Archive for hike

November Exercise Log

Posted in Trivial Lists with tags , , , , on November 30, 2011 by A lo Hawk

1st  Cycle class, workout with Jordan

2nd  Yoga, workout with Molly, Cycle class

3rd  Cycle class

4th  Yoga, two hour needle session with TATTOO TOM

5th  volunteer at inaugural CMU Crossfit Competition

7th  Cycle class

8th  Cycle class

9th  Yoga, upper body workout with Molly, Cycle class

10th  Cycle class, two hour Hike with Adam to the Island on beautiful day

11th  Yoga

14th  Yoga, Cycle class

15th  Cycle class

16th  Yoga, 1.25 hour Hike: scramble from Devil’s Kitchen picnic area to White Nipple rock, down Serpent’s Trail, Cycle class

17th  Cycle class, 1.5 hour easy Hike on Tabeguache Tr south of Hwy 141, Mallory’s cycle class

18th  Yoga, 3 sets chins, dips, abs; 1.5 hour Hike with Karli on Corkscrew & Liberty Cap Tr

21st  Cycle class, feeling rundown, drinking too much

22nd  Cycle class

23rd  Yoga, 3 hour Hike/Run on Whitewater Tr & Cr Rd

24th  Thanksgiving in Durango with Wales & friends, Texas football

25th  Walk Animas River Tr with Wales, return of Mr Happy

26th  3.33 hour Hike/Run up Logan Wash  rd to Roan Plateau lookout

27th  2.33 hour Hike from Mt Garfield TH to ridge east

28th  Yoga, Cycle class, my weight hit 203 lb today

29th  Cycle class,  30 min leg workout with Jordan

30th  Yoga, workout with Molly, Cycle class

YTD Wilderness Hours:  362

October Exercise Log

Posted in Trivial Lists with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2011 by A lo Hawk

1st  Hike (backpack) segments 26 & 27 of the CT with Sled Dog. 28 miles; 24 hours in the wilderness.

2nd  Hike (backpack) final segment 28 of the CT with Sled Dog. 22 miles; 14 hours 40 minutes in the wilderness.

3rd  Cycle class

4th  Cycle class

5th  Yoga, Three sets chins, dips, abs

6th  Cycle class

8th-9th  Watched CMU mtn bike races at Little Park TH. Eating out, drinking, bloating to 198 lbs

10th  Yoga, Three sets chins, dips, abs; Cycle class

11th  Cycle class

12th  Yoga, Athletic training workout

13th  Cycle class, strength workout w/Adam

15-16th  overnight trip to Steamboat Springs

17-18th  Fall break, beautiful weather, easy urban walks

19th  Yoga, 3 sets chest press, lat pull

20th  Cycle class

21st  Yoga, 3 sets chins, dips, abs; 2 hour needle session with TATTOO TOM at Creative Tattoo

23rd  2.5 hour Hike near Mt Lincoln

24th  Yoga, 3 sets chins & dips

25th  Cycle class, Strength workout with Jordan

26th  Yoga, workout with Molly, Cycle class

27th  Cycle class

28th  Yoga, 2.5 hour Hike to summit of Mt Lincoln

30th  2.5 hour Hike foothills of Grand Mesa east of Palisade

31st  Yoga, Cycle class

September Exercise Log

Posted in Trivial Lists with tags , , , , , , on October 3, 2011 by A lo Hawk

1st  Cycle class

2nd  Crossfit workout with Emily

3rd  Five hour 45 min Hike  of 12,965 ft Mt Sopris (12.6 miles, 4600 ft). Crumbly mountain with giant moraines. Good camping spots at Thompson Lakes for future reference. Ten hours door to door.

5th  Yoga, Cycle class

6th  Cycle class

7th  Yoga, Cycle class

8th  Cycle class

9th-11th  Backpack segments 22-24 of the CT with Sled Dog. 47 hours & 45 min in the Weminuche Wilderness mostly above treeline at 12,000-13,000 ft.

12th  Cycle class

13th  Cycle class

14th  Yoga, Three sets chins, dips, abs, Cycle class

15th  Cycle class

16th  Four sets chins, dips, abs; campus Run (17:32, 2.5 miles?)

19th  Yoga, Cycle class

20th  Cycle class

21st  Yoga, Three sets chins, dips, abs; Cycle class

22nd  Cycle class

24th  Five hour 45 minute Hike Mt Yale (14,196 ft); 5,000 ft 5.25 mile ascent of East Ridge, 4.75 mile 4300 ft descent of Southwest Ridge, 3 mile walk on road; perfect fall day, golden aspen; saw 3 moose on drive to Cottonwood Pass, SOLO

26th  Yoga, Cycle class

27th  Cycle class

28th  Yoga, Cycle class

29th  Cycle class

30th  Hike (backpack) segment 25 of the CT with Sled Dog. 24 miles; 17 hrs, 40 min in the wilderness.

August Exercise Log

Posted in Trivial Lists with tags , , , on September 1, 2011 by A lo Hawk

1st  Ninety min Hike to mesa b/w Monument & Wedding Canyon with Thomas

2nd  Two and half hour Hike of Devil’s Canyon with Thomas

6th  Eight and a half hour Hike (28 miles) of Segments 18 & 19 of the CT with SLED DOG

7th  Thirteen hour Hike (30 miles) of Segments 20 & 21 of the CT including sidetrip to 14,014 ft San Luis Peak with SLED DOG. Two moose, dozen elk, sheep herd. Awesome day in the mountains above treeline.

Weekend family reunion at cabin at Lake Vallecito

16th  Three hour easy Hike in the Weminuche Wilderness north of Lake Vallecito.

19th  Four sets chins, dips, abs

22nd  Workout with trainer Karli

 23rd  Cycle class

25th  Cycle class

27th  Two hour 45 min Hike to Hanging Lake and Dead Horse Trail in Glenwood Canyon

29th  Yoga, Four sets chins, dips, abs

30th  Cycle class

31st  Yoga, train wth Karli, Cycle class

PCT Journal, Chapter 1

Posted in Trail Tales with tags , on January 24, 2011 by A lo Hawk

Mr Roboto comments: This is the unedited journal of my 2005 thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Chapter One begins with the train trip from my hometown of Eugene, OR to San Diego, CA  where I was escorted to the PCT southern terminus at the US/Mexico border near Campo by my mom & Greg.

Day one hike to Lake Morena SP was followed by the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off (ADZPCTKO) weekend where past & current hikers meet/reunite. Chapter One concludes with a climb up Mt San Jacinto and zeroes with my friend Pat in Palm Springs.

4/18 Sue was very strong and upbeat today. We both felt sad. Train was 50 minutes late creating anxiety about connection to San Diego. Pill popping older man provided some humor. He got on train before me and took the last window seat. Left Eugene at 6 pm.

At Klamath Falls stop (11 pm), several police cars and fire trucks waiting for us. Half dozen police & firemen walk down isle to young man across isle next me. Ask him questions, take him outside. Others say he was passed out earlier.

