The feeling of packing up each morning; taking down one's home, leaving a land known and heading to the unknown; gets better each day. We often stay in beautiful places with breathtaking views and great people, but the prospect of better views and people makes keeping going all that much easier. The last couple days we have been hiking through a closed area except to us as thru hikers. We are able to camp in closed campgrounds and enjoy the solitude that it brings. My sleeping bag has begun to smell quite awful! I should have washed it at least before I came on this trip. It still keeps me warm as of now though.
After breakfast at Newcomb's we went outside to try and hitch back to the trail. Took a bit of time, but a fella drove by and said he would go unload his car and come back to pick us up. Very nice gentlemen, and he actually did do it. Back on the trail and hiking after a brief break for a warm meal. The rest of the day brought some unexpected climbs and with them many breaks. Came to the point of a poodle dog detour and headed 4.6 miles down a dirt road. It was a nice easy walk, but it curved on for what seemed like eternity at the end of the day. Got to water and met a kindhearted gentleman who gave us some hot chocolate. Slept well amidst the poodle dog.
Headed out the next morning even later than usual. The gentleman last night had been doing trail maintenance and told us that people had been walking the first part of the trail to the first road crossing then walking the road. We did it. If Matt and I did not get poodle dog before, we have it now. It was a finicky day. We walked a good deal along the road and then dove back into the trail. The constant drain of staring at green vegetation all day to see if it is poodle dog is quite taxing. By the end of the day, I was thinking various plants were poodle, and we got into some poison oak. Got to the campground where we were planning to take our evening rest. There was a station and house across the way, so Mr. Wizard and I went over to see what the deal was. We got a couple of beers out of the deal and made sure it was ok to have a fire. He brought about eight more beers out to us. Interesting guy. Enjoyed a nice fire, beer and camping on Memorial Day weekend at a place closed to the general public due to a forest fire three years ago.
Saturday, 26 May 2012
We got a ride to the trail from a very nice lady who happened to be headed our way, but not quite as far as we were trying to go. She took us all the way to the trail though. Our day began about 1300. We had a nice time hiking leisurely. Took breaks often. We climbed over 3000 in less four miles to summit Mt. Baden-Powell at 9400 feet. A nice 360 view! Headed back down a little and got into camp about 2130 after a nice 14 miles. Matt and I both had the best night sleep we have had thus far! The next morning was pretty cold. Matt called for rain. Joe said not a chance. We got some puissant winds and some peculiar precipitation on top of the mountains. Stopped midday in a valley a little out of the wind, made a fire and made an attempt at getting warm. Pressed on and the day got better as we continued. There were some tough climbs, but it culminated in a nice three mile flat ground right into a campground with a nice building. As it turns out the building is a boy scout outing post of some sort. None the less, Matt and I joined nine others in a one room building for a warm night in the mountains. It got well below freezing, and we stayed quite warm. People filed out at various times. We were the last to leave. We do not know how the building was found, but we left it locked. Hiked about three miles until we got to a point a mile and a half away from a restaurant. We stood in an attempt to hitch briefly then made the choice to walk there. Got a ride after about half a mile. No service at the restaurant, but they have wifi. We have crossed the 400 mile mark and are getting close to the Mojave.
