Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mile 600

The past three days coming out of tehachapi have been eventful. The first night we hiked out about 12 miles and I nearly got bit by a rattle snake, my air mattress went flying in the wind, and my pack weighed nearly 50 pounds. 

I was walking with side show, Byrd, and shuffle and this beauty was hiding behind a little bush. I stepped about six inches from his head and whacked him with my trekking pole. 

I scored a wiffle ball bat in Tehachapi and after two days we finally found the perfect spot. 

And last but certainly not least I hit mile marker 600

Monday, May 26, 2014

Into the mojave we go

 The trail angels were a blast and the mojave desert is the next stop on the list. We've been in it for about two days and it's hot. Our plan has been to nap all day and hike at night, usually ending around 11 or 12. 

There's been a lot of day napping when shade is around. Yesterday there were close to thirty people under the bridge. 

The wind farm that we walked through yesterday. 

Today we have roughly ten miles till tehachapi where they have a Memorial Day parade going on. It's our last town stop before the sierras. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Saufleys

Yesterday we spent the day at the Saufleys, also known as hiker heaven, and had a good time.when you zero it gives everyone time to catch up and  It's nice to see faces you haven't seen in a while. The Saufleys has been by far the nicest place so far. They had cots, tents, a guest house, and even bikes to ride into town. 

They even give you loaner clothes to wear while they do your laundry. 

Tonight we're heading to the Anderson's and from what I've heard it's a whole different kind of trail angel. They're wild and crazy trail angels. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mile 400!

Yesterday I hit 400! It's a somewhat respectable number of miles now I think...

There have been a rediculous number of detours and we're going to be forced to do about 17 miles of road walking. 

I have a couple cool pictures of flowers

Snow plant

And we can't forget the poodle dog bush. It's the whole reason we're road walking this section. It looks and smells like marijuana but gives you a rash that can supposedly put you in the hospital.  

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Baden Powell

We left wrightwood this morning to climb up Baden Powell (the 9399 foot mountain) and it was by far the hardest pat of the hike so far based on the elevation gained per mile. And I'm sure the beer and junk food in town didn't help.

This was our "creek" water source coming up. 

As I was coming down I was in front of the group and got off the pct somehow. I noticed after about a mile and figured it would meet back up eventually. Turns out it didn't, so I ended up walking about 5 miles on one of the dangerous roads until I finally found a ride. And I was out of water because I was banking on stopping at the source as we came down. I was not a happy camper.

The section is confusing because there is an endangered species alternate. But there are really about five different routes you can take. I don't feel bad about hitching because it was part of our plan anyways to avoid walking that road. 

So right now I'm at buckhorn campground on the old pct alternative at mile 393 I think. I'll figure it out tomorrow when I have service. It's been a long day. 

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Mile 342 aka mcdonalds

It was a busy morning. With cheeseburgers on my mind, I woke up at 540 got on the trail at 6 and did 7 miles in a little over two hours. It was totally worth it because I got coffee and mcmuffins, followed by mcgriddles and mcflurries. 

I'm pretty sure I'll be stocking up on burgers before I hit the trail. 

It's starting to heat up and we have a 25 mile stretch without water. So the plan is to get some late day/night hiking in and get into wrightwood the next day before the post office closes. I'm trying to avoid zero days because all the town stops seem to take all my money. 

Silverwood lake

Didn't quite make it to McDonalds today but we're only six miles out, so I figure we can catch breakfast and lunch if we time it right. We spent about four hours at Silverwood lake swimming and hanging out in te shade. It's a nice place with sandy beaches. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mile 300

The posts recently have been mixing days because of the horrible service. We hit mile 300 yesterday and the hike has been one of my favorites so far. We've been following a creek and I keep wishing I had my fly pole with me. 

There's a McDonalds at mile 342. We're all excited about that and I feel like a lot of our conversations are beginning to revolve around food. I'm trying to keep up on posts but it's been tough through the  this canyon. The Mohave is coming up and I think it's about to get really hot. 