4/19 6:30 am at Sacramento stop many get off. At Oakland some get on but not very crowded. I have both seats the rest of the way.

South of San Luis Obispo to south of Santa Barbara we follow the coastline. Weather is sunny & nice. 120 mile stretch through Vandenburg AFB is remote. General public does not get to see this part of the coast. Saw launch structures and a shuttle runway that was never used.

9:40 arrive in LA in time to catch connection. Relief.

4/20 12:30 am arrive in San Diego. There is mom & Greg, get luggage go to motel in el Cajon.

Get up at 8 am. Breakfeast at I-Hop. Driving circles in el Cajon with mom, Geg & Scoots looking for market. Black Angus for dinner (so-so). Checked hours for Krispy Kreme for breakfeast. Back to room. Gave mom & Greg tour of gear.

4/21 Stop at Krispy Kreme for breakfeast. Quick drive out to border. Take pix, meet other hikers. Start hiking with “Wild Hare”. Also meet Ken & Mory. 90 min in, see first rattlesnake: Big, mean & pissed off. Beautiful day – sunny and 70s, nice breeze.

Hike down into Hauser Canyon. Several people resting at Hauser Creek. Hike up Morena Butte down to Lake Morena. Mom & Greg waiting at campsite.Check in, set up gear. Good burgers at cafe. Mom & Greg leave. Cold shower. Meet hikers, pass around donuts. Hang out with hikers at my site. Answered the question: Yes there is poison oak in Southern Calif. 20.6 miles.

4/22 ADZPCTKO Cool & cloudy this morning. Not much going on, hang around campsite getting to know other hikers, new ones arriving. “Wildcat” has done AT. “Condor” englishman has hiked AT, europe. “Hikeaholic” AT & PCT in late 80s. “Tinker” & “Sage”. Saw some of the well known hikers: Billygoat, Yogi, Strider, Warner Springs Monte, Meadow Ed

Useless gear contest, very funny, good MC. Winner was “The Plan”. Other entries: cell phones, eyelash curler, Bible, tiny musical toy, can of “Whoop Ass” for bears. Spagetti dinner courtesy of class of 2004. Call Sue. Movie “The Walk” about class of 2003. Too cold for second movie. Went to bed, party went on.

4/23 ADZPCTKO – Lake Morena – some sun in the morning – cool, cloudy, breezy afternoon.

Shower, washout hiking clothes in morning. everybody getting antsy for tomorrow. Pancake breakfeast. Gear innovation contest. Group photo. Snow & water info talk. Dinner – Burgers & Hot dogs. Scott Williamson talk – felt better about sierras. 2004 DVD – left went to bed. Rain all night.

4/24 19 miles, camp south of Mt Laguna. Cloudy, breezy, occasional sun midday, windy cold morning.

5:30 am get up & pack. 6:30 breakfast eggs & potato triangles, oj & coffee. scale was already put away, could not get pack weighed. Crap & go. 7:30 am hit the trail, first hour by myself, then other hikers all day. Nice day of hiking not too hard. Cold camp, beef stew dinner, early to bed.

4/25 Windy, cold night. Early wake up, pack, on the trail before 7 am.

Nice day of hiking, saw some hikers but hiked solo. Mostly downhill, out of Mt Laguna into desert climate. sunny & nice. green plants, flowers, views of San Felipe hills. Lucky 5 water cache, rusty car. Stop at Upper Chariot Canyon, hour later half dozen young people show up. Lasagne for dinner.

4/26 23 miles, 87 total, camp at dry sandy wash.

Started hiking at 6:45. Clear warm morning, hot day, desert hiking. Desert is beautiful, green, lots of flowering cactus. Saw my second rattlesnake. Small one, camoflauged. came towards me on the trail. Stop at water cache, cleaned clothes in San Felipe Cr. Round & round, in & out alot of canyons. Tried umbrella. Works well, but it was too breezy. Mexican rice for dinner. Camp with “Fireball”. Probably get to Warner Springs Thursday morning. Brought too much food!

4/27 Warm, dry morning. On the trail by 6:30 am. Threatening clouds ahead, became very breezy.

In & out canyons, hard to regulate temp with the wind, cleared up later. Out of the desert mountains in to the valley. Grassy & green. Live oak, Fields of grass moving in the breeze.

Barrel Springs at noon. Decided to try for Warner Springs P.O. by 4 pm. Pleasant hike along creek, saw a wild turkey. Feet getting tired, side trail into town. Quaint, old resort. Great hot springs. Did laundry, met other hikers. Went to dinner with them. Went for a great soak, call Sue.

4/28 Rain has come. Snow level supposed to be at 6,000 ft. Oh boy! Breakfast at country club across street. Steady rain. Plan to soak in hot springs again, Dump food, post office, then head out.

18 miles, 128 total. 8am soaking in hot pool while it rains. pack up, box extra food, check out, go to P.O., call Pat, walk back to first road crossing back to PCT. Rain tapering off but creeks are rushing. Several fun fords of Agua Calente Cr. More climbing, big boulder valley. Very windy on ridges. Camp at Chihuahua Valley Road.

4/29 24 miles, 151 total. Cold, windy camp on Chihuahua Road ditch.

Hike over the next ridge, fog clears & sunnier. Descend into Anza Borrego Desert Park. Feeling sluggish this morning, taking it slow. Long break at Tule Canyon Creek to soak feet, dry tent. See 3rd rattlesnake (about 3 feet long). Stop at Hikers Oasis water cache, take a break. Think about trying to get to Paradise Cafe for burger – long haul.

Long grind, catch Shawn just before Palms to Pines Hwy at 6:30 pm. Man in car at trailhead waves us over. Craig Smedley trail angel. Offers to cook us up hot dogs, we can’t refuse. Oh well, Paradise Cafe famous hamburgers will have to wait till next time. Craig is a section hiker paying back hospitality he got. Has a big, white hairy dog named King. After dinner, roll out bag on ground, no tent tonight, sounds of cars going by on hwy.

4/30 Morning dew on sleeping bag, will dry out later. Nice morning, a few clouds. will be lots of climbing today. Craig fixed breakfast: spam & eggs. Mike & Mike showed up. Sunny & warm, steady climbing from 5,000 to 7,000 ft. View of San Jacinto – snow up there!

Saw Boy Scouts preparing for Philmont. Stop at water cache Fobes Ranch Trail. Mike & Mike show up with Turtle’s friend “Greyhound”. Turtle went home – homesick. They are going to Idyllwild tomorrow. I press on to nice camp (finally) near Apache Springs Trail, last climb a bitch over new trail. Windy evening, clouds rolling in. Camp at 7100 feet at 5:00 pm along scenic ridge with views of Palm Springs valley thousands of feet below. Plenty of time to make camp, dinner, etc. Kung Pao chicken. 19 miles today, 170 mile total.

