Well, I over compensated. With many of my friends gone, Davis was a very lonely, and boring place. Then I decided to do a couple of backpacking trips to help me get in shape before I hike the entire John Muir Trail (we leave in just over two weeks, yikes!). I got back from a 5 day solo trip to Pt. Reyes National Seashore a few days ago, and it was great to get walking again. Then you really don’t feel bad about eating that salami and cheese for lunch. Side note: beer cured salami is fabulous and I didn’t get sick of it the entire time. I learned a lot on the trip, mostly about packing. Taking a compression sac for your clothes is a good idea, but then taking way too much extra trail mix is not. At this point I’m hoping that my pack at any one time on the JMT won’t be any heavier than it was on this trip; I mean, when you backpack by yourself, you have to haul not only your own food, but also all of the group gear, and things get heavy. More good things: Trekking poles. I swallowed my pride and actually listened to my father and borrowed his poles. Long story short my bad knee and ankle thanked my for it, and I was a speed demon on the flats by the end of the trip: 5 miles in an hour and 40 minutes! My own pair of poles are already in the mail. 😀 And I successfully figured out how to stop the blisters: a Spenco kit with moleskein on the trouble spots coupled with silk sock liners. Pure relief.
Overall, the week went without a hitch, and I had forgotten how beautiful it is over there; coastal chapparal and cool pine forest and grassland! More pictures to come, but I’ll leave you with the great view from Arch Rock, down at the end of the Bear Valley Trail.
The next adventure: Next week a couple of friends and I are going for a 5 day trip up in the Sierras to Desolation wilderness. Now that I’ve had a pack on my back, time to add in the altitude! Oh, and also I’m going to test out that new steri pen for water purification, and get familiar with bear canisters. So much new gear! Yes, I did spend most, if not all of my graduation money filling the holes in my backpacking gear list (steri pen, sock liners, trekking poles, fleece, shirts that wick, pants, socks, bandannas, a new headlamp since I lost the old one, etc.). My justification for all of this is that since I’m not backpacking across Europe (cough cough like my boyfriend is doing at this very moment), might as well get everything I’d need/want in this department. Plus, it’s going to last pretty much forever (please dear God I hope so). And really, I need something to look forward to in the midst of the real world setting in and the current search for employment. I guess if all else fails, I can work at REI; I’m like their biggest supporter now. Come next year, that’s going to be one fat dividend. Muahaha.
Right, here’s the picture!