We stopped by the deep creek hot springs today. First time I've ever been at a hot spring. It was a fun time. Even saw some nudists. 

Trail names

I think trail names were invented to ensure any crazy stories that come along with the trail are never linked to your real life name. In the past two days I've gained two trail names I like. The first is bluff hard and the second is that guy which I've been going by more often. Growing up my mom always told me "don't be that guy" but the story behind it doesn't carry the negative image. We had been hiking in a fairly large group of about 10 or so. One of them is auto and he's the elder of the group (often called gramps). Well long story short is I was hiking with him and a few other for about four or five days and he remembered everyone's name except a few, me being one of them. So during a group dinner we had him try to name everyone and when he got around to me all he could come up with was "that guy". And that's how my trail name was born. He claims he can only remember trail names so I think he has mine down now. I'm still unsure about it so it will stick until something better comes along. 

My pack seems to be holding up after I fixed it up. Just some minor squeaks, but no cracking. 

We slack packed (hiking without packs because they get dropped off later down the trail) the first 10 miles of today so it's been an easy day. Big bear was a fun little town with some really nice views as we hiked out of town. 

This is out crew minus sunshine and lost and found. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

My pack broke

Yesterday I was about 8 miles from big bear I heard my pack crack and about two miles after that the whole plastic backing split in half. It's an important piece because my shoulder straps hook in the slots on that plastic, so I was basically doing the elementary school, cool-kid one strap. In town I stopped by a ski and mountain bike shop to see if the guy could make somethin work. After a few minutes and a couple applications of epoxy we might have fixed it. I'll find out tomorrow. I called granite gear and they're shipping a new one to wrightwood, but that's 80 or so miles away. It will be interesting. I have some backup epoxy and I stuck a few metal plates on there for support. Wish me luck. 

Confused about the weather

Two days ago it was 102 and today we had snow. It went from a nice sunny day to angry clouds and snow storm in the matter of a hour. 

We camped next to a place called animal cages and from what I've heard it's where retired circus animals are sent. There's been a lion or bear or something yawning and making noise all morning. My guess is because he's freezing. It was a cold night last night and I'm rethinking my ultralight 35 degree bag. My silk bag liner helps but I was still wearing all of my dry clothes. 

Not the way I wanted to see a bear in the woods but here's one. 

And a little trail magic

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Sleep all day hike all night

This was meant for two days ago but it didn't upload. Last night was my first time night hiking. We had a group of about 10 people leaving ziggy and the bears (trail angels). It's a whole different experience night hiking. Rocks come out of no where and when the trail is questionable, it's really questionable. There were a couple times I thought I was about to slide off the hill. It's more about paying attention to what's in front of you instead of looking around. But it was nice to get out of the heat. Right now were all napping by a little creek until we do the second part of the day. It's relaxing. 

We also had a friendly rattle snake come up under autos pack without even noticing. Dodged that bullet. I'm not sure if you can see the snake but I tried to get him in the picture. 

I still have horrible service but I'll try to reply to comments when I get the chance. 

And I almost forgot to mention the all you can eat buffet. I think it was the most food I've ever had at one time. Oh and I can't forget the all you can drink champagne. 

And some trail magic under the bridge heading to ziggy and the bears

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The climb and the heat

San Jacinto peak was amazing. I have a 360 degree video on my camcorder that I'll try to upload as soon as I can. The elevation gain and drops killed my muscles going up and my knees and ankles going down. Then we hit the desert with temperatures that reached 102. It was rediculously hot. I barely have service around here so I hope this works. Oh! We hit mile 200 today also. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Idyllwild zero

The genrosity and enthusiasm of people along the trail still amazes me. I have yet to meet someone who is negative towards hiker, except for maybe their unbearably strong odor and lack of cleanliness. Idyllwild has been a blast. It's a fairly large town relative to the others and is filled with small shops and log cabins.

Tomorrow we'll be summiting San Jacinto reaching an elevation around 10,800 feet followe by a sharp decline to 1,500. There should be some breathtaking views followed by some very sore knees. I'm looking forward to it. But for now I'm going to enjoy this IPA.