What the heck is this? It's Rye
Crisps and another unnamed
"food surprise" left by another
Amy is greeted by the
We awoke, noses icy cold, just barely warm in our bags, wondering if perhaps this
canyon's name came from people freezing to death.
When we met up with Mary and Glenn at Walker Pass, we left the cold weather sleeping bags in the car, thinking we'd sample the weather until Lone Pine.
We'd sampled enough.
Well, we would be in Lone Pine that evening, and I knew the first thing I was grabbing out of the gear box. Luckily, we had a 2000-foot climb out of Death Canyon which got the blood pumping.
The plan was to hike 14 miles on the PCT to a junction with the Trail Pass Trail [This place name was kind of a let down after sleeping in Death Canyon -Scott] which descends 2 miles to a road and trailhead, which, in turn, descends 22 miles and 6000 feet into the town of Lone Pine. My parents would meet us at the trailhead parking area in the afternoon and take us into Lone Pine.
We made good time along the trail. Along the way, we were treated to spectacular views down to Owens Lake, a sheer, stomach-churning drop of 6000 feet.
We also met two women backpacking to Death Canyon. They brought news of Justin and Andy who are apparently changing all their gear to lighter stuff, including their backpacks.
We also were treated to the sight of food left on the trail by other hikers who packed too much food and decide to lighten their packs and compensate their consciences by saying they are doing 'a sure to be hungry someone' a favor by leaving it. Sounds like a nice idea in theory, and I'm sure this method actually works sometimes and is appreciated, but by and large, what happens is that animals come along and tear into it and tear up the plastic wrapping and it makes a huge mess all knawed apart and blows around in the wind. In some cases, the animals have eaten part of the wrapping when the food is stuck to it. Not only is most of the food we've seen bad for animals, but most of it (meat and cheese too) has spoiled and has been torn apart and no people would want to eat it. Being at the back of the pack, we've seen a lot of this food and pick it up and carry it out which is a pain. There. I've gotten it off my chest.
Thanks, Amy, for that enlightening discussion on trail ethics.
You're quite welcome.
It's especially refreshing to hear a lecture on responsibility around animals from someone not carrying a bear cannister.
I can return to the subject of cows if you like. See, it can always be worse.
Ok, I'm all done talking to myself. We reached the trailhead early, but in a short time, my parents pulled up and we were all excited to see each other. We exchanged hugs and no truer words were spoken by my mom when she announced, "You stink!" Well, I guess you have to admire honesty, don't you?
We headed down to Lone Pine and wasted no time in making ourselves presentable and went out for pizza and beer and I chattered nonstop. What a great ending to the day. (At least for me)