On 14JUN in the early AM I will be hopping a city bus down to downtown Las Vegas, where I’ll be connecting with a Trailways bus to Bakersfield. From there, I’ll take a Kern County bus up to Lake Isabella where I have a motel room (I’ve stayed there before) awaiting me. I will also pick up last-minute supplies in Lake Isabella, such as some fresh fruit, for the trail. Very early on 15JUN, I will be boarding another Kern County Transit bus to Walker Pass, where, at about 7 am, I disembark and start my journey north on the PCT.
Preparations have been extensive. I needed to obtain a consent to hike the High Sierra through Yosemite. I needed to prepare resupply provisions. True, I could have picked up many things on the fly while on the trail, but then, that can become another hassle that I’m trying to avoid. The four buckets go out on Monday to Kennedy Meadows South, Independence, Vermilion Valley Resort, and the Kennedy Meadows North. I am using buckets since these items are going to remote locations which are prone to injury and vermin. I almost certainly will be leaving a lot of food for fellow hikers, but then, better to have too much food than too little.
I’ve posted both on this blog site and on Facebook a few of my training hikes. I thought that there would be a problem finding training hikes in Las Vegas, but the opposite proved to be the case. I’ve worn out a pair of Altra Lone Peaks and will be starting the trail with a fresh set.
Generally, a day on the trail consists of waking up, resisting the urge to stay in the sack, making a simple breakfast (I do like hot chocolate or coffee), oatmeal or a granola bar, collapsing the tent and packing my bags, and heading up the trail. I will usually sing a few dittys (the Doxology, the Nicene Creed, the Gloria Patri, and Schönster Herr Jesu), while I start out slow on the trail. Then, it is about 8-12 hours of just walking. I try to take lots of photos. I stop once in a while for breaks and for lunch. I generally am deeply engaged in thought, or brain fog, during the walk. Having free time to think, I can also engage in prayer for family (beloved wife, 5 siblings, 4 children, 13 grandchildren) plus prayer for friends that I know are going through various trials in life. Hiking is always a time to reflect on God’s goodness to me. Serious attention is always paid to the trail and whatever dangers it may present. Once I feel that I’ve hiked far enough (a distance ranging from 15-25 miles) I find a decent campsite, set up my tent, and cook dinner, which is usually very simple. I don’t cold soak my foods; perhaps someday I will. Climbing into my tent, I’ll write my blog entry for the day, perhaps get in some reading, and struggle for some serious shut-eye. I usually wake up 2-3 times at night to urinate; hey, that’s what geriatric male hiking is all about.
I usually will do some reading in the evening, and that I will do on my iPhone Books and Kindle apps. I read a chapter or two of Scripture and then some serious book. My future blogs will talk more about what I have set apart to read. I find that I don’t read too well while hiking; I am usually too tired and the brain fog prevents serious reading. I’m not sure how some people can pack large paperbacks; that just isn’t congruous with my way of doing things.
You will be able to follow my journey on the trail. The InReach mini will leave bread crumbs as to my current and past locations. That is accessible at https://share.garmin.com/PuyallupPilgrim . I will also be sending my wife and a few select friends a text when I hit the trail and retire from the trail every day. I mentioned that I have a theme song this year that I will be keeping in mind. Here are the words (auf Deutsch), and then my verbatim (not poetic) translation. The usual English translation is poor.
Schönster Herr Jesu,
Schöpfer aller Dinge,
Gottes und Marien Sohn!
Dich will ich lieben,
Dich will ich ehren,
Meiner Seelen Freud und Wonn.
Alle die Schönheit
Himmels und der Erden
Ist gefaßt in dir allein.
Keiner soll immer
Lieber mir werden
Als du, schönster Jesus mein!
Schön ist die Sonne,
Schön ist der Mond,
Schön sind die Sterne allzumal:
Jesus ist feiner,
Jesus ist reiner
Als die Engel im Himmelssaal.
Schön sind die Blumen,
Schöner sind die Menschen
In der frischen Jugendzeit;
Sie müssen sterben,
Jesus lebt in Ewigkeit.
Beautiful Lord Jesus, creator of all things, God’s and Mary’s son. You will I love. You will I honor. You are my soul’s joy and ecstasy.
All of the beauty in heaven and on earth is held in you alone. Nothing will be more my affection than you, beautiful Jesus.
Beautiful is the sun[shine], beautiful in the moon[shine], and especially beautiful are the stars. Jesus is more spendid, Jesus in purer than all the angels in the sky.
Beautiful are the flowers, more beautiful is mankind in their fresh youth. They must die, they must rot [or spoil away]. [Only] Jesus lives forever.
The hymn certainly was NOT sung by the Crusaders but did originate in the 1600s or before. It is a fitting song for pilgrims on pilgrimage. And thus, Pilgrim will use this song as the 2022 hiking theme.
Kudos to the Hiking Rev on YouTube for being an inspiration for me to do “it” this year. His vlogs are awesome coming from another old geezer (Alte Knacker), and most of his advice is consistent with what I’ve discovered while long-distance hiking before.
I have no idea whether I’ll accomplish my goals for this year. It doesn’t matter. My wife, family, church, and friends are the most important thing to me. I am older now, and various parts of my skeletal anatomy hurt constantly. I have the strength to do as planned, but other circumstances may prevail. Only God knows what will ultimately become of my hike. Soli deo gloria.