Saturday, August 27, 2011

Acknowledgements and Arithmetic...

As Teddy exits South Lake Tahoe, he feels more motivation and determination than ever, thanks to all of the support, love and well wishes from family, friends, and even fellow hikers.  While talking with him this evening, he shared wonderful messages and cards from my friend Laura Melfi, and his awesome and supportive uncle Ed and aunt Rita.  Teddy wants you to know how much your thoughtfulness, kind words and support have meant so much to him and have strengthened his drive to keep on trekking.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Mather Pass 12,100 ft.

As you know, he has been hiking with Not Ryan through the last several weeks, and is thankful for the company in which to share the beautiful landscape, scenery, and even visits from their furry bear friends.  They definitely learned their lesson after the last bear encounter which resulted in a hole in Teddy's cook pot, so they now ALWAYS hang their food... no matter what.  That does not stop the persistent bears from trying though - they had to yell to scare off a bear trying to reach up and grab their hung food with no success, thank God.  All cook pots are intact.

They are providing positive energy and motivation for each other along this leg of the journey.  In reading through Not Ryan's journal, I came across this passage:

"So I can't say how happy I am to be hiking with Scarecrow to keep me focused and fighting to Canada, because this guy is on a mission. A dedicated and wonderful walking dream through the woods to distant lands."

Thank you for those kind words about my husband, Not Ryan... I see a bunch of Snickers Bars in your future.  

So - here is the breakdown: 

1,100 miles down and 1,550 to go... 
225 miles to the exact half way mark of the PCT...
620 miles left in California...
430 miles of Oregon to go...
1,302 miles until meeting our wonderful family at Snoqualmie Pass, WA...
500 miles of Washington to go...
6 miles of Canada to reach the ending of this extraordinary journey...

A lifetime of memories to share with us of this very rewarding time in his life.

~The Thruhiker's Wife~

Friday, August 26, 2011

1000 miles down...

Teddy just sent me this picture via phone... he posted his latest accomplishment on his treat - right before he devoured it...
He has much more to share with me later today, so I will post a second, more informative entry later.

~The Thruhiker's Wife~

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Some Halfs were a NO, and Other Halfs were a GO!

via facebook flair
As Scarecrow and Not Ryan approached Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, excited to hike to the top, they came across a newspaper while in town, and read an article about the overcrowding of day hikers on the mountain.  This would definitely delay their already tight schedule, so after much debate, they opted to skip the side trip to Half Dome, and continue on the trail.  In hearing the disappointment in his voice, I did put it out there that he could always make it a "reunion" of sorts with Not Ryan sometime in the future as a weekend hike. The idea that his dream to hike it is not dead was relieving to him, I am sure.

via facebook flair
Out of the 1,720 miles of California that Teddy will hike, he has passed the half way mark by about 200 miles.  Although this was no easy feat, it is still not the half way mark of the trail.  He has another 260+ miles left before that day comes... at least once out of California, the rest of the states are only a mere 430 miles (Oregon) and 500 miles (Washington).  The seven miles that was added beyond the Canadian border was simply to provide access to Highway 3 in Manning Park, and Teddy should be able to complete that in his sleep after all he has endured thus far.

So with more than half of his time away from us already passed, and approaching the half way mark of the trail, Teddy has lots to look forward to... and lots to look back on... as he wanders through the Pacific Crest Trail.
via google images
 Until next time,
~The Thruhiker's Wife~

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Essential Etiquette for Escaping Eerie Encounters...

While laying on the hammock this afternoon, I received call from Teddy - but he sounded different.  Stressed.  Could it be the reality of walking 944 miles has set in? Or maybe that he has seen himself in a mirror 18+ pounds lighter than he left.  Or is it that he just misses his family.  Or the beard and facial hair interrupting meal time is just too much.  No, nothing as unprecedented as those things would stress Teddy out like this.  No, this voice was evoked by the huge teeth marks he discovered running through his cook pot.

*photo NOT taken by Teddy* via google images
Enter: second encounter with a bear on the PCT.  This one - not behind a cage or a fence, and certainly not in any Hollywood movie to date.  Scarecrow and Not Ryan were on their second consecutive 18 mile day, headed  into Tuolumne. Exhausted from upping their mileage, they made it into a campsite around 9:30 p.m. After cooking, and setting up camp, it was after 10:45 p.m. before they settled in their tents for the night.  Standard procedure is to place contained food and cooking supplies a decent distance away from your sleeping quarters, preferably hung from a tree, for obvious reasons.  A rustling of their pots caused them to jump up and investigate.    They located their cooking pots, but as Not Ryan stated, "That ain't where I left mine."    They both had left all of their food safely stored in bear-proof canisters, as per PCT regulations, with their cook pots on top.   In the dark, headlamps on, they found their stuff,  being handled by something... about 15 feet away.  At first, all they saw were eyes glaring back at them, as Not Ryan yelled out, "Get outta here... Go away, bears" - but as their eyes adjusted, they were able to make out the bodies of a momma bear and her cub, startled by the yelling, as they dropped the cook pots and sauntered off into the night.
Needless to say, their food canisters AND damaged cooking gear were hung until morning with no further incidence.  It wasn't until this morning, in looking at the pot, that Teddy saw the huge tooth puncture in his pot,  causing this piece of equipment now to be non-functioning (hence the understandable stress in his voice).  It definitely humbled Teddy, magnifying his respect for nature, its creatures, and the etiquette he must maintain while hiking through this beautiful landscape.