5/1 Epic day! Climb San Jacinto (10,834 ft) in the snow using ice axe & crampons. Approx 18 miles in 11 hrs. From half mile south of Apache Sp to near Deer Springs. Sunny, nice day. Awesome views, over 9,000 ft down to Palm Springs. Started hiking at 6:30 am. Saddle junction at noon. Summit at 3:45 pm. Camp at 5:30 pm. No trail above 8,000 ft, using map & views.

Lots of climbing today, many false summits. No tent tonight. Chicken Polynesian dinner. Before Saddle Junction passed 4 hikers who left Campo on April 15. Many went to Idyllwild at Saddle Junction. Saw couple with dogs snowshoeing down from summit.

5/2 22 miles in 11 hrs . Camp at Snow Canyon Rd.

Another long day – dropped 7,000 ft. First six miles in snow. Fuller Ridge difficult – side hill w/crampons & ice axe. Occasionally find trail then disappear. Long descent back to arid desert, lots of creeks and wildflowers. Mr Roboto comments: A hiker named Seabreeze fell off Fuller Ridge and died less than a week later.

Saw rattlesnake #4 hiding in shade between two rocks. Lower descent very windy. I guess thats why you see wind turbines everywhere! Couldn’t make it to Palm Springs tonight. Next couple of miles on paved road, wait til morning. Haven’t seen any people today.

Vegetable pasta for dinner, YUK! Starting to feel the hunger, can’t wait to eat in Palm Springs. Burgers, beer, coffee, pankakes! Did better with food, almost out. Tiny second degree blister burns on forearms, should peel soon.

5/3 Four mile hike to I-10, Tamarack Rd. Tried to hitch at Snow Canyon. Sandy walk across valley, river bed, under bridges for RR & highway. No phone at West Palm Springs area. Tried to hitchhike on freeway on ramp. Warning by police. 8:20 am guy pulls over and lets me use phone to call Pat.

Pat arrives an hour later. Breakfast at Dennys. Pats place at golf resort. Shower, laundry. Help take old ladie’s junk to thriftshop. Dinner at Babes (good BBQ), beer at Yardhouse. Call Sue, watch “Amazing Race”. Crash.

5/4 Excellent breakfast at Mimi’s Cafe. Run errands, Wal-Mart, Petco, etc. Tool around in golf cart, nap. Dip in pool & hot tub, shower. Dinner with Randy & Dick at Tommy Bahamas (excellent Salmon dinner, brownie a la mode dessert). Nice visit.

5/5 Using Pat’s scale: Mr Roboto’s weight with shoes, clothes = 193.5 lbs, with pack, food (3 days) & 4 lbs water = 237.0 lbs, therefore pack weight = 43.5 lbs. Quick coffee at Starbucks and out to the trail by 8 am. 21 or 22 miles? 233 or 234 total? Up canyons and over ridges. Ford Whitewater River. Lots of crossing of Mission Creek. Two section hikers. Dinner: Thai with peanut sauce.

PCT Journal, Chapter 2

Posted in Trail Tales with tags , on January 24, 2011 by A lo Hawk

Mr Roboto comments: This is the unedited journal of my 2005 thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Chapter Two begins after my zeroes in Palm Springs and highlights a visit with my brother in Big Bear as well as the ultimate trail angels, the Saufleys, in Agua Dulce. Chapter Two concludes with a split with my hiking companions who decided to skip around the snowy sierra at Walker Pass.

5/6 23 miles, 258 total. Camp at Arrastre Trail Camp at Deer Springs.

Hike up into clouds & snow. Snow covered trail off & on especially north facing slope. Followed footprints, met 4 hikers. Trail confusing in a few places. Highest elevation – 8600 ft. Sun broke out in afternoon. Dinner: Veg Lasagne with tuna added.

5/7 18 miles, 274 total. Camp at Van Dusen Rd (3 mi down dirt road to Big Bear City). Easier day of hiking, took my time, didn’t want to go all the way to Big Bear City. Will be there tomorrow & pick up package on Monday.

Very cold last night. H2O bottles froze. Slept in, didn’t start hiking until 8 am. Stopped at 3:30 pm. Saw 2 day hikers. 2 thru hikers from last night passed (“Mom” & “Dad”) by on their way to town. Nice day. Sunny & cool, cactus to pines.

5/8 Cool morning, pack up quick. Head down Van Dusen Rd. Thelma’s for breakfast – full. Call Sue, mom. Walk to motel & see hikers. Check in, share room. Laundry, shower, call brother Jeff. Hang around. Hikers continue to roll in.

Jeff & girlfriend Frances arrive. Burgers, ice cream in Big Bear Lake. Drive around looking at houses, lake. Take pictures. They drop me off. Hikers hanging around. Call Sue. Watch TV, go to bed. Restful but boring day.

5/9 Get up, get ready to leave. Some sleep in. Lumberjack for breakfast. So-so food. Listen to local man brag about bruises on shoulders from shooting guns all day. Get to post office early. Wait. Left Big Bear City post office around 10.

Walk back up Van Dusen Rd to PCT at 11:15 am. Easy hiking – mostly level to gentle downhill – but pack is very heavy (too much food). Cloudy, misty, cool. Evening crossings of Holcomb Cr – barefoot (save dry shoes).

19 trail miles + 4 miles from BBC = 23 today. 293 PCT miles. Stop at 7 pm. Jamaican BBQ dinner plus candy bar, cookies.

5/10 24 miles, 317 total, camp at Grass Valley Creek.

Got up early, on trail by 6:30. Saw first 2 deer. Overcast but cleared up quick. Sunny, mild day. Mostly hiked in Deep Creek Canyon. Large bridge out, ford Deep Creek. Caught up with “Greyhound” & “Gurney”. Greyhound – nice guy, we have a lot in common, hiked & chatted.

Deep Creek hot springs at noon. Remote hot springs pools, nude beach, hippies hanging out, smoking pot & drinking beer. Day too warm to stay in hot springs long. About 90 min lunch break. Hike out of canyon to Mojave Dam. Graffitti on rocks, ford Deep Creek.

Meadow Mary waiting for Billygoat at 173, offered fruit. Mountain bikers!! About 8 riders. Stop at Grass Valley Creek, Greyhound & Gurney go on.

5/11 On the trail by 6:30 am. Another sunny, mild, beautiful day.

Caught up with Greyhound & Gurney breaking camp at 7 am. Hiked with them again today. Some confusion about the trail before and after Silverwood Lake. Long hike around Lake Silverwood. Hawks & crows airshow. Met trail crew doing great job on the trail. Stop at creek to wash off, cool down.

Hike to Cajon Junction at I-15. McDonalds for dinner. Decide to camp in trees behind McD’s, below billboard with roar of traffic of I-15 and trains to lull us to sleep. Go to gas station next to McD’s for a beer. Then a station wagon full of junk pulls up – its the “Paul & Cody” show – local colorful character spots us as hikers and comes over to tell us about local history and his wood painting. 25 miles, 342 PCT miles.

5/13 Spent the night at Camp Lopez trail angel guest house in Wrightwood and zeroed. Got a ride into town from Jody Lopez . Went into cafe for breakfast and there was Greyhound and Gurney! After breakfast, went to Post Office and walked back to Lopez place. Washed gear, did laundry, hung out with hikers.

