has started to get swollen (the
joint is slightly askew -- I twisted it + have wedged it in various tree
forks + under logs but can't seem to realign the thing). This makes me
uneasy with the Sierra Nevada looming.

        Climbed my 42nd peak with Bear (named benchmark) and saw a large
bear not too far from the summit -- he panicked + galloped off, crashing
through some dense pinyon pines -- whew, that must have hurt breaking all
those branches! The climbing puts me in a different place and space than the
rest of the thruhikers. I almost always get passed when I am off bagging a
peak -- and I don't see who passed me. It seems that one gets magnetized by
the presence of other hikers -- and one is always very aware of where one is
in the shifting cloud of hikers -- an amazing array of footwear prints. But
the climbing makes it easier for me to divorce myself from this "magnetism"
and hike my own hike. Unfortunately, it also makes it very difficult to hook
up with any particular hikers and have company.

        The Pappy of a Montana ranching acquaintance of mine told him that a
split wood fence will last 100 years longer than a sawn one (I don't think
this statistic is valid for the wet NW). It seems some kind gun-toting souls
have taen this advice to heart and have been re-shaping the brown PCT
post-markers in the desert -- splitting the tops to points - better water
shedding shape. All the bullet holes through the signs certainly help make
the signs more pervious to the howling desert winds as well. At the point
that the poles are whittled down to stubs and the signs are no longer
legible, the effort has gone too far, however.

        The biggest + ubiquitous signs so far are the various Agencies
announcing their territories ("You are now entering . . . "); there are more
of these signs than markers indicating mileages or which trails go where at
intersections. What signs do the High Sierras hold, I wonder?

        More anon.

        Peace + good knees to you all + a good 4th of July too.


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