At seven o'clock, I was climbing the highest mountain in the continental United States, fearing an earthquake would strike Mount Whitney any minute.
I've never before created this horrific imaginary tale. It went like this: the ground would shake uncontrollably, rocks would landslide on top of me, crushing my body, then rescue workers would take days to find me. Graphic and messed up, I know.
I'm now hiking the Pacific Crest Trail with Kevin from Baltimore, Maryland. He's a mechanical engineer who quit his solar energy job for the PCT. I met Kevin April 20, five days into the trail, when David turned and asked me to hitch hike to Warner Springs for the first time in our lives.
Once we made it to "hiker hangout", aka the parking lot of the Warner Springs Rec Center, David and I quickly made our permanent trail friends: Kevin, Cale (OK), Bobby (OK), Jake (OR) and Sean (CA). We all hike and camp together.
David is no longer on the trail. He left before Memorial Day weekend to head back to Tulsa. Dave revealed he was mentally and emotionally exhausted with physical pain in his knee.
Kevin wore shorts with a wind jacket-- REGRETTING it, he adds while I type this. I wore an Eddie Bauer base layer shirt, EB Stormdown jacket, yoga leggings, with Smartwool socks and gloves.
Clouds covered up the view of the world below, therefore we waited for pockets of sunshine, to peak out of the hut and take pictures.
The trail up to Mt. Whitney was completed September 5, 1930.
The next day, the two of us tackled another big feat. In just twenty minutes, we ran up Forester Pass at 13,200 feet. I wasn't expecting what I saw on the other side. We couldn't find the trail. Snow came up to half my body, if I fell down into it.
By now all PCT hikers are experts at adjusting to whatever is thrown at us, so Kevin and I looked down below to find spots of unconcerned trail where the sun melted the snow.
We climbed over boulders, slid down rocks, and I very carefully walked again through packed down snow. I'm super cautious, always thinking one little move can result in a rolled ankle and cost me the trip.
After putting in 27 miles Friday, and heading over another difficult pass- Kersharge Pass, we made it to the town of Independence, California for a hot meal and even hotter shower.
As for an earthquake, I saw a breaking news alert at the bottom of the television last night. A 3.4 quake shook the town of Gardena, California. Thankfully that's not anywhere near us.
David wants to come back out again in July. He said the doctor didn't find anything wrong with his knee after an X-ray.