Went into town to Yodeler for dinner. Pizza and beer. Met Dirt Magnet and Peace/Love Matt—they are from Eugene!

[5/12, Lost page… went to grocery for ice cream. Got a ride back to Lopez from old retired guy in an old restored jeep. Watched “Saving Private Ryan”. Call Sue. Bed.]

5/14 16 PCT miles, 380 total plus 5 town miles/side trail.

Out the door by 6:30 am. Walk to town to Acorn Rd. Steep climb! Instead of icy Acorn Trail, bushwacked up dry ridge. Tiring! When I get to top of ridge, there is Mike & Mike (now “Patch” & “Zip”). Looking for trail, we walk dirt road and trail to hwy 2. They get a ride into Wrightwood to take couple days off.

Continue to Baden Powell. Meet 2 skiers and 2 climbers. Follow footsteps to summit. 4:15 pm, 9400 ft. Great views, mountains and desert. Continue on ridge to near Throop Peak. Camp on ridge at 8800 ft. Boiled snow for water. Speed hiker “Squeaky” comes along (from UK?). He left 11 days ago doing 35+ miles/day! He wants to be done in July! PS: saw glider near summit.

5/15 Good camping on ridge. Dry, calm, warm. 6:30 am hit the snow again.

Over Mt Throop. Steep descent to Windy Gap. Great water at Little Jimmy Spring. Hike on snow covered road then straight down ridge to closed hwy 2. Quarter mile on road to trailhead Islip Gap. Up to Mt Williamson. Lots of day hikers.

At top, 4 women having big spread for lunch ask me to join them. Indian food, egg burrito, cucumbers. Answer questions. Down the other side – more snow. Back to hwy 2. Down to Little Rock Creek. Saw lots of Boy Scouts and rattlesnake #5!

Get a little lost at Cooper Canyon Campground. Bushwack up the ridge. Hike the ridge till I see the trail. Hike to headwaters of Cooper Canyon Cr. PCT mile 397. About 17 hard miles today. Another sunny, warm day. Should be out of snow til Sierras. Chili mac dinner: YUM!

5/16 28 miles today! PCT 425. High clouds moving in. Cloudy & cooler today. Low clouds hanging over mountains behind me. Feel sorry for people on Baden Powell today. Easier hiking today. Make up for shorter miles previous 2 days. Fairly uneventful. One day hiker. Camped with Gil & “Chocolat” (french guy). Beef veggie pasta – Yuck!

5/17 Nice camp. Get up leave with Gil at 6:30. A few high clouds, they give way to sunny skies, mild temp.

Lots of rough downhill today. One deer at top of Mt Gleason. Legs still tired from long day yesterday. Stop at North Fork Saddle Ranger Station for water. Stop at Mattox Creek to bathe. Stop at mobile home park on Soledad Canyon Rd for 2 cold pepsi from machine. Stop at Antelope Valley freeway tunnel to camp. 25 miles today, 451 total. Only three and half miles to Agua Dulce. Thai chicken dinner.

5/18 No rain cover on tent, some condensation in the morning. Easy 4 mile walk to Agua Dulce. Breakfast at Sweetwater Cafe. Call Sue. Walk mile to Saufley’s Ranch. Greeted, given tour, instructions to take a load off, shower, get laundry ready. Meet other hikers. Greyhound, Gurney & Peace/Love Matt show up.

Went to town for lunch (so-so Mexican), saw Gil & Chocolat in town, ride back. Help put up more tents for coming horde. Sky shows up. Hanging out, waiting for big BBQ this evening. Beer & Beef. Up til after 9 pm chatting.

5/19 Zero day in A.D. Hiker Heaven. Breakfast at Halfway House. Pseudo Hollywood stars on wall. Post office, grocery. Get gear cleaned, organized. Into A.D. for lunch – good sandwhich at market, Ben&Jerry’s. More & more hikers showing up. Couple dozen here now. Some make trips to REI, some go see new “Star Wars” movie.

Hanging out in shade with full stomach. Go into town with others to Mexican restaurant for beer/chips. Big crew. Back to Saufley’s. Get gear ready, sit around fire, chat. Big pack of yelping, barking coyotes go by in the fields in the dark. Very wired. Birthday cake for “Tomato” while I get on computer. Go to bed.

5/20 Get up, walk down to breakfast at Sweetwater Cafe with Greyhound, Sky, Peace/Love, Gurney. Down the road. Gonna be hot, use umbrella. Up & down ridges all day. Decide to do some night hiking to get more miles while cooler. Stop & fix dinner at Ranger Station at San Francisquito Canyon Rd.

Neat water cache – chairs, skeleton, cold soda. Anderson’s take Pedestrian & Smack, the rest keep going. Over Green Mtn, I start cruising. Nice moon, cool hiking downhill. Camp at Elizabeth Lake Canyon Rd. 32 miles, 486 total.

5/21 Get up early, five of us set off. More up & down over ridges. Warm but more shade. Finally downhill to valley floor hwy 138. 32 miles again, 518 total. Camp in ditch with Sky & Greyhound. Aquaduct tomorrow.

5/22 Ditch did not protect us from wind so sand blew into everything all night! Covered my head with plastic bag to keep sand out of face. Yuck! Early get up. “What about Bob?” strolls by. On the trail by 5:40 am. Crossing big valley today, mostly along aquaduct. First open, then closed aquaduct then dirt road walk. Another sunny day, a little warmer but breezy. Used umbrella until lunch.

Stop for shade then stop at Cottonwood Creek bridge for water & lunch. Long lunch break (three and half hrs). Greyhound leaves at noon, me & Sky at 2:40. Gurney shows up as we are leaving. Decide to do another 7 miles to Tylerhorse Canyon. Greyhound waiting for us. Stop at 5 pm. 23 miles today, 541 PCT total. Used last bit of first fuel canister.

5/23 Warm night at Tylerhorse Canyon. Sky said 68 degrees. Didn’t need rain fly – too hot.

Everyone left camp before me, I left at 5:40. Shaded climbing. Lots of motorcycle trails & jeep roads. Caught up with Bob & Sky & Greyhound waited up. Confusing trails, whoop dedoos. Steady downhill to wind turbines. Walk along fence next to turbines down to Willow Springs Rd. Split up with Bob & Sky (Tehachapi).

Greyhound and I hitch to Mojave. 30 minute hitch, pickup by nice retired lady in pick up. Motel 6. Crappy Colosselburger at Primo. Gurney arrives. Laundry, post office using local transit ($1). Stater market – beer, epsom salts, order pizza, watch basketball, call Sue.

5/24 Transit to Denny’s, walk to post office, transit back. Clean up gear, good nap, transit to Mike’s Roadhouse Cafe. Meatloaf, apple pie. Transit to Motel 6. Drink beer, watch basketball, call Sue.

