Chapter 11: Oh, burn!

Where there is smoke, there is fire. That’s a thing. Right? Sure it is…

I knew there was a fire around Mammoth Lakes back a few weeks ago. The PCT was open, and just smokey. This was different though. That fire was over 100 miles away.

(Haze = smoke)

The next day, things chilled out. The smoke was essentially gone. Awesome. Then, the next morning it was extra smokey.

(Smoke = fire)

Problem was, the smoke was getting heavier, and per the GPS, it was right where I was heading. Decision time…

Hike 2.5 days forward, towards thicker smoke/fire or 1.5 days backwards to certain safety. Well… going backwards destroys me. Big decisions with no data destroys me more.

After some helpful data via satellite texts with my buddy Noah, and catching up to Tumbleweed to brainstorm, we decided to continue on through Yosemite and towards Mammoth Lakes.

(Noah’s Microsoft Paint skills are still solid.)

(Yep. Fire bad.)

Fortunately over the next few days, the smoke cleared more permanently as the PCT began to overlap the most scenic part of the entire trail, The John Muir Trail (the JMT).

The sights have been amazing. I take a picture with my phone, and it doesn’t come close to representing what I’m looking at in person.

Apparently the best of the best is yet to come. After leaving Mammoth Lakes tomorrow, it will be a ridiculous 9-day non-stop trek all the way to summit Mt. Whitney (the tallest point in the lower 48). All along the way will be the highest peaks of the entire trail. Then back to Oregon to continue another 950 miles north.

Completely off topic and non-chronological, I drank water from Soda Springs. A “geological wonder”…

All and all, The Oregon Flip has still be a great decision. The only con has been adjusting to the occasional thunderstorm in the afternoon.

(Exposed ridge walks, what could possibly go wrong?)

(Oh yeah, this.)

Blah blah blah. Time to dump…

1 Comment

  1. Wow. Some of these and last week’s images are just achingly beautiful. In person even more beautiful, no doubt, though it’s hard to imagine anything more beautiful! Enjoy!


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