Life is pretty cool sometimes. I’ve said before how much I love this little hiking community. Somehow everyone seems to know each other. Back in the fall, I saw some photos on Facebook through a hiker friend of a couple that had done both the Sierra High Route and Wind River High Route last year. Their names were Virginia and David and I decided to reach out just to hear about their experiences on the high routes since so few have done multiple ones in a single summer. It turns out that we were both on the Appalachian Trail in 2014 (going opposite directions) and Virginia saw me in New Hampshire, but had a shy moment and didn’t say anything.
Fast forward a year and I’m contacting Virginia randomly on fb to ask about their SHR and WRHR experience. We hit it off and realized I could come down to Big Sur (which I’ve never been to), before I start the SHR and have some much needed getaway recharging time. It’s been just wonderful! Virginia and David lead a very calm and relaxed life in an amazingly scenic place. I was able to spend a day in a rental that they caretake and it was just what I needed.
Then we spent a day on the southern part of Big Sur sightseeing and relaxing at another private property overlooking the ocean that their friends caretake.
It even had a private beach access. Like a personal beach no one else could get to on the Big Sur coast. Yep, just surreal…or Big Sur-real…I know, corny.
This recharging time is just what I’ve needed before setting off on the SHR. THANK YOU VIRGINIA AND DAVID!!! They have an action packed season ahead starting in August, so check out their blog, Unbound Routes, to follow them on a section of the SHR, the Colorado Trail, and the Lowest to Highest Route. I’m sure this isn’t the last I’ll see of Virginia and David. These are some quality hearts that I plan on holding on to far into the future<3. It’s Gonna Hurt
I want to elaborate a bit and give a realistic take on how this first leg of the Sierra High Route is going to go. This route does not have reception, so there will be a gap of at least 5 days between posts. I think I’ve decided to just post them all at once when I am able to rather than to spread them out. That way people can decide if they want to binge read or spread them out. The next group of posts probably won’t be up until Sunday or Monday.
I want to start of by letting everyone know that we (myself, Rockin’, and Why Not) are not delusional. We are well aware that there is still plenty of snow out there and are actually thinking this may work in our favor for both scenery and minimizing time on tedious talus. Check out Rockin’s full post from her family summits of Banner and Ritter Peaks last week. It’s amazing out there with all the snow!
Another thing to take into consideration is that I personally am not in peak hiking shape. To put it bluntly, I am not in shape at all. I’ve had very little sleep the last few weeks and have done close to no physical activity in the last month. My body does take to exercise quite well, but I’ll be honest that it is NOT good with elevation. This trail starts around 5,000ft and within 24hrs, I think we will be over 10,000ft where this trail will often be between 10,000 and 13,000ft. To put this in perspective, I live at sea level…like seriously 0ft elevation. I visited Timberline Lodge on Mt Hood a few weeks ago at 6,000ft and was nauseous the whole rest of the day even after returning home…and I didn’t even hike!
I’m ready for it to suck this first week. My pack will be heavy, but thankfully I won’t have to add the 2lb bear canister until the second week after Mammoth Lakes. I am concerned for how I will react, but I hope it is something I can just tolerate and acclimate to. I get dizzy, nauseous, a headache, and in 2013 on the CDT I randomly needed an inhaler because whenever I was over 10,000ft I got an uncontrollable dry cough like a cat with a fur ball. Yep, it’s gonna hurt, but I know I will adjust in time and it will all be worth it to be out in the Sierra on those peaks.
Well, that’s about it. I am meeting Rockin’ and Why Not today and we will get permits and probably camp at or near the trailhead to really kick-off this hike tomorrow (on the 22nd). Check out the awesome interactive map I have on the site that will show our location each night. You can zoom in to see the terrain map of our location and also see the ground we covered each day with a slider that shows the elevation. Seriously, look at that first day and how it goes UP!
I want to say how happy I’ve been with the reception of the newly designed blog site. I’m really glad this transition has been relatively smooth and is providing a better experience for both me and all of you. I’ve had many people write comments to the effect of “I can’t wait for our trip” or “we are going to have such a great time this year.” I want this to be an experience that feels like we are doing this and that is why the blog is Walking With Wired. It’s the best feeling to know you all get that and that you feel that camaraderie and intention through the blog. Ok, let’s get going on our next journey!
What a beautiful place!
Omg so jealous! Big sur is my fav place on the planet. And the people!
I want to be a caretaker in Big Sur 😉
Have a great hike!
The network of fantabulous hikers I’ve met during my journeys these past few years has been an unexpected benefit. Being able to recharge with great folks who understand my need for some downtime, who share in the excitement of wilderness, travel and trails, and who are willing to open their doors to “strangers” has added unbelievable value.
