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Angels and Encouragement! (7 Aug 2021)

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

This seventh week into my journey to hike the Grand Canyon in October 2022 we decided to go hike the Lone Pine Lake Mt. Whitney Trail in the Eastern Sierra’s just about 11 miles west of Lone Pine California along Interstate 395.This trail is rated “hard” by the National Park Service, but we liked the challenge,

and the altitude would give us some practice for Grand Canyon. The Trail to Lone Pine Lake is 2.9 miles in and 2.9 miles out with an elevation change of 1,900 feet, 644 feet elevation change per mile, and max altitude at the lake is 10,122 feet. This is a beautiful trail with plenty of scenery, flowers, and a few waterfalls. When we started, I did not expect to make it to the lake but rather to just get some experience hiking at that altitude. The altitude of the South Rim of the Grand Canyon is 7,260 feet and the hike to the bottom is 6.3 miles with an elevation change of 4,780 feet or 758 feet elevation change per mile. So, steepness is similar but elevation for Lone Pine Lake trail is much higher but half the distance so a good trail to practice on.

I did discover what I am capable of and twice as we were ascending, I wanted to quit and turn around. Both times I was sitting on a rock, exhausted and resting when a

random hiker came around the corner greeted us, talked about how blessed we were to have this beautiful place and beautiful weather and encouraged us to take our time and blessed us before moving on his way.

That encouragement and a reminder that we were blessed gave me the fortitude to continue onward and upward! After I made it to the lake, we had lunch and rested. During this time, I reflected on these two hikers and surmise that they were my Angels sent to encourage me to continue. The other thing that was helpful was the absolute beauty and majesty of the place!

During this trip I was able to try out my Osprey Manta 34 backpack and it worked, as I had hoped, excellently. There was plenty of water in the 2.5-liter bladder even though I was drinking a lot to keep any altitude sickness at bay. One thing we decided we needed was a good water filter to refill the bladder on longer hikes. So, I purchased a Katadyne® Hiker® Pro Microfilter™ water filtration system that is pump action and has quick disconnect hoses that connect right to your water bladder.

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