5/25 Shower, check out, walk to Denny’s. 10 minute hitch, nice old guy in pick up took all three of us to trail at 75 mph. Back on trail by 8:40!

Sunny, nice day, not too hot (80s) with slight breeze. Hike thru more windfarms. Long waterless stretch. Carry 5L H2O. Left Gurney to siesta under Joshua tree. Greyhound & I hike, eat dinner on trail, hike to water, clean up, hike a little further to good campsite. Stop at 8 pm. 25 miles, 583 total.

5/26 Greyhound & I on the trail by 6:45. Finally pass all the wind turbines. Hike with cows – 8 in front, 1 left behind. Good water at Robin Bird Springs. Stop at Landers Cr. 24 miles, 607 total. 5:30 pm, clean up, cook dinner. Saw deer. Gurney shows up at 7:30 pm. PS – hiking uphill on exposed south slopes, downhill on forested, shady north slopes.

5/27 Leave camp, pick up Gurney half mile down. Long dry stretches today. Start with max 5 liters. Leave pine woods, back to desert chapparal. Sunny, warm, exposed. Use umbrella today. Deer #7. Take several breaks under Joshua trees. Stop and camp at Bird Spring Pass water cache. Watch sunset from tent. 24 miles, 631 total.

5/28 I leave camp at 6:15, ahead of the others. Steady climb for one & half hours then mostly downhill to Walker Pass. Another sunny, warm day in the 80s. More cows. Watched an owl get chased & squawked at by Blue Jays. Two and half miles of trail was on popular jeep/motorcycle trail. Memorial weekend – lots of dune buggies & motorcycles to watch out for.

Long downhill to Walker Pass campground. Stay with Greyhound & Gurney one more night. Gurney decides to get a ride into town to rent a car. Cook dinner, clean gear. 20 miles today, 651 total.

5/29 Good day of hiking today. Felt good all day, maybe excited to get to sierra. Cloudy morning, sunny by midmorning. Very windy today, especially at passes. Started at 5:45 am. Said goodbye to Greyhound. One section hiker at Joshua Tree Creek. Two southbound section hikers gave me a homemade cookie, ask questions, they plan to do PCT in ’07.

Stop to cook dinner, stop to clean up in creek, first aid on two cracked toes, kept going. Nice evening. Hike past campers at Canebrake Rd. Stop & camp at 7:15 pm. Hang food in tree. Kennedy Meadows tomorrow!

5/30 Missed alarm, woke up at 5:48 am, on trail by 6:40. 20 miles to Kennedy Meadows. Another nice, sunny day. No wind, cool morning. Easy hiking, mostly downhill or flat. Hike thru Manter Creek fire area. Big boulders and granite mtns, definitely in the Sierras now.

Three weekenders at Manter Creek. Last part, hike along Kern River – fast flow. Walk up road to Kennedy Meadows General store. Meet Dave & Michele (English) & Freebird. Will go into Sierras together. 5th thru hike for Freebird. Hang out on porch, get boxes, use outdoor shower. We all get on truck to Grumpy Bear for dinner. Hamburger on hot dog buns. Truck ride to campground. 20 miles today, 702 total.

PCT Journal, Chapter 3

Posted in Trail Tales with tags , on January 24, 2011 by A lo Hawk

Mr Roboto comments: This is the unedited journal of my 2005 thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Chapter Three begins from the southern Sierra resupply at Kennedy Meadows General Store and describes the epic push through snow-covered Sequoia and Yosemite NP. It ends in physical exhaustion and mental anguish over the decision to skip north at Sonora Pass.

5/31 Sheryl picks up me, Freebird, Dave & Michele in the flatbed truck at the Kennedy Meadows campground to take us to breakfast at the Grumpy Bear. She opens just for us and cooks us a big, greasy breakfast – eggs, sausage, biscuits. We used up the last of her supplies. She was going to Ridgecrest today to go grocery shopping.

Ride back to general store to go through boxes. Did laundry, hung everything out back to dry. Only 4 hikers out on big porch made it very relaxing. Got everything clean & packed, sent boxes, pay tab ($24). With full pack I hike from general store past campground 2 miles to riverside camp. Got gear straightened out, dinner, bed 7 pm. PCT mile 707.

6/1 21 miles, 728 total. Warm morning, another nice, sunny day.

Only saw one guy camping at Beck Meadows this morning, no other people. Followed Freebird’s tracks today. Nice meadows, Kern River bridge sparrows entertain. Got back to the snow above 9,000 ft. Finding trail difficult at times. Drop into brushy meadow, should have stayed high, hour of bushwacking back up.

Found tracks, found trail. Drop out of snow for now. Saw my first bear in a swampy meadow, eating. I was downwind, took picture. He saw me & took off. Very brown coat. About 6 pm. Camped at year round spring. Back into snow tomorrow, worried about finding trail. This will be difficult. Some mosquitoes last night, not many tonight.

6/2 A little chilly this morning. Another nice day, it warmed up quick.

At 7 am ran into Freebird camp. Talked for awhile. He is wearing worn sandals so he is getting out at Trail Pass to resupply. Last person I have seen and will probably see for a while. Dave & Michele are somewhere behind. “Squeaky” is the only other hiker to pass thru and he left KM 5/23.

A good day of hiking, no problem finding trail even in snow. Camp at 11,000 ft near Cottonwood Pass. 20 miles today, 748 total. No mosquitoes or bugs at all!

6/3 BAD DAY, only 12 miles. Cold morning, another sunny, nice day.

Got lost at Rock Creek, went way upstream. At beautiful lunch spot realized mistake. Spent the rest of the day getting back to trail. Had some bad moments, thought about quitting. Finally snapped out of it.

Back on Rock Creek trail saw Dave & Michele footprints but lost them in marsh. Found Freebird footprints. Saw no people but others are ahead of me now. Started fire at stock camp to dry out shoes – didn’t work. Coyote yelping at night woke me up.

6/4 Much better day today – an incredible day of hiking.

At 7 am saw Freedird at camp. Talked a while, he is going out over Whitney – in sandals!! Saw message in snow from Dave & Michele, they were only 38 min ahead. Caught up with them by 10:30.

We hiked up into the most awesome country surrounded by snow covered mountains. Couple of creek crossings – not bad. Took lots of pictures today. We hiked to the base of Forrester Pass, highest point on the PCT. We will try it tomorrow morning. It will be cold camping tonight in the snow at 12,000 ft. Cooked dinner after crossing Tyndell Creek. Pulled rib muscle – sore on right side.

6/5 Cold & thrilling day! Got up 5:15, very cold. Didn’t sleep well.

Climb steep snow up to switchbacks, avalanche chute. Dave scouted it out and borrowed my ice axe (instead of their ultralights) to cut steps across chute. Took about 40 min while I froze and worried.

Steps help a lot, it took only five minutes to cross. My biggest worry of the trip is over! Fun butt glissade down the other side. Trudged through snow for hours off & on the trail. I took lead for most of it. Stopped close to Glen Pass, shouldn’t be bad in the morning.

