Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 28...Sometimes you just keep walking because that's all there is to do

Day 28, June 17th
24 miles
PCT mile 566

Ok if I passed through wind turbines yesterday...I passed through gazillions more today. Thank you PCT for the nice tour...I've seen more than I will ever need to see again in my life. Wind turbine nightmares tonight.

It was probably around mile 11 or 12 today when I re-encountered the wind turbines. When you see them you know it's going to be windy...imagine walking through hundreds on end for 10+ miles. Now imagine your in the desert, i.e. sand and no shade, AND walking through wind turbines. I stopped to resupply on water at mile 17...this is when I normally would have taken an afternoon break...but there was no shade and sand was being blown everywhere. I couldn't construct temporary shade to rest in because if it wasn't attached to me or my was blowing away. So what do you do in this case? just walk...and keep walking and accept the fact that you will be done walking when...well who knows when, but you'll get there eventually, and I did. 

Morning view

Upside down tree

And I thought I was done with the wind turbines.

Mile 549 water cache

My PCT version of iced mocha

And then they start again...

And just keep going and going

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Day 27...Aquaduct and Wind Turbines

Day 27, June 16th
24 miles
PCT mile 541

Four of us headed out from Hikertown within an hour of each other this morning. I was hiking by 6:40, I figure the earlier the starts I can get in this section leading up to Kennedy Meadows the better off I'll be, beating the desert heat.

The day really flew by, the morning section followed along the aquaduct. I pulled into the water cache at mile 17 before 1:30pm. Sea Turtle and Tortoise who left Hikertown last night were there along with Lady Luck. We were shortly there after joined by Swimmer. We all took our afternoon break under the shade of the bridge, before heading out to tackle the afternoon climb through the wind turbines.

Swimmer, Sea Turtle, Tortoise, and Lady Luck

The last 7 miles were gradual climbing through the wind turbines. The wind was fairly manageable until the last 3 miles. The wind was blowing pretty steadily with some strong gusts, towards the top and at the summit, I definitely got blown around quite a bit, this is the most wind I've dealt with so far on this hike. It was quite the experience, but I'm happy to take a day of high winds in exchange for an afternoon scorching in the heat. 24 miles by 6pm, I'll take that for a descent days hike on the PCT.

Hiking the aquaduct 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Day 26...Powerhouse Fire Detour...A Nero for Me

Day 26
7 miles
PCT mile 517

Miles 478-511 of the PCT are closed due to 2013 Powerhouse Fire. There's a 20 mile road walk option, that brings you to Hikertown at mile 517. 

I had a 7 mile hike into the trail closure this morning. At this point I decided to forego the road walk take a nero. I wasn't on my game, I was have some new aches that were nagging me yesterday too and figured my body was protesting me to push it any harder. In hindsight I should have taken a zero at Hiker Heaven, but did the next best thing and took a nero today. I was done hiking by 9:30am and had the whole day to rest. 

The Anderson's picked me up from Green Valley Ranger Station and I went back to Casa de Luna to chill and figure a ride up to Hikertown. Shortly there after I was joined by Hans Pilgrim, Lady Luck and Snake Charmer. We found a trail angel to give us a ride from Casa de Luna to Hikertown, where we'll all jump back on the trail tomorrow morning.

Casa de Luna

Couch time at Casa de Luna

Hans Pilgrim, Snake Charmer, Lady Luck, and myself

The Anderson's (Joe and Teri) with Lady Luck

On to Hikertown

My quarters at Hikertown 

Chilling at Hikertown 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

PCT Day 25

Day 25, June 14th
18 miles
PCT mile 471

In my experience, so far, once you're in civilization, it much, much, much harder to get that early start you intend. There's always something to do, someone to talk to, something to eat, etc, etc. 


By the time I was ready it was 11am. Lady Luck, Hans Pilgrim and Snake Charmer, were also heading out. I told them to go ahead and I'd catch up later, I still wanted to weigh my pack with the new shakedown I had just done, after listening to some of IPod's (previous multiple thru-hiker, helping out at Hiker Heaven) advice. 3 days of food, 2L water, and gear: 32 pounds, much better.

