Who ever created the world sure went through a lot of trouble, it would be down right rude of me not to go out and see as much as possible… -Edward Readicker-Henderson
The summer in Orange County is a unique and interesting time of the year. On one hand it brings sunshine, beautiful weather and playful south swells that can keep any surfer entertained. On the other hand, Huntington Beach hosts the U.S. Open of Surfing which brings mountains of trash and enough bros to fill a Moto cross arena so I was more than happy to make the trade for the Golden Trout and towering peaks of the High Sierra’s. A journey along the John Muir Trail was just the thing to distract Toes on the Nose team rider, Tim Sachs and fellow adventurer Lafe Issacson to team up with me and escape from the blackballs and blown out afternoons we have grown so familiar with. Trading the congested lanes of PCH to chasing black bears down the trails of America’s most beautiful thru-hike was just what the doctor ordered.
Ascending out of Yosemite Valley, we make a group decision to take in the beauty of our environment at our own pace, supplement our diet with what we could from the land, and have more fun and adventure than anyone else on the trail. Our final destination was 218 miles away on the granite covered summit of the highest peaks in the contiguous United States. Mount Whitney towers 14,508 feet above sea level and our bodies had plenty of time to acclimate during our eleven mountain passes and countless uphill miles. Breaking through a mountain pass at 13,000 feet gives you a sense of accomplishment much like sticking a steep drop and making that barrel you couldn’t see an end to. It’s tedious, it takes effort and constant focus and when you make it, it’s a feeling that few get to experience and no one can take away.
Being away from the ocean in the summer was tough but we were able to get our water fix by jumping off the highest rocks we could find into crystal blue pools and rivers and often venturing miles off trail to soak in hot springs surrounded by the forest. We traded in kayak fishing and diving on Corona Del Mar’s rocky coast for fishing on the banks of the Tuolmne, King, and San Juaquin rivers. Surrounded by the Minarets, Tim and I pulled a combo of 60+ brooke, brown, and rainbow trout out of a pond leading from Garnett Lake in less than an hour and decided to stop keeping track of our fish count because it was just getting too ridiculous. Some of the best trout fishing I’ve ever experienced in some of the most amazing scenery we could imagine; we were doing something special, and we knew it the whole time. Our senses were on overload as we hiked through the Golden Staircases where Lafe spotted a perfect eating size California Quail. With a quick shot from my trusty wrist rocket, Quail and trout Pad Thai was on the menu for dinner. Catching and collecting extra additions to our to our freeze dried meals was an extremely gratifying and fun part of the trip. My taste buds still miss the taste of the purple flowered Sierra Swap Onion. Taking a break from the trail to harvest these delights surrounded by Jeffery Pine and Primrose was a daily ritual that I have truly missed.
Lightning storms and monsoons graciously replaced the everyday mundane June gloom we were used too. Descending into Evolution Valley, the beginning of the most magnificent lightning storm I have ever experienced was starting. We were arriving to the lake late in the day and we just barely set up camp on the south side of the lake when the sky started erupting. We raced to tear down tents and get away from all of our metal knowing very well that people die each year in the High Sierras due to lightning strikes. Doing our best trying to avoid being a statistic, we huddled under the 8×8 tarp I had and we fought, shouted at, and laughed through the wind and the rain and watched in nervous astonishment as the lightning storm passed over from one side of the valley to the other.
The last three days of the hike we had the awesome opportunity to spend some time hiking towards Mount Whitney with Elizabeth Wenk, the author of the Essential Guide to the John Muir Trail which is comparable to the Bible while on the trail. Elizabeth was an idol to all of us and had a complete wealth of knowledge on the trail and was eager to educate us on any question we could throw at her. Elizabeth Wenk has put in enough time and miles in the Sierras to challenge Muir himself but was still and extremely humble and caring individual. (she later helped with saving the live of a distraught hiker with extreme altitude sickness after summiting Whitney herself.)
We summited the top of Mount Whitney on July 29th 2013(exactly one year from the first time Lafe and I first hiked Whitney) just in time to catch an incredible sunset. We spent the night in the hut on top of Mt. Whitney with some new friends of the trail and awaited our last day in the Sierras. We woke up in time to catch the sunrise and take in the last 22 days of our lives. After sunrise and eating the last bits of food we had we charged the 11 or so miles down Whitney to meet Katie, Tim’s girlfriend, and the nearest hamburger stand we could find. Looking back on the trip and the experiences Lafe, Tim, and I shared it’s hard for me to imagine another place where you can throw a 40 ft gainer, shoot a quail, catch 10 golden trout, a lizard, a snake, a marmot, and chase a bear through a meadow all in the same day. But yet again, the John Muir Trail is a place all in its own.
“Who gains the blessing of one Mountain day; whatever his fate, long life, short life, stormy or calm, he is rich forever.” John Muir
Written by: Mike Jorgensen
We recently received an update from Toes on the Nose team rider Kapono Nahina about his trip to Japan.
My recent travels to Japan for the 2013 Hyuga Miyazaki longboard pro event. Not expecting waves at all. I was stoked that the recent typhoon provided us with great long clean walls. Here’s a few pics that I got from this trip. Stoked on Japan. The food,culture,people is amazing. Thanks Toes on the Nose for all the support. So stoked!!
With only a few days in California and a number of shows to perform, Mishka was in and out of trucks and planes like a UPS package the day before Christmas…. Lucky for us we had his tracking number and were able to check him out between transports at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach. Next stop for Mishka is the East Coast where he will be playing shows in Florida, Kentucky, and Georgia.
Download his Album “Ocean is my Potion” on iTunes.
Photos: Michael Lallande
Sashamon played a great show last night at The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. As he continues his Peaceful Vibes Tour he’s heading up to Northern California before flying back home to Hawaii. Opening for Sashamon was Huntington Beach Reggae band Cali Conscious who just released their new album last week.
Birdman Media presents “Say No More”. Birdmans first womens longboard surf film featuring an array of shredders from Southern California. Starring: Tory Gilkerson, Karina Rozunko, Makala Smith, Lindsay Steinriede-Engle, Erin Ashley and Stephanie Vigiano.
THE WORLD PREMIERE OF “SAY NO MORE” WILL BE GOING ON JULY 26, 2013 @THE CARLSBAD VILLAGE THEATRE @ 7PM & 9PM. Birdman Media merchandise will be available: DVDs, SnapBack Hats, BMM tees, Stickers, BMM patches, and limited edition copies of DVDs.
Click Here to purchase tickets online for Say No More, before they go on sale at the door.
For more info about “Say No More” visit: http://birdmanmedia.com/say-no-more<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/67624072″>Say No More</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/birdmanmedia”>Bird Man Media</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
Last Sunday was just about as good as it gets for a summer day at San-O. With the water and air temperatures finally warm enough to surf in boardshorts, and the south swell pumping, the Toes on the Nose crew was hanging out all day catching some waves, grilling dogs, and soaking up the sun.
Enjoy the Photos and follow Toes on the Nose on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to find out about our next Summer Day at San-O.