Stopped at 5:30, tired. Camped under bushes but off the snow. Dave wants to get up early tomorrow to get close to Mather Pass which is tough. 13 miles today, 791 total.

6/6 Very tough day today. Cold in the morning, shoes frozen stiff.

Start at 5:30, climb up to Glen Pass. Tough climb, Dave cut steps. Tough desent – used Squeaky’s steps to get down. Lots of slogging through snow all day. Trying to get over Pinchot Pass tonight.

Long haul, another tough climb. Reach summit at 7 pm. Quick descent, looking for a place to camp out of the wind. End up behind rock in trench between snow & rock.  Curled up  in bag, rain fly, emergency blanket. Cold dinner. 18 miles, 807 total. 14 hrs of hard work.

6/7 Terrible night’s sleep, wearing all my clothes. Cold morning, leave at 6:30, more snow hiking. All of us very tired from yesterday. Slow, tiring grind up to Mather Pass. Soft snow, kicking steps, steep pass, easier descent. Hiking past lakes, I fall in.

Hike down Golden Staircase switchbacks to 7,900 ft. Camp at Deer Meadow. Very tired, eat two dinners. Dry out shoes by fire. Ready for an easy day, plan to hike to Muir Pass hut. Bear prints all around our campsite.

6/8 Nice night’s sleep for a change. Wake up at 5 am. Overcast, turned to a light snowfall by late morning. Saw 11 deer. First 6 to 8 miles – nice walk in woods with no snow. Then start climb to Muir Pass. Weather turns colder, less visibility.

Got to Muir hut at 4 (12,ooo ft). Snow melted wall around stone hut. We stayed in the hut, relaxing dinner. Easy day, 14 miles, 838 total. Food will hold out til Vermillion Valley Resort.

6/9 Chilly sleeping on cold stone slabs of hut. Dave snored alot. Took a pee at night, sky was clear & beautiful. In the morning, clouds and faint snow cleared to sunny for start of descent. Clouds returned, some light rain in afternoon. 18 miles, all downhill.  Muir Pass (12,ooo ft) to Muir Junction (7,800 ft). 856 PCT miles.

Five deer today. Camp below snow level on soft pine needles, Yeah! Ate two dinners, very hungry. Will be out of food by VVR. Hoped they are well stocked. Need four days of food to get to Tuolumne.

Recognized a few landmarks from a school trip to Sierras 30 years ago. All my clothes really smell! Haven’t had a chance to wash & dry things out. Hope to do that at VVR in two days. Hope their boat shuttle is running – otherwise its an extra 4.5 mile walk.

PS – Evolution Creek ford was easy – only knee deep. It can be a scary ford but big melt has not started yet at higher elevations. An advantage to starting early in the Sierra. Later hikers will have a tougher time & more mosquitoes. I still haven’t used DEET in 850 miles.

6/10 On the trail by 6 am. Tent all wet. Steady switchback climb, saw 4 deer. Back into the snow as climb toward Seldon Pass (10,900 ft). Easy climb, beautiful, sunny day. Got to pass earlier than thought. Early lunch at pass, let tent dry out. Easy descent, wandering downhill, eventually find trail. Nice, easy cruise down to Bear Cr TH junction.

Got to camp by 3 pm – earliest stop yet. Easy, relaxing day. Had fun on trail, relaxing campfire talking to Dave & Michele. We are all looking forward to eating at VVR. Can’t wait to call Sue. D & M will stay extra day at VVR, I will leave Sunday to make it to Lee Vining P.O. by Friday.

Its been nice traveling with D & M. Next section I am on my own and probably won’t see other people. Looking forward to it. Now that the hard part of the Sierras are over, ready to rock on. 15 easy miles, 871 total.

6/11 Left camp at 6:15, about 30 minutes behind D & M. Climb up Bear Ridge and there is our old friend – snow. I know trail goes over ridge and down other side to Thomas Edison Lake so I bushwack – to Hell! Tough descent through brush, cliffs, wet marsh, etc. down to Mono Creek.

I had to hustle to make the 9:45 lake shuttle so I forded Mono Creek. Tough ford up to my waist, panicked, fell but made it across. Hauled ass to ferry dock where D & M were waiting. No ferry running! Damn, we had to walk extra 4.5 along lake to Vermillion Valley Resort. Got here at 12:15.

Just the staff are here, road is not open yet. They do some fishing tours on ATVs but snow is hurting business. They only use generator for power when they have to. Tough but funny mountain men types. They are happy to see us and  make us feel welcome. They cook us big burgers with brownies for dessert. I stay in free thru hiker tent, D & M stay in room.

Staff planning BBQ buffet for dinner. I take hot shower (yeah!). Try to do laundry but generator not on. Hang out in store resupplying bear canister with five days of food. They have Mountain House dinners, Cytomax, Pemican bars, Snickers, etc. Use satellite cell phone to call Sue. Dinner, laundry (clean shoes!).

Have a few beers with fishermen who come in for dinner. Lots of heated conversation between conservative, red-neck americans & brits Dave & Michele. Went to bed in big tent with all bunkbeds & matresses to myself. Got up to pee many times because of beer.

6/12 Leisurely get up, coffee at 7 am. Great, greasy breakfast with pancakes, eggs, bacon, hashbrowns. Sit around with staff while they tell stories about past hikers. Another nice, sunny day – a few mosquitoes. Clean up and repair gear. Lost waterbottles on Mono Cr ford so I resupply. Hang out with D & M waiting for lunch – 4 chili dogs! Settle up bill – $179!

Say goodbye to D & M. Head back along lake to Mono Creek. Ford fast running creek. Hike to Rocket Meadow. Second ford looks risky – I’ll wait till morning when it is lower.

6/13 On trail by 6 am. Another beautiful, sunny day. Crossings were fine. Saw no one today. Good day of hiking – Silver pass, no problem. Still lots of snow to get through. Hiked 21 miles in 12 hrs. Stopped a mile past Deer Creek crossing.

6/14 Another day alone. 15 deer, 20 miles in 12 hrs. Tough slog, some dry trail.

Red’s Meadow, Devil’s Postpile detour. Wasted sidetrip to offload garbage. Tough late afternoon postholing through marshy muck. Tired & frustrated, camp on rocky area above Badger Lakes. Back to 11,000 ft tomorrow. Getting closer to Tuolumne.

6/15 A long, hard day with a happy ending. Sunny & nice, 27 deer.

On trail by 5:45, found Thousand Island Lake (frozen over). Made it to Island Pass then it went to sun cup hell. Complex terrain, difficult travel. Went too far east and climbed wrong pass around Donohue Mtn past Lost Lake (appropriate). Had long traverse on back side of mountain, down another drainage into Lyell Canyon. Steep bushwack, ford Lyell Creek by 4 pm. First aid for sore pinky toe.

Finally clear trail down gorgeous river canyon to Tuolumne Meadows. Pleasant evening, ate dinner at Volsgang Junction. Determined to get to T. Meadows and call Sue. Got to Ranger Station by 8 pm. Lyell Creek had become a raging river. Was off loading garbage when Ranger Nate Knight came out for a chat. Showed my PCT permit. He asked me to come to his room for hospitality after call to Sue.