Thursday, 24 May 2012
After walking about a mile to a ranger station on Mother's Day to call my mom and grandma, I came to the realization that I have not been all too clear on what exactly we are doing. We have gone over 360 miles since the Mexican border and I am just now taking my third true zero day. A zero day is when no miles and the trail are walked. I do not plan to even pick my pack up today.The Pacers won and it was an unbelievably fun evening. Many of the people we had been meeting along the came to the bar and we stayed there pretty late. Continued it at the hotel until early morning. We hung out in the room for a bit the next day. Got up in order to get to the grocery to resupply for the next few days. Able to get a ride back to the trail from the same person who gave us a ride to the bar. Back on the trail and met up with Baro, H-Bomb and Jangles. Had a nice ten mile hike to where we camped that night with the aforementioned for the first time. Slept well but got going slowly the next morning. I was the last one to leave camp. Met back up with them, Staci, Dubs, Mr. Wizard and Tim for a nice midday break. Matt bet Staci ten dollars that she couldn't do fifty push-ups. She got ten dollars richer. Pressed onward until we were walking along a creek. Saw that there were fish and a place deep enough to get in the water. Matt caught a beetle and attached it to the hook that hung off the end of his trekking pole with fishing line. Within twelve seconds Matt had a fish on the line. It was deliciously prepared over a nice open fire with some seasoning salt on it. The following day awaited a decision as to do the detour away from the supposed unsafe bridge and hot spring or partake in frivolous activity. Our decision making could not have been better. There were a few spots that were washed out on some fairly steep slopes but nothing unmanageable. The topless women and wonderfully warm waters were enough to make even the down and out man happy. There was the unfortunate event of a gentlemen sitting on edge of the hottest pool who managed to prop his uncircumcised member loftily in the air. We spent the night there and enjoyed the stupendous views the evening had in store. Marched until about lunch time when we came to a parking lot with a trail angel awaiting us. Warm hot dog, beans and potato salad. It was all scrumptious and much appreciated. Matt and Hollywood wanted to stay there and I decided to press forth. It was only going to get warmer. I hiked with Trip once again. He set a pretty good clip. Did not get too warm and the day started to cool when we got to the lake. I was planning to get about nine miles outside of Cajon Pass where a McDonalds awaited. I wanted to make sure i made it for breakfast. Ran into Baro, H-Bomb and Jangles and ended up just staying there bittern miles out. I woke up at five to make sure I was going to get there in time for breakfast. I talked to Matt and he stayed about five miles behind me. I made it for breakfast with ease, but I was not sure if Matt was going to make it for the Pacers game at 1230. I never should have doubted him. He strolled into McDonalds, said "Where is the TV," no TV, "Where is the Best Western?" he went and got a room, so he could watch the game. It was a marvolous establishment with hot tub and pool. great night rest and we headed out to cover the twenty two mile dry stretch in one day. As the day progressed the plans began to change. We got to a point where it said there was a poodle dog bush avoidance detour. It was just written on a piece of paper and stuck on a post. There had been previous warnings of PDB, and it had not been that bad. Matt, Staci, and I decided to charge through. The dog was everywhere! We all definitely touched it. Staci called someone she new in the area and they were willing to come pick us up, so we could stay two nights at their place and have a cheap zero day. The only catch was it was going to be a 28 mile day. Matt wanted to scream and yell at the TV during the Pacers game the next day and did not feel like walking the full distance. He stopped with a big group of people about five miles out. Staci pressed forward. I sat, talked to Matt and ate a couple oatmeal packets. Put my headphones in my ears and more or less ran the last little bit to make sure they didn't leave me or were not waiting on me. Caught up with her after about three miles at a campground where Mr. Rainville was going to meet us. It felt great to be able to just sit in a car. Arrived at their home and there was warm pizza waiting. Enjoyed the company of Staci and the three Rainvilles. Hopped in the shower and scrubbed my body down. Felt great and I hope I got rid of all the PDB. Slept very well. Woke up the next day and just enjoyed a nice relaxing day. rode bikes to the store and to get some food. Felt nice to stretch the legs impact free. Played some games and enjoyed the stagnant life.watched the Pacers game. Unfortunate undoing. Spent another evening talking to the Rainvilles. They all went to bed and I watched a few episodes of the Big Bang Theory. We got a ride back to the trail, but the gate to the campground where we got picked up was locked. We walked the two miles to the campground and then walked back to the highway to hitch a ride into town. Went to pick up our packaged, and i went to go meet up with Matt. Staci got a ride to the trail to keep moving. Matt had been in a room with six people and had a fun night out. They had decided to stay another night, I had a zero day and a four mile day. We had a great time last night. A fun group, some whiskey, a little BBQ and some good tunes.
