All four Nevada 10-in-10 newsmen arrive safely at Barker Pass
Under a crescent moon with small waves crashing up against the shore of Echo Lakes, K.M. Cannon, Karl Horeis, Rick Gunn and myself started the Nevada 10-in-10 Challenge Monday at 4:40 a.m.
Nearly 13 hours later, all four of us arrived safely at Barker Pass without injury. It was a hellish day, but we expected it to be. Twenty-six miles through the heart of Desolation Wilderness, then six more after that. The last 2.4 miles to the 7,650 foot elevation of the pass, our planned destination for the first day, was torture. The trail was simple and gradual. But after 12 hours of hiking on rocky trails and almost 5,000 feet of elevation gained and lost throughout the day, the 28-foot RV, equipped with warm clothes, mattresses and food, proved to be mockingly close.
When we got there, Don Quilici and his wife, Elaine, were eagerly waiting our arrival, yet were surprised we finished so soon. In fact, we could’ve finished two hours earlier. We waited over two hours at Middle Velma Lake, roughly the halfway point of the hike, for a Nevada Appeal employee who was going to bring us beer and sandwiches by 11 a.m. We were there by 10:15, averaging over three miles per hour for 17 miles, mostly because we were motivated to eat something else besides Clif Bars.
We sat patiently until 12:40 p.m. We then had to push on because we still had over 15 miles left and staying any longer solely for a turkey sandwich that might not ever be seen would only further damage our brutalized bodies.
As of Monday night, Rick has seven blisters, K.M. three and Karl, the scoundrel, doesn’t have any — one less than myself. An hour after arriving at the RV, Elaine prepared our much-anticipated spaghetti dinner. We ate plenty, then tendered our wounds and quickly fell asleep.
We had lived to see another day. Today, though, there is 52 miles of hiking and biking to complete before we live to see another.
Quote of the day:
“I’m done with pictures. It’s all about survival now.”
– K.M. Cannon, Las Vegas Review-Journal photographer