The first few miles were road walking through Agua Dulce, then about 4 miles in or so, a southern exposure climb with the sun beating down on you started. Every time I find myself in this situation, I  say...I should have started earlier, I know better, I should have gotten an earlier start, I wouldn't be so dang hot.

I caught up to the other 3 at the first water spot, about 10 miles in. I didn't stay too long because I didn't have the patience to filter my water and there was another cache with filtered water in 2 miles, I went on thinking the others would catch me when I stopped, but I didn't see them for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I pulled into the oasis cache around 8pm and called it a night. My legs felt trashed just after 18 miles.

Random trail register 

Oasis Cache

Saturday, June 14, 2014

PCT Day 24 Day 24 Hiker Heaven AKA The Saufleys'

Day 24, June 13th 
20 miles
PCT mile 454

I was eager to get to the Saufleys' today. I knew I had 20 miles to go, but that meant shower, laundry, and resupply box. I hadn't showered or washed my clothes in 9 days, I and everything I owned was filthy. The girls from work had sponsored my resupply box, so I had unknown goodies awaiting me too!

Paint Your Wagon, Paint for short, (another thru-hiker I came across 2 days ago) and I had camped at the same spot last night so we headed out together this morning.

Paint on ahead of me

Paint and I

Things were slow moving for me again this morning. That's when I realized...there's a KOA with a store in 8 miles...that means I can get my caffeine fix. So I hightailed it in the last 5 miles. And caffeine I got! 3 cups of coffee, a coffee flavored ice cream bar, a iced Starbucks drink and some snacks to fill the belly and I was raring to go again!


Last 10 miles were a breeze. I first stopped at the grocery store in Agua Dulce, before heading to Hiker Heaven. I picked up some coconut water, blueberry lemonade, kombucha and 2 apples and off to Hiker Heaven.

The Golden Spike where the trail was officially declared completed in 1993

Bridge under Hwy 14

Vasquez Rocks area 

I was dazzled by the colorful apples

Order pizza for dinner...calorie load up

PCT Day 23...Run Free Sirius

Day 23, June 12th
24 miles
PCT mile 368

I had less than 5 miles left to go in my day (I needed to get to the next water spot), I was having a difficult time bushwacking and dodging Poodledog Bush, once again, on a very ungroomed portion of the trail. I finally resided to sitting down trail side to put on pants to avoid the inevitable brush against the bare leg with the Poodledog Bush. I was frustrated cause it was taking forever to get there. And I was ready to be done for the day. So I took a break and checked my phone, happy to see I had service. This is when I found out from a friend that Sirius had been put down. Sirius was Liam's dog and was like family to to Izzy and I. Sirius spent many of days and nights with Izzy and I, both in California and Colorado. So I took a big sigh and had my first real cry on the trail.

Sirius...may your eternal life be filled with cool ocean breezes and fresh mountain snowfalls.

Sirius and I, January 1st, 2013

Memorial for 2 firefighters caught in a wildfire

Old prison...surrounded by Poodledog Bush

PCT Day 22 Fatigue and Coffee Withdrawal

Day 22, June 11th 
22.5 miles
PCT mile 412

I don't know what rationale I was using when I made my coffee rations for resupply box #3. I ran out yesterday, that's 3 mornings short of coffee. Needless to say my climbing fatigue had carried over into this morning, anything that resembled an incline my legs protested. That coupled with no coffee this morning made for a tired me. If I had company one may say grumpy and irritable, but no one to call me grumpy and no one for me to find irritating. I resolved for calling it a shorter day...done hiking by 6:30pm, so I can have ample rest and relaxation before having to call it a night.

Luckily things turned around for me a bit this afternoon, the last 5.5 miles of the day climbed at a gradual incline and my legs were fine. I did try call a day at 6:30...but that wasn't happening, considering I was on the side of mountain dodging poodle dog bush, with sharp inclines on either side of the trail...but made it to the summit shortly after and found myself a great camping spot with fantastic views. 

Treats from some campers

Resting at Camp Glenwood

Collecting water

Camp for the night