Nate served juice & cookies, had a nice chat. He has worked in WA Cascades & Olympics. He is first person I’ve seen in three and half days. After dark, looked for a place to camp. Realized I left my headlamp on bunkbed at VVR. Laid out bag on ground and crashed. 21 PCT miles (+detour) in 14 hrs, 942 total.

6/16 Got up, pack, on the road by 6:15. Walking to Lee Vining on hwy 120 which is still closed. Saw bear run across the road about 100 yds ahead. Nate drives up on his way to the pass. Nice smooth ride in law enforcement vehicle. At road closure, got ride to L.V. from Chet & Bonnie, a couple  on vacation from Texas. Dropped off in L.V., breakfast at Nicely’s by 8:30 am.

Everything is close & convenient. Check into Best Western little cabin. Got new flashlight at sporting goods, picked up box at post office, settle into room, shower & laundry. Checked myself in mirror – shocked by gauntness. Weather is overcast, windy. Plan to stay two days. Bodie Mike’s BBQ for dinner, call Sue, beer & b-ball playoffs, watch TV late.

6/17 Still breezy this morning but clear. Big breakfast at Nicely’s. Goal today – pack in calories. Post Office. Call Dad. Take nap. Walked out to Mobile Restaurant for famous fish tacos & cheesecake. Lots of TV flipping & beer. Bodie Mike’s for dinner, watched “Cypher” on Showtime.

6/18 Check out at 7 am. Walk up hwy 120 four miles trying to hitchhike. 24th car stops. Kim & Dave – two young locals out to climb Mt Dana. At park boundary walk 8 more road miles to Tuolumne Meadows. Back on trail by noon. Saw Ranger Nate on the trail. At 1:30 mostly clear trail. Beautiful Tuolumne River & falls.

Hike to McCabe Lake trail junction. 13 PCT miles (955) + 12 road miles in 11 hrs. Felt very sluggish and tired for most of the day. Feet very sore & tight. Road walk tough on feet. After vitamin I (ibuprofen), afternoon felt better.

6/19 BAD BAD DAY! 10 PCT miles in 12 hrs.

Got lost at Miller Lake. Descended Virginia Canyon instead of Matterhorn Canyon. Six plus hours of brutal bushwacking to finally get to Wilson Creek. Camp between 2nd & 3rd ford. Just glad to be back on trail. Did not panic but there were some low moments. I’ve got to stay on track, can’t keep wasting days like this. Arms & legs scratched up bad.

6/20 Another hard day but did not get lost. 15 miles in 11 hrs.

Some trail visible. In Kerrick Canyon trail side had steep snow. Opposite side was clear of snow so forded creek early and bushwacked 4 miles to official crossing. Feet sore, little toe hurts, more scratches. Nice camp, good water.

6/21 SHEER HELL! 13 miles in 11 hrs.

Started with clear trail for a couple of miles, had to swim across Stubblefield Canyon Cr – deep & wide. Doing okay staying on course but endless snow & tough terrain up & over river canyons. Slow progress, very frustrating. It will take me two more days to Sonora Pass at this rate. I will then have to hitch to Bridgeport to resupply. Don’t know how much more of this I can take!

6/22 14 PCT miles, 1007 total. Everything covered in frost – tent, pack, bear canister, etc.

Chilly walk on snow easier this morning. Made it to Dorothy Lake quick. Wrist watch acting up in cold. Everything was going well until Cascade Cr – got lost again! Hiked all the way down to Walker River sign until I realized mistake. Had to hike back up 1,000 ft.

Hide & seek with the trail down to West Fork Walker River footbridge. Late lunch, dry out stuff. Clear trail for several miles until Kennedy Canyon. Back to snow, stop early due to fatigue. 11 mile climb to Sonora Pass tomorrow. Finished 2nd fuel canister.

6/23 Begin climb to Sonora Pass. Last time PCT goes over 10,000 ft. Clear, rocky trail on west slopes alternate with snow fields. Beautiful trail along crest. Some steep climbing on snowfields but snow holds steps. Some postholing, finally get to Sonora Pass by noon. Saw first people in 5 days.

Families playing in snow at pass, a father offers me cold drinks. Harley riders stop for a chat. Quick hitchhike in big pickup by father & son, fast ride to Bridgeport. Check motel rates, ran into elderly couple support crew for Dan Horton record attempt. Checked into Silver Maples. Lunch & laundry.

I have a dilemma. Am burned out physically & mentally from battling snow. Considering a skip of 180 miles to Sierra City. If I continue this pace I will be behind schedule getting to Eugene by end of July. Tough descision. Made some calls – bus to Reno runs tomorrow (Friday) then not til Thursday next week.

Finally decide to take bus to Reno tomorrow then hitch to Sierra City. General store for dinner – deli sandwhich & beer. In room, watch game 7 NBA finals. Call Sue. Make hitchhike signs. 11 miles, 1018 total.

PCT Journal, Chapter 4

Posted in Trail Tales with tags , on January 23, 2011 by A lo Hawk

Mr Roboto comments: This is the unedited journal of my 2005 thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. After making the difficult decision to skip 180 miles of Sierra snow to stay on schedule; Chapter Four describes the grueling push (700 miles in 28 days) from Sierra City to Willamette Pass.

6/24 What a difference a day makes. Got up normal time, shower, breakfast. Pack up, check out, wait at general store for bus. $17 ride to Reno, leave at 9 am.  Smooth, two plus hour ride to Reno airport drop off. Start walking toward I-80 through town. Mexican food for lunch. Several miles to I-80 on ramp.

Ten minute wait for ride from strange man in beat up jeep. Barely coherent, rambling talk about his disability. A little freaky. He drops me off at remote exit but immediately get another ride from young man in pickup. Dropped off at exit for hwy 89. Ten minutes later picked up by nice couple headed to Lassen NP. Offered me a muffin, let me out at hwy 49. Fifteen minute wait for an older man headed to Sierra City to work on a masonic lodge. Reno to Sierra City with four hitches in less than 3 hours.

Sierra City – neat little town, post office, general store. Friendly people. Ran into “Saltlick”:  hiker who won ‘Most Useless Gear’  contest at the kick off.  He had interesting stories about his wildlife encounters: i.e., an eagle who swooped down and took his hat off his head! We swap stories over good dinner in the garden patio.

I walk up the road to trailhead to camp. Finally found the mosquitoes. It was a warm night at 4,500 ft. Still should be some snow ahead but hopefully not as bad as Sierras.

6/25 24 miles today. Camped near Gibralter Rock on only flat spot – the trail.

Day started well, clear trail in morning. Hikers & bikers out playing. Cool day, light wind, high clouds. Hit snow in the afternoon, same old hide & seek with the trail. Very frustrating but tomorrow will be at lower elevation.

6/26 Finally bust out a big mile day – 33 miles in 12 hours.

