Not sure what to write here… So since the US Government did the partial shutdown and then the near chaos of the debt ceiling. In that time I spend some time in Las Vegas (because it is cheep) and after that I made my way to Los Angeles (not so cheap).
I could say my opinion on the situation but I think it will be useless. The ones who started it are still there and I don’t think that will change anytime. And I can only hope that they don’t do more stupid thing in the future… But what do I know right?
Las Vegas…. I still don’t like the City but I warmed up to it a bit.. There is just something about it… My only reason to stay there was that it was cheap and I had hopes that the fiasco with the Government would be over by the time I would have to move on. No such luck and I gave up on my hopes and when the time was to think about where to go. I choose Los Angeles. A couple from the John Muir Trail lives there and invited me to come and visit (So of course I said yes). I looked up a motel I could afford, in an area I thought was “save” and that was that.
Los Angeles is a city where you have to know people or better, know what to do. I mean the touristy things don’t do it for me, it’s nothing like Europe. I have no interest in the walk of fame, Universal studio tour or Disneyland. You can add some Museums and trips to the beach but after that? The City of LA itself is 15 times bigger then Zürich. Let just say for me LA is huge.
The Couple took me to some Stairway walks on Los Feliz/Griffith Park, Silverlake and Santa Monica. I really enjoyed those and will definitely look into it for the next visit.
The last 18 Days where lazy ones and I am not sure what I will do with the last 12 Days. I have 5 Days to make my way up from LA to SF. The place I will be staying in San Francisco is really close to the Golden Gate Park and I will spend a good chunk of time there.
I have to admit I will be a happy person to go back home and see my family and I crave some food. But again I had the same problems when I lived in London. I also look forward to eat food at home…
This is it for now, not sure I will make another post before I return to Switzerland.
In consideration of the shutdown, here are my last impressions of Utah. Places visited: Escalante Staircase, Bryce Canyon and Zion. I loved Zion and I really didn’t spend enough time there. I managed to hike the Narrows from the bottom to Big Spring, it took about 7h and I had the beginnings of a cold the next day messed up my planning. The water was 15 degrees Celsius and as one can imagine it gets cold.
Not sure where I go from here, I will probably make my way to the West Coast and from there up to San Francisco. Who knows when the National Parks will open again, I am a bit restless and I try to find some routine for the last month of this trip.
I have bin in Utah since beginning of last week. I more or less escaped Yellowstone after a 3 Day stay. Too many people and rain. I stayed in Moab for the most and camped at Needles Canyonlands. But that one got cut short to by a storm that lasted all afternoon.
Right now I am in Escalante for a few days and then I make my way to Bryce Canyon and Zion.
So here are the pictures.
It has been more than 5 days since I finished the John Muir Trail and I thought that was enough of down time.
I didn’t feel any pain just some slight soreness in my knees after the JMT,
but this morning when I lifted up my full backpack… Uff.
Today’s hike should have been a nice easy mostly flat hike, and on every small up or downhill my knees hurt more and more. After a few miles I started to ask myself if this is a good idea. The second day of this trip would have meant a gain of more than 2500 ft and the same again back down.
I had some problems last year with my knees, after Scotland, and for some fantastic reason no problems on the JMT, until the last day really. My guess is that the hike from Mt. Whitney to the Portal killed it. (It was the Beer and Burger waiting there )
My family has a history of knee problems, my father had two operations already and is waiting for his knee replacement and my sister has a lot of issues too, because of all that I dropped out today.
I will stick to day hikes for now, and hope that my knees will like me a bit more in the next few weeks.
The Great Teton National Park is still on my list, the Crest Trail sounds like a really nice hike and some of the canyons. Definitely not the last time here.
I got my backcountry for the Grand Teton NP today. I was more than a bit surprised, Yosemite was more hassle to get. So I am off and we will see how this one will go. They have other requirements about the bears then in the sierra. I will follow their rules no question and I got a bear spray just to feel safer.
Hope the weather holds up and it’s not to cold.
We finished the official John Muir Trail just after 5 am when we reached the summit of Mt. Whitney on the 4th September.
It was fantastic to see the valley below and see it come to light.
But something that was great to experience was, how different the trail feels when it’s dark and how it is at daytime.
The John Muir Trail was a fantastic experience. I don’t really know what I expected from this trip but I can say it was better then anything you can imagine. The scenery was fantastic and so different to what I saw to date.
The company I went with (Sierra Mountain Center), who organized everything was great. The Food they cooked for us was tasty and so much better than freeze dried meals. It was heavier but we usually had some fresh vegetables and really that made it worth carrying the extra weight.
We hiked an average of 10 miles a day some times a bit more or a bit less. A lot of people do a lot more but we were a mixed group and had to adjust to everyone.
I will post more on this trip when I am back home. For know I enjoy the luxury of a bed and showers
And I am researching know my next destination.
Here a few photos of the John Muir Trail.
The day arrived and in a short wile I will be on the bus to Toulume Medows. Where I will meet the rest of the group. The real start will be tomorrow morning.
Anyway I won’t be updating the blog in that time so my next post will be after this trip around the 4/5 September.
I hope everything goes well, that everyone gets along with each other.
Jorge will of course join me on this advanture.
5 Days backpacking in Yosemite. It was fantastic and I was lucky with the route I choose, apparently it’s not a popular one but really beautiful. My Hike started at the start of the John Muir Trail / Mist Trail and followed up to Illouette creek passed lower and upper Merced Lake. From there to the lower and upper Ottoway Lake and over the Red Peak Pass. Then down all the way to Washburn Lake, passed Merced Lake into the Valley for Little Yosemite Campground. And on the last day back into the Valley.
It was a great experience and fantastic exercise for the JMT. I will do some changes for what I carry. Some things just don’t work in this sand and dusty conditions.
I also had my first scare on this trip. On the third day, just about 10km after Red Peak Pass, I trip and fell. I was really really lucky that I only scratches my left knee. I mean I fell on all four limbs, and my right ankle was a bit tender for the next days but it could have been a lot worse, I could continue with my hike. Not sure what would have happened if something more serious came out of it.
Well I can guarantee you that was a wake up call, and after that I had to fight really hard to keep all the worst case scenario out of my had.
But all that aside I meet some really nice people, at night I always ha a neighbor which was nice and the conversations where usually about politics but I guess one is curious about what is different. (Not that I know a lot about politics mind you).
Here are some Pictures.
Jorge’s story, it starts that he is from Spain. Do not ask me from where I can’t remember. Also his age he is shy about that so, who knows.
He is lazy, so on this trip he will sleep most of his time in the camera bag.
How I had this idea? Well my parents are both Spanish, my mother has in addition also the Swiss Nationality. Because if that my Sister an I have dual citizenship. This blog is more about Switzerland but I thought I have to bring something Spanish into it. As mentions earlier in a post I don’t like self portrait of certain “things” and with him I can still tell a story. And Jorge is small enough to fit inside the camera bag
A retired work colleague said to me once that,
US parks are crowded unless you hike outside of the main attraction
hopefully he is right.
Yesterday I hiked the JMT trail up to Nevada Fall and back down the Mist Trail. Up was no problem I started before the crowd thought about even going on a hike, but on my way down? Different story altogether.
Anyway apart from that hike, I was/am as promised lazy. I only had to get my permit today. (I didn’t have to pay for it, I was under a different impression but I do not complain, just surprised).
Tomorrow I want to get an early start like 6 am.
Please don’t get the impression that I don’t like people, it’s just sometimes there are people on the trails that are more annoying then anything else