Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Love for a Sleeping Bag

So can I openly and honestly admit that I am in love with my sleeping bag. I have a zero degree Mountain Hardware Phantom bag that hugs around my body each and every night as I crawl into my tent. Every day I look forward to taking it out of it's tiny stuff sack and laying down to reflect upon the long day that had just passed. Most thru-hikers treasure every piece of gear they have on their back because if they didn't, they would not be carrying it thousands of miles. In the Sierras many nights were very cold, but that sleeping bag being excessively warm and much bigger than most other thru-hikers bags was my best friend.

Honey Bear and I purposely only walked 16 miles a day through the John Muir Trail section of the trail. Because of the low snow year, we were not bogged down by huge river fords or long snow field, postholing sections so we were able to walk at a consistent pace. Each day we would take a long siesta during the day, go swimming, and make time some evenings for fishing. Just before Seldon Pass, Honey Bear and I were really hungry because we had not planned enough food for that section and made it a point to fish for some extra food for dinner. We were one day from Vermillion Valley Resort, a resupply point just a ferry ride across Edison Lake to get more food, and had one packet of instant mashed potatoes, a few almonds and cough drops to supplement the calories we needed for 20 miles. We stopped just before the pass to eat the 'last supper' and connected floss, a hook, and some power bait to the ends of our trekking poles. Granted the floss on our trekking poles was 10 feet long and there was no reel, we felt like real fisherman. I sat on the edge of the lake and watched as some large rainbow trout swam past my bait. My stomach growled but I was really enjoying sitting, relaxing and listening to my heart rate accelerate when a fish came close to my line. It was one of the first times in my adulthood I had gone finishing. I honestly dreaded the part after you caught the fish - killing it. Each time a fish came close to my line, I actually was saying in my mind, "No! Save yourself and swim the other way!" I loved the challenge though since I didn't feel completely comfortable in that situation.

About 30 minutes after we started fishing, a foot long rainbow trout finally swallowed my bait. I think I was just as surprised as it was when I started pulling my floss back into shore. I yelled out of excitement and nervousness for Honey Bear to come over and help me out. We stunned the fish and gut its gills quickly. Of course I took a victory 'first catch in the Sierras' photo and proceeded to clean the fish after. We fillet it and cooked it in olive oil and garlic with our instant mashed potatoes. Five star eatin' I must say!

We had many wonderful adventures and views crossing over every pass in the High Sierra. The mountains have slowly become more rounded and green as we are entering northern California. Goodbye granite spires and hello big volcanoes! Truckee is our next stop along the trail and we will be making our way to the halfway point very soon. So much to look forward to as we enter the section that most hikers say you cruise right through and accomplish big miles in a day.

I posted our estimated dates for stops in the blog previously if you would like to mail anything out. Thank you so much for following and more stories about the sierras and more will soon come!

Much love,


  1. Hi Adriana - we would love to send a care package to you! Requests???

    -Melinda Hasty

  2. What a wonderful surprise; absolutely anything edible! I love dark chocolate and any dehydrated produce. That would be amazing! Thank you so much!!