~The Thruhiker's Wife ~

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Pirates of the PCT...

Teddy is continuing along his PCT journey with some new gear these days. Not only has he gone through three pairs of shoes, but he is now sporting a mosquito net - he said the mosquitoes are a nightmare to deal with.

When he began the trail, he said most hikers were already wearing the net, and he looked liked the outsider... but no more - he is now among the rest of the grizzly looking hikers with the fruity hats.
You can just about see the net on their heads - Scarecrow and Not Ryan are now protected from the nasty, pesky mosquitoes, and trekking along together through this portion of the trail.

While on the John Muir Trail (which is 211 miles along the PCT), Scarecrow and Not Ryan ran into a girl named Rebecca who was hiking the JMT southbound.  They had a brief encounter and continued on northbound going through Muir Pass (11,950 feet) and onto a place called Wanda Lake.  Teddy sent me this picture from his phone of Wanda Lake - I would have sworn it was a postcard if it weren't for Teddy's pack and walking stick in the bottom corner.  This was taken at 11,400 feet.  Teddy did say that terrain higher than 10,500 feet did provoke difficulty with breathing,  which would further contribute to the decrease in mileage over the past few days.

Wanda Lake elevation 11,400 ft.
So as hikers say, "Go where the trail takes you...", Scarecrow and Not Ryan continued on, headed towards Mammoth Lakes.  But before they would reach their destination, they would need to ford a knee deep river known as Evolution Creek.  After completing that, and having some lunch, they reached Mammoth Lakes around 9:30 p.m. and then had to take a trolley to the campgrounds where they would be staying for the night.  By the time they reached their destination, it was pitch black, so they were wandering around in complete darkness looking for a place to pitch their tents.  From out of nowhere, literally, a girls voice called out, "Hey I know you guys - you are Scarecrow and Not Ryan."  The guys were perplexed, as they did not know how anyone would recognize them.  It turned out to be Rebecca - from the JMT - who rapidly finished a 211 mile trail in 12 days, and then got a ride back up to Mammoth Lakes to head home.  She said she recognized them immediately, and now calls them the "Pirates of the PCT".

So, these pirates are now headed out of Mammoth Lakes, towards Tuolome, which is in Yosemite National Park.  They anticipate arriving within 3 days, and are very much looking forward to hiking Half Dome.  This is something Teddy has wanted to achieve for 10+ years now, so I am happy this is also in his immediate future.  

I found a picture and some facts about this next venture: This is a big hike; a full ten- to twelve-hour day for most, comprising about sixteen miles round trip. Included is a harrowing 425-foot vertical climb up the nearly 45-degree incline of Half Dome's granite slope, which is accomplished with the aid of two steel cable handrails.

via google images

via google images
I am looking forward to receiving Teddy's pictures from this truly spectacular feat.  He has said that he cannot stop talking to anyone that he meets about the beauty and amazing landscape he has witnessed. And I am sure that hiking to the top of Half Dome will be no different.

via google images

Hiking Half Dome is technically not part of the PCT, but is something worth stepping off the trail for.  The picture to the right is actually a line of people hiking up the side... like a trail of ants... cool, right??

In closing, I will leave you with a picture that was sent to me today, August 14th - exactly 2 1/2 months into Ted's adventure.  The half way mark of his time away from us.  In talking with Teddy, he sounds so grateful to have been given this opportunity to experience this journey.  The kids and I agree that as happy as he sounds, we are just as happy for him and we are all enjoying this experience that we all chose to embark on....

Happy Trails Scarecrow... we love you 

~The Thruhiker's Wife~

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Request Rapidly Received!!!

Well, those laws of attraction were really strong today... I just got off the phone with Teddy - he called in from Vermilion Valley, which is 878 miles into the trail.  He has slowed down his daily mileage, mostly because of the mountain terrain, but hiking with someone else - "Not Ryan" - has lessened mileage as well.  He said they are lucky to even get double digit mileage on a daily basis.  That's okay - I am glad he has some company for now.  He has said he will probably break away and speed up once out of the mountains.
He sounds great and well-rested.  Daily temperatures are in the mid to upper 70's during the day, and down in the 30's at night.  Teddy said it is common to wake up with frost on his tent.  I guess that's better than sweating in 104 degree heat with a rash.  
He is currently walking on the John Muir Trail, which is 211 miles long and runs simultaneously with the PCT from Mt. Whitney to Yosemite Valley, California.  He is hoping to be in Mammoth Lakes in about 3 days or so. Still about 210+ miles from his next mail drop spot :(  Hope his Snickers bars are not too melted...

Wow - my request for Teddy to check in was received in lightening speed - now if only my lotto request can come that quickly.
Until next time,

~The Thruhiker's Wife

Fidgety Family

Just wanted to check in... I am hoping by applying the laws of attraction, checking in will prompt my husband to do the same.  It has been 10 days (the longest stretch thus far) and we are getting fidgety to hear from Teddy - to see how far he has traveled, has he gotten his packages, and has he encountered any new and exciting creatures along the trail.  Until that call comes through, I will continue to keep busy and draw from my sources of strength (pictured below).

  Dakota & Jagger
Until then, keep sending positive energy Scarecrow's way - it is because of EVERYONE'S support that he is able to fulfill this dream.

~The Thruhiker's Wife