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Day 10: MTR to McClure Meadow – Disaster Strikes!

2010 August 6

Any guesses as to the weight of 10 days worth of food, duct tape and toilet paper for two? Turns out 40 pounds since that’s basically all I was carrying when we left Muir Trail Ranch. My bag has a comfort weight rating that maxes out at 35, so I was definitely feeling it. Liz’s pack wasn’t much lighter, so as we headed out we were second guessing our choice to continue on. :)

We had 12 miles to walk and we got a pretty late start due to the resupply at the Ranch, but after being ever so tempted by the cabins with running water and hot springs we got moving around 10am.

As always the hike was beautiful as we came up out of the valley and entered Kings Canyon National Park. As we continue south the trees seem to get bigger and bigger. The river held some beautiful vistas, walking above the San Joaquin most of the day. 

As we climbed out of the basin in the afternoon, we followed a fork of the river up a waterfall, which was beautiful. It was hard work, but standing at the top of the falls looking back over where we had come was incredible. Now, further up the river to our campgrounds!

Just before the end of our day, we had our first TRUE river fording. There were no stepping stones, no log, no bridge. Just knee deep ice cold mountain water. Nuts. Well, we knew this was the first of many to come so off we go. Yikes!

Coming out of the other side however, Liz’s foot problems got even worse, if you can believe that. The sides of her toes had started rubbing the front of her shoes, to compliment the blisters, swelling, and sore Achilles’. The last straw. With her toes not healing and the tendons still hurting, this new pain was the signal that we couldn’t maintain the pace necessary to make Whitney before our plane took off out of Fresno.

So with that decided, we found a nice spot for our tent – right beside a waterfall! The evening proved one of the latest of our trip, as we took QUICK (and freezing) bandanna baths in the roaring fall, and washed clothes. On that note, if anyone follows our itinerary, they will be glad to find a marvelously engineered clothesline made of the last of our rope. Whoops.

We have also started crossing paths with PCT thu-hikers with more frequency. The traditional greeting, ‘so where you headed?’ has been met with ‘Seattle’ more than I would have expected. There sure are a lot of them! Can’t wait for our own long term adventure to begin!

One final anecdote before I head off to bed. Tonight as I came back from stowing our bear canisters well away from our tent, I stumbled (almost literally) across a deer less than 10 feet from our tent! I guess it hadn’t seen our tent in the dusky light or something because it had just been munching grass close by before I walked up and scared the dickens out of it. The animals aren’t all that concerned with us since they’re in such a huge park, but she certainly wasn’t expecting me!

Happy trails!

No Responses leave one →
  1. Jack Hasenmyer permalink
    August 13, 2010

    WOW! Will be praying for Liz’s foot issues and your persrverence…carry on.
    Can hardly wait to hear your stories first hand.


  2. Krista permalink
    September 25, 2010


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