"There exists a world within the desert that seems like it shouldn't. The desert lillies spurred this thought. Their beingness is that of some sort of suspended animation, leftover from a time when conditions were much different here in the high chaparral. It seems as if each smokey red cup was placed only after deep consideration. Of course, this is all an illusion- we are the visitors here, the sojourners just passing through, so watch your step. We have adapted somewhat to this world, but we will never be as tough as the Mariposa Lilly.
After 700 miles, the spirits of some have been slowly abraded away by the gritty winds, while those of others have been resould in the cloudvield boulder fields and galvanized by the heat of the sands. My feet have endured being ground down and then hardfaced with plates of armor. So too, the relationships between those who share this world have solidified by now."
Everyone seems to be thinking "700 miles of desert is plenty". What an amazing environment it is, but the huge snow capped peaks of the High Sierra looming in the distance are a welcome sight. It will be more difficult, higher, longer between resupply points and very cold. Although some are apprehensive about the huge snowfall, we've made it this far so push on. Reports are coming back that about 50 have already made it through safely. I'm still moving with Kirsten (thump thump), Carmen (Microburst), Sarah (Day-glo) and now Bryan (Shanghai McWillikers). We are taking some down time here in Kennedy Meadows, Ca just before the Sierra. 30 more miles and we'll be in snow. Everyone is trying to pack their bear *resistant* cannisters with enough food until the next resupply- about 10 days out. thats about.. lets see...70,000 calories and these cannisters arent that big. Pushing through the snow burns twice as many calories they say, we already burn about 5 or 6000 a day so 70,000 for 10 days is pretty conservative. One other thru-hiker we've been hiking around, Chance, woke up the other day with a bear at his feet lifting up his legs in his sleeping bag. There have been many bear sightings thus far and the other day Shanghai encountered a mountain lion. Nice.