Some snowfields in the morning, then clear trail rest of the day. Mostly shady forest hiking (not too scenic) then downhill to Feather River. Near river I tripped & fell, scraped knee & elbow. Fatigue. At Bear Creek bridge met “Freehill” – section hiker from San Antonio. He gave me some chai seeds to try in my water bottle.

6/27 Today was a good day’s hike. 25 miles in 11 hrs to Clear Creek.

Mostly sunny, breezy & cool. High clouds to east  south. Started with a big 7 mile, 2,700 ft climb to Lookout Rock. Near the top saw Freehill in his camp. Long shaded traverse to Buck’s Summit. Another climb to Spanish Peak at 6,500 ft. Snow patches, nice views along ridges then began descent. Beldon tomorrow.

6/28 Productive day. Quick 9 mile downhill walk to Beldon Town Resort. Everything was closed. Stored my pack under a tarp and walked mile to post office. P.O. was a small house that smelled of incense. Many strange knicknacks: stuffed rattlesnake, animal bones – but nice lady. Sit in shade and sort out box.

Nice P.O. lady calls a friend Brenda who picks me up, gets my pack and takes me to her house. After shower, Brenda tells me about good food & laundry available at Caribou Cafe quarter-mile down the road. Big burger, fries, milkshake, laundry, phone call. Back at Braatens Trail Haven take a power nap, clean gear, eat cookies. Back to Caribou for cold drinks.

Back at Braatens, their trail register has a note to me from Greyhound! Their scale says 168 lbs. Brenda gives me ride back to trail. Lots of poison oak, trail very brushy & overgrown. Hike 6 miles to Myrtle Flat to camp. Mosquito motivation to set up tent fast.

6/29 Early start by 5:20. Long day of hiking: 32 miles in 15 hrs. Southbound hiker offered me food and recommended visiting Drakesbad in Lassen NP. I can probably make it tomorrow.

6/30 Another early start – 5:30.

At  Soldier Spring met K, Billy & dog who are friends with Greyhound. Steady pace in the morning but got tired by afternoon. Made it to Drakesbad resort after 4 pm. Soak in hot springs pool (awesome), talk with some hikers I had camped with at kick off & Saufleys. They flip-flopped and are now southbound. Great dinner & beers with them under the trees near dining room.

I say goodbye and leave after 8 pm to get a few miles closer to my resupply in Old Station. Easy trail, lots of mosquitoes.

7/1 Bright & early again this morning. 23 miles to Old Station.

Flat, downhill trail all the way. Firecrew on controlled burn had the trail closed for 2 miles. Gibson gave me personal escort through the burn area. Tired legs take me to Old Station P.O. Finally mailed home ice axe, crampons, fleece, walking stick.

Trail Angel Georgi walks in and offers me their place to stay. They have a beautiful log home with a treehouse for hikers. Shower, laundry, internet, food, hot tub – incredible! Husband Dennis has great stories about his days as a roadie for the stones.

7/2 Great breakfast: french toast, eggs, bacon. These nice people drop me off at the store, get cold drinks. On the trail at 10:15, easy pace, lots of breaks, pretty flowers. Nap in the shade before exposed Hat Creek Rim. One rattlesnake, 14 hang gliders. Stop at Cache 22 (water cache) to camp. 21 miles, go for Burney Falls tomorrow.

7/3 Ugh, what a day – sooo tired! 25 hot, boring miles to Burney Falls SP.

Falls suck and concession stand sucks worse. Body is weak and dehydrated. Called Sue – I was whinny, she was trying to be upbeat. Soaked feet in creek, stealth camped in the park near trail. Southbounders say lots of poison oak ahead. Chili cheese dog dinner & bugs make it hard to sleep.

7/4 Better day of hiking. Shaded forest, mostly uphill. Saw skunk and small fawn in morning, big black bear in evening. 29 miles, camp at Moosehead Creek Headwaters. Ate 2 dinners, flies were a problem. First view of Mt Shasta.

7/5 Bear in camp last night. I scared it off when I woke up from a dream.

Long, hot day started with more climbing. Irritating snow drifts across trail, then hot, exposed climb to Grizzly Peak. Chat with 2 female southbounders. PCTA field rep with high school trail crew. Shady descent, cool creek soak. Poison oak at McCloud River. Hot, steep climb with no good place to camp. Finally pick a crappy, non level spot with poison oak & mosquitoes for company. I am sweaty & smelly. Hope to get a shower tomorrow at Castle Crags. 28 miles.

7/6 More poison oak everywhere! I thought it was only 21 miles to C.C. State Park but I misread guidebook. Info about P.O. was wrong also. Maintained a fast shuffle down miles of switchbacks to get to the P.O. just before 5. They closed at 4:30! Drank six cold 12 oz liquids in an hour. As I walked to entrance to Castle Crags park, Ranger picks me up & takes me to PCT hiker’s free campsite.

After shower saw “Rhino”, female hiker who saw Greyhound yesterday. He went home for 3 weeks and just started back on the trail today. Rhino returned from the store with ice cream. Ranger says it is 94 degrees.

7/7 Sleep in, break camp, breakfast at store. Get box at post office. Gatorade leaked over everything. Back at PCT camp spent an hour washing off food packages. Hit trail at 10:45. Steady climbing, already warm. Took lots of breaks. Headache. Stop at 10 miles to camp at N Fk Castle Creek. Nap. Clothes are sticky, water bottle is foul, heat is oppressive.

7/8 A pleasant, beautiful day of hiking. Cooler today with breeze & clouds. 4,000 ft of climbing on great trail: No brush, No poison oak, very little snow or bugs. Nicest day of hiking in a long time.

Made it to nice Upper Deadfall Lake by 5, had dinner. Thought about moving on but it was a great camping spot. Looks like it may rain tonight. 25 easy miles. Discovered a tear across sole of right shoe. Duct tape. Will call Sue asap to send shoes to Seiad Valley P.O.

7/9 Very productive day of hiking. 34 miles. Windy last night but no rain. Overcast today, a few sprinkles this evening.

Got to hwy 3 mountain pass 90 minutes  sooner than I thought. Saw a sign to come down road half mile for food & drinks. Trail Angels had property they were building a cabin on & were planning a hiker hostel. Coors light and sandwich wraps. Very chatty couple. Got a ride back to trail while slamming Coors. Feeling energized, hike another 10 miles (til 8 pm). Scenic views from camp, nice sunset.

7/10 Some rain overnight, clear by morning.

Mild day of hiking. Scenic. Tiring climbs up & down. Saw small bear, fishermen. Getting homesick, wondering how many days until Willamette Pass (Eugene). Stop 5 miles before Etna summit where I will hitch to town, resupply, call Sue.

7/11 Clear, warm morning. On trail at 5:45, at Etna Summit at 7:45.

Little traffic on road. One hour 45 min wait for ride. Nice lady took me to Bob’s Ranch House for breakfast. Walked to RV park to do laundry. Friendly town. Walked to Alderbrook B&B aka Hