On May 16th, my dad sent me an email with a plan that would get him from mile 566 of the Pacific Crest Trail in Tehachapi to mile 942 in Tuolumne Meadows on June 8th—23 days later. On the surface it seemed like a “walk in the park”—an average pace of 16.3 miles/day when he had been doing 19 or 20. However he had 4 resupply stops to make on the way which would consume 2-3 days of hiking time. Subtract those 3 days, and suddenly he was looking at a strenuous 18.8 miles/day pace, which made him increasingly nervous as the mountain passes in the Sierras got higher, scarier, and snowier.
Every evening I get an email from my dad’s SPOT Satellite Messenger letting me know his latitude and longitude along the Pacific Crest Trail (and that he’s OK). He asked me to track his mileage, so at first I put his coordinates into Google Maps, which actually has the PCT plotted, but the mileages didn’t seem to match the “official” mile markers that he’s referencing from Halfmile. They offer a KMZ file of the PCT for Google Earth, but I totally failed at getting it installed on Ubuntu. Eventually I was able to commandeer Stephanie’s Mac to get it to work, but it seemed like a hassle when all I really wanted was a quick way to enter his current latitude and longitude from the email and find out what half-mile marker he’s the closest to.
My brother’s visit in July afforded us the rare opportunity to go backpacking together, just the two of us. He’s not done much camping, and I’ve never been backpacking in bear country, so to ease our apprehension, I booked us three nights at Yosemite’s Merced Lake High Sierra Camp. From what I had read, it offers a “backpacking experience without the backpack”—they provide tent cabins and do all the cooking. Sounded pretty great to me.
While my brother Matthew was in town last month, he took me and Stephanie out to a SF Giants game. I can’t even remember the last time I attended a baseball game (perhaps the Durham Bulls back in NC?), but more importantly, it was Stephanie’s first baseball game ever.
We had a lot of fun before the game asking her to explain the rules as she vaguely understood them:
“So the thrower throws the ball to the hitter, and then the hitter tosses the bat away with a dramatic flourish, and then he runs off somewhere…”
Even though the Giants ended up losing 0-1 in the end, we had a great time watching the game, watching the people watching the game, and indulging in all of our stadium food guilty pleasures: chicken fingers with fries, hot dogs, beer, and Ghirardelli hot chocolate.