Saturday, 12 May 2012
It has been longer than hoped since the last update. A lot has happened, and I am not sure I will remember it all just now. We have made it over 200 miles. Seen amazing views. Continue to meet new and interesting people. Enjoying the life of a wonderer. In Warner Springs, we go two free meals and a shower paid for thanks to the kindness of fellow hikers. We will have to keep our budget under wraps to deter people from being so kind. That being said, I will never say no more than once. I have not been keeping my journal as well as I would have hoped thus far and the days blend together on this trail. Never sure of the time, where exactly we are or what day it could possibly be. We have done quite a bit of night hiking. Some of it has been amazing! Some of the miles have been a little scary. We have been caught in a rain/hail storm at a spring supposedly in the desert. A fella named Joe, originally from Oregon has been hiking with us the past few days. We call him Hollywood. He maintains a pretty cleanly appearance among a few other practices that make the name befitting. We have laughed until tears many times already. With him we strolled into Paradise Cafe for a delicious late breakfast. Talked with people there, split ways with Damsel and headed out for a gnarly climb to roughly 10,000 feet. Brandon from Illinois has been struggling, but was making progress last time we saw him. We met a beautifully athletic northern California dame named Staci. She sets a pretty good pace. Damsel went ahead of us to Idyllwild and got a room in a hotel. We ended up doing about a 26 mile day with the last three miles barreling down a none PCT mile credit trail named Devil's Slide. Staci did it with a total over 30 miles. We walked half way down to town and stopped and waited for a ride that a girl we ran into said she could arrange. Worked out very well! We spent two nights in the hotel. Great zero day of relaxation! Spent the day laughing away with Hollywood, Matt, Damsel, Staci and Lucy. Felt great not having to walk for a day. Headed out of Idyllwild much later than we hoped with a ride from Katie once again. Climbed back up Devils Slide with two dozen eggs. Did not make it as far as we would use liked, but slept at about 8800 feet. Ate half a dozen eggs for dinner and half a dozen for breakfast. Moved slowly about five miles to rest for our main rest from twelve to four. Headed out at 1630 for a fifteen mile downhill stretch to water. Did not get there until after 2230. Drank up, cooked some more eggs and went to sleep under the stars. Arose to mingle with the people around and head back out on the trail. Cooked the rest of my eggs. I did not even crack a single one. It is a great way to load up on calories for unbelievably cheap. $1.50 a dozen. We dropped down to 1100 feet and one can feel the heat! Today is hot! I guess the temperature increases four degrees for every 1000 feet of elevation drop. Matt wanted me to put a plug in for him GO PACERS!!
If anyone wanted to help us out by sending a package or anything here is some information.
If anyone wanted to help us out by sending a package or anything here is some information.
- Food, and lots of it! Letters and little surprises also are welcomed.
- Just a reminder, large random items are discouraged; weight is a constant variable in everything we decide to carry.
- Food items. Any and every type of candy bar available besides coconut, not all too big of a fan.
- Chips, cookies, candy, nuts, pretzels, FROSTED ANIMAL CRACKERS!!! and anything that is calorie dense and won’t spoil quickly is greatly appreciated.
- We will eat anything that will not go bad. Nothing is expected, but everything is appreciate.
|May-9||151||Idyllwild||General Delivery, Idyllwild, CA 92549|
|May-15||265||Big Bear City||General Delivery, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315|
|May- 19||363||Wrightwood||c/o Mountain Hardware, PO Box 398, Wrightwood, Calfiornia 92397|
|May-24||454||Agua Dulce||c/o the Saufleys, 11861 Darling Road, Agua Dulce, CA 91390|
|May-29||558||Mojave||General Delivery, Mojave, CA 93501|
|June- 6||703||Kennedy Meadows||c/o Kennedy Meadows General Store, 96740 Beach Meadow Road, Inyokern, CA 93527|
|June-21||943||Tuolumne Meadows||General Delivery, Tuolomne Meadows, Yosemite national park, CA 95389|
|June-29||1095||Echo Lake||General Delivery, Echo Lake, CA 95721 (Do not use USPS Click-n-Ship for this locale)|
|July-3||1198||Sierra City||c/o Red Moose Inn, PO Box 384, Sierra City, CA 96125 (USPS address)|
|July-11||1336||Chester||c/o Cedar Lodge, PO Box 677, Chester, CA 96020|
|July-19||1507||Castella||c/o Ammirati’s Market, PO Box 90, Castella, CA 96017|
|July-23||1606||Etna||c/o Alderbrook Manor, 836 Sawyers Bar Road, Etna, CA 96027 (UPS or Fedex Only)|
