Saturday, May 24, 2014

Day 28: Mile 700, Out of the Desert!

After a 5 day, 150 mile charge from Tehachapi, we made it to Kennedy Meadows, which marks the end of the desert and the beginning of the Sierra!

The desert dished out some cold, rainy, and windy weather before we could escape it's sandy grip. A few people got hypothermic during a rain/sleet storm. I stayed warm and found out my backpack is water-proof.  

We had a great little party in Kennedy Meadows to celabrate the end of the desert and the begining of the Sierra. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Day 10- 21: Idyllwild to Hiker Heaven

Apologies to the five people that read my blog; 12 days and 274 miles have passed with no update. Wonderful, exciting, and gay things have happened, are happening, and will happen, but finding the time and energy to write them down has escaped me. For one, I have listened to The Great Gatsby two times in the last week.
I was going to do a recap of everything that has happened in the last 12 days but I feel that would be way to boring for both me and you. Instead I am going to post some photos from the last week and try to talk about highlights and quarks of the PCT thus far. In short: I am having an absolute blast.

Big Boy Tiny Pack
Snow bath for my dogs halfway up San Jacinto Mt.

Dropped back into the desert the morning after climbing San Jacinto. It went from freezing to 105 degrees! This was a much needed trail magic stop by Tarzan.

Got an early start leaving Ziggy and the Bears.

Thunder Gun!

Zero in Big Bear Lake 
The man! Pappa Smurf hosted me in Big Bear for two nights with food, shower, and laundry!
Leaving Big Bear

Coppertone coming through with root beer floats!!
The infamous Poodle Dog Bush. This will be getting its own post.
Poodle Dog Detour 
"Hiker Heaven" Truly a hiker heaven. Everything you could want and more. Also getting its own post soon.

New Shoes!
Walmart Freak out!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Night 7 and Day 8: Pissing in the wind

Pack, poles, water, food, and Allman Brother's "Midnight Rider" at full volume. Thats how you walk into the desert sunset. 

I left the Warner Springs resupply with high spirits and big goals. I planned to go completely nocturnal starting that night and chug my way into the morning light with brute force and will. I planned to sleep during the day at my resupply but I ended up chatting with some good folks all afternoon. I even pleaded with some to join me on my night-hike, but nobody had the huevos. 

So I took off alone and enjoyed an epic sunset in the river bottoms just outside of Warner Springs. The desert isn't all "desert" like you may think. Where there is water there is an abundance of life and sometimes huge trees like in this picture. 

Soon out of the bottoms, I began a 2500 foot climb into the high moonless desert. Lots and lots of smooth switch backs made way to a mountain ridge glazed with stars. 

The solitude is wonderful but it does get lonely at night so I popped on my phone and happend to have great signal. I video chatted with some friends and family in Beijing! 
My spirits lifted again, I powered through a few more hours of switch backs before I got too sleepy to keep going. At 1am I called it a night at a campsite in between some big boulders. Made dinner and passed out instantly without setting up my tent.(I have stopped using my tent for the most part because its not needed in the desert) 

I woke up at 8am to the sun beating down on me and some other hikers walking through my bedroom. The wind had picked up through out the night and was now howling in between the boulders. I stood up and walked to the corner of my ground-sheet to take a leak.  I judged the wind to be at my back and let loose my nightly buildup. Woosh.. My pee went sailing about 10 feet and hit the boulder in front of me with a patter. Before I could smile with the satisfaction of harnessing the power of mother nature, she flipped sides on me. The wind shifted with equal strength in the opposite direction. Good morning!

I made it to trail angel Mikes' around 10am and found a note for me in the log book from Fitty. Log books are used all over the trail so friends can see where you are at on the trail. It is also a good way to thank trail angels. 

Fitty's message fired me up and I got cook'n down the trail. By 9pm I made it 25 more miles to Paradise Cafe. From there I  got really lucky and caught a hitch to Idyllwild. This sweet old lady picked me up and talked my ear off about horses. I was so tired that I couldn't keep up with any conversation so I just nodded and listened.

I camped at a really cool spot right inside the town of Idyllwild. There was huge pine trees all around me and hardly angbody at the camp ground. I looked for Fitty but he was no where to be found.