40 and a Quarter

Day 22

Mileage: 40

Total distance: 652

Camp tonight is at Walker Pass Campground with fifteen other hikers spread throughout the area. The wind is howling as the night begins and everyone has retired to their tents. 

I woke up in my new bug net this morning and felt so rested seeing that it was almost 7 am. I got my things together quickly and still trying to figure out the best way to am handle this damn bear can that takes up so much unnecessary room in my bag. I had planned on doing big miles, but wasn’t sure how far I would get starting after 7. 

Four miles in I got to the first water cache and filled up four liters in hopes of another cache fifteen miles away. I figured even if there wasn’t I would still be alright. Thank God there was one. 

The trail led me through the classic desert sand in a roller coaster fashion as I went up and down 4-5000 feet of elevation. Eventually I dropped down to a road twenty miles in and found the other cache. Hikers were hiding in the shade and fighting off killer bees that swarmed the water in search for their own hydration. I sat for a while and drank while my stomach began its cramping that would last the rest of the day. 

As soon as I left the cache I had a 2,000 foot climb up to 6,500 feet that was surprisingly easy with a low, steady grade and hard, compact dirt that allowed traction. With fifteen miles to go, my stomach was clenching inside my gut and I started to realize it was because I was well beyond dehydration. I had only had three liters in twenty miles in hopes to conserve my water during the 42 mile waterless stretch and it was now taking a toll on my body. I slowly sipped a liter. Then another. And by the third liter I was descending down the gorgeous hills headed towards Walker Pass. My stomach was still in rage, but I was going to finish my first 40 mile day and be exactly a quarter of the way to Canada. 


When I got to the campground I found hikers sitting at a picnic table and eating bread with tomato paste that was left by a trail angel. I joined in the feast and got to talk to some guys about my day, which was exciting since I had such a gnarly day. One of the guys was from Holland and told me he was hiking because he has had a really bad life before starting and thought maybe this would help. I feel that he made a great decision. I hope hiking does for him what it’s done for me. 

I left my poor man pizza party to set up my cowboy spot for the night and go sit on a toilet for twenty minutes hoping my stomach chills out. After explosive diherrea and some more water it finally calmed down. I hope that is the end of my stomach cramps, but we will see what tomorrow has in store. 

Now it is time for sleep in the gusty wind under the sparkling sky to prepare for another day of walking into the Sierras. 

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