Leaving Japan

We’re back at the airport after five days in Japan. On our whirlwind world tour that’s two countries down and six-plus to go.  We arrived at the Tokyo Haneda airport at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. We took the monorail into Tokyo and spent the day walking around the Tokyo Station/Imperial Palace/Tokyo Harbor area. It was […]

My first day off on ice

The plan was to take off last night, ski or hike — depending on snow conditions — to Castle Rock (a prominent rock column just south of Mt. Erebus and about 4 miles north of McMurdo, and sleep in one of the survival huts along the route. That was the plan. However, I needed to […]

Double pass day

Miles: 790.2 to 809.9 Mileage: 19.7 Day: 50! Will we ever get away from the snow? The morning started off beautifully, if a little chilly. We made it over Glen Pass and the snow on the north side wasn’t too bad. We used our microspikes and ice axes, although the ice axes were probably overkill. […]

Goodbye for now, Sierras

Miles: 778.9 to 789.4  Mileage: 10.5 (plus, 7.5 up and over Kearsarge Pass to Independence, California) Day: 39 Neither of us slept well thinking about the pass all night. Would it go? Would we have to turn around? Plus, it was cold. We set up our tent on snow and really pushed our lightweight summer […]

We wait for snow

Miles: 774.2 to 778.9 Mileage: 4.7 Day: 38 And still up next, Forester Pass. Half awake in the middle of the night, I tried to scooch my head toward the end of the tent. I tend to slip down my sleeping pad as I switch positions. The only problem was, I couldn’t. The end of […]

Waiting for Whitney

Miles: 755.9 to 766.9 Mileage: 11, plus 1 mile to camp Day: 36 We moved slowly today. The cold kept us in our sleeping bags until 7 a.m. We waited until the sun rose over the ridge and started to thaw the ice that had formed on everything.  Even though my pack felt lighter, my […]

It’s suddenly winter

Miles: 730.9 to 755.7 Mileage: 24.8, plus .2 to water Day: 35 Man, the Sierras are cold. I generally like cold and I definitely like it when I’m prepared for it, but I was under the impression that we were nearing summer. Nope. Still winter up here.  I guess I should have figured on some […]

PCT Rule: When you spend the night sleeping in snow, you get to spend the next day sitting in a hot tub

Miles: 426.9 to 448.1 Mileage: 21.2 (plus .4 to the KOA) Day: 22 Let’s talk Poodle Dog Bush for a minute. With all the time I have to think, I have devoted much of it lately to what I would call the hype around PDB.  In every guide book I’ve seen, there is a lot […]

When your tent falls down in a sleet storm in the desert

Miles: 400 to 426.9 Mileage: 26.9 Day: 21 It all started off so well. We got up and started hiking before 7 a.m. The night had been dry, so the tent and sleeping bags were in fine shape. My feet felt great.  And then the winds started.  The terrain was varied, without big climbs to […]

PCT Training: An adventure in post-holing

As the weather in the front range of Colorado continued to warm, I planned more training hikes for the Pacific Crest Trail. I figure the more time I spend strapped into my backpack slogging up hills, the better prepared I’ll be for putting in some serious miles right off the bat. What I discovered while […]