You three are a dream team. I’m excited to hear the stories and see the photos. As someone who prefers to avoid scree . . . its unlikely this route will ever be on my to do list and thus I’ll live vicariously through your experience. Having the map to follow is going to be fun!
Stay safe and come back in one piece!
I guess never say never…I said the same thing about the talus and the SHR just a couple years ago!
Good luck and have fun!
WOWZERS!! what an incredibly beautiful place… I could easily spend a few days there !! Safe hiking, thinking of the 3 of you over the next 5 days til we hear from you to know you made it safely.. and also that you don’t get sick… you have an amazing hike !!! 🙂
Once I foolishly moved from Colorado to the flatlands I adopted a simple approach to backpacks at altitude. Whenever I return to Colorado I spend the first night in Denver at around 5,000 ft. The next day I drive to the Alpine visitors center and spend the afternoon hanging around and reading at around 12,000 ft. I sleep that night at the starting trailhead which is usually around 9,000 FT and I am good to go up over 12,000 FT passes with zero issues. Okay, practically zero issues 🙂 Not sure of the availability of similar facilities in Cali or Wyoming
Interesting. I know we plan to camp around 6,000 tonight and I just hope I adjust…fingers crossed. If I was really smart about it, I probably would have done something similar to what you do.
climb high and sleep low has been great advice since the beginning of time 🙂 Good luck…have fun….it stops hurting when it is over!
You are so awesome. I actually have butterflies this morning with excitement for the start of your hike.I’ve been following you since the beginning on the PCT when a friend of mine was doing it and in researching, just by chance , stumbled upon your blog. Your candidness and honesty and of course the photos drew me in and I was hooked . Now you are the mainstay of my summer morning reads. Thank you so much for sharing your adventures with us. LET THE HIKING BEGIN!
I love it Rhonda! The biggest thing I’m most excited about on this platform is that I can finally share my photos in an easier way that will finally come out clear. In the past the platform and apps I used limited that. Doing my final emailing before I meet Rockin’ and Why Not today!
my nuerologist does some hiking in high altitudes and told me that alka seltzer helps her with the headaches and nausea. take it before you start and take some along it might help
I´ve binge-read your CDT blog + all 2015 trail entries and so appreciate all the time and effort you put in writing it, it´s just awesome.
Now I´m happy to again have something to make my day early every morning without suffering from a Wired withdrawal!
Greetings from Prague (Czech rep., Europe), you´re quite a name in the local tiny ultralight hiking group (there´s a Czech couple hiking CDT now, Footprint+Lola, and they met Rampage!!).
Stay safe and enjoy your hike!
Oh so cool that they met Rampage! Even cooler to think this is being read in Prague! Happy to be back:)
Maybe the lesson from this summer’s trails will be to take it SLOW and steady! There’s nothing wrong with letting your body acclimate while you enjoy the awesome scenery. You also have a great team, I know it will be fun.
Be safe and enjoy the journey : )
Oh Erin! I so love to read about your journeys ? I’m with your other followers with their positive words and support. It’s been stated so eloquently already. Life is about connections, people and nature, and you’ve got this down!
And yes, for you…..one thru hike at a time! I love that. Take care, Maggie
Hi Maggie! <3
We love and miss you already! Thank you for the wonderful time, and I we’re excited to follow your journeys as well! So much love and hugs <3
Smiling of course:))
Good luck! Altitude is hard! We live at sea level too and went hiking in Colorado last year. Boy was that hard, We tried to gradually acclimate doing lower elevation hikes, leaving our first 14,000 footer to the end of the trip. We ended up doing a 13,000 footer and that was enough (said my partner after vomiting on the way down).
Hahaha! Yup, got the vomit part down (or up) this week as well.
I’m so excited for you! I’ve missed you! So fun to have you sharing your adventures again!!
So glad to be back!
My advice would be to not push too hard the first day or three Erin.. yes everything will adjust but it is time at altitude as much as anything that you need. Once I’m over 5000ft or so it usually takes me a week to fully acclimatize.
Good luck! Liking the new website a lot .. want to hear more about it some time!
New site is wonderful…but the dang blogging app is pretty time consuming with photos…but gives great results. Who decides these things make sense on these apps!?
Super excited for you and Rockin. I do hope you adapt without too many issues.
I visited Timberline Lodge on the 6 June. Have fun.
Super excited for you and Rockin. I do hope you adapt quickly, without too many issues. Coincidentally I was visited Timberline Lodge on the 8 June. So close to crossing paths.
Ah, pretty close!
I agree with all above…”We” are going to have a great adventure!! Super excited to watch the adventure unfold and love your new blog format!
Have a great time and stay safe!
Wahoo, yep, let’s get started on our next journey! Been waiting a long time for this. Awesome you three are teaming up again. Three badass’ on this hike! And yes, as another mentioned, really appreciate your candor. Have so much fun!
We have quite the trio going here and know to appreciate it with how rare it is.