|Aug-2||1830||Crater Lake||c/o Crater Lake Camp Store, Mazama Village, Crater Lake, OR 97604|
|Aug-6||1912||Shelter Cove||c/o Shelter Cove Resort, 27600 West Odell Lake Road Highway 58, Crescent, OR 97733 (UPS only)|
|Aug-10||2001||Big Lake Youth Camp||c/o Big Lake Youth Camp,13100 Highway 20|
|Aug-18||2155||Cascade Locks||c/o Pacific Crest Pub & Hostel, PO Box 388, Cascade Locks, OR 97014|
|Aug-26||2303||White Pass||c/o White Pass Rural Branch PO at the Kracker Barrel Store, 48851 US Highway 12, Naches, WA 98937|
|Aug-31||2401.7||Snoqualmie Pass||General Delivery, c/o Chevron Station, Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068 (Write in big, bold letters, “ Please hold up front at the Chevron”|
|Sept-4||2476||Skykomish||Dinsmore’s Hiker Haven, (hiker name), PO Box 374, Skykomish, WA 98288|
|Sept-9||2574||Stehekin||General Delivery, Stehekin, WA 98852|
Friday, 4 May 2012
We were up and at um fairly early after a somewhat windy night. Met a new lady named Moon Walker that is pretty cool. Been playing soccer her whole life. Made decent time to the cache. Got six liters of water because the man said the next cache could be empty. We walked along a ridge that over looked the same mountains all day. The mountains were beautiful, but they seemed to pass by quite slowly. Met various new people soon the way. Great conversation and laughs. We had the intention to meet up with Zack who was supposed to be hiking south from Warner Springs. We made it to the third gate cache, milled it over and decided to keep hiking to meet up with Zack. We headed off into the darkness. It was a great view and an exhilarating experience. The wind would whip us with its wrath as we came around each bend. Felt like we were going to get blown off the mountain. Found a spot that looked pretty level and out of the wind after a few miles, and decided to stay there for the night. Got up and moving the next morning to meet up with our friend only to find out that was not what was going to happen. We were hiking and all of a sudden we started to see signs telling us there were chili dogs and beer ahead. We thought it was a sick joke. After a couple more signs and a few more steps we found our oasis. Free food and drink. We spent quite some time there ending ourselves and talking to people. Headed out a tad bit inebriated. Met a new fella and we stopped to have a beer with him. Stan popped out of the woods so we gave him one too. Less weight for me to carry. Enjoyed their company and made our way on the trail. Slept next to a nice little creek with a few other people. We were the last ones to stumble in the camp, but we were the first ones to leave this morning. Made the roughly five mile trek into Warner Springs. Got our packages, some food, charged some supplies and washed some clothes. Great feeling. Still here as of now. We will see what else happens.
Tuesday, 1 May 2012
We have made it further still. Devoured the eggs and picked up some free food from the hiker box in Mt. Laguna. Off we went with the extra dozen eggs we bought just in case other people wanted them. I carried them all the way to the "closed" campsite about ten or so miles outside of Mt. Laguna. Did not crack one egg! The other people could not believe it. I had also carried tortilla shells and half an onion, so supper was not too bad at all. Also, got some leftovers from Meredith. Quite tasty vegetarian meal. Got a pretty good sleep. Last ones to leave the campground. We got water and were on the move. Hiked with a pretty cool guy named Wolverine for awhile. Continue to meet new and interesting people. Tyler from North Dakota, Neon who worked for NASA, Baro from Alabama hiking with Jangles, H-Bomb and Mouse, a seventeen year old from Champaign, IL named Brandon. We pass, hike with and mingle with these people all day and many more. There are a lot of people in the start, but we have been told it starts to thin out as time progresses. We missed a turn today on our hike and it ended up tagging on an extra mile. We had been hiking with Brandon and were walking along a road going uphill. Matthew and I tackled the bill pretty hard, and I would say climbed it at a pretty good click. Saw a sign off to the right but did not see a trail. I figured it was just marking that we were heading the correct way. Kept on going. Came to another road. Figured this is not correct. Finally, pulled out the map. Turned around. Extra mile/mile and a half on the day. Trail was just beyond the marker sign on the left. Made it to the next water. Filled up, hung out, cooked some food in the shade and talked with others doing the same thing. Decided to continue onward. Walked the ridge of a mountain as the sun set over mountains to our left. Hunkered down next to a few other people down In a valley just a few miles outside of the next water source for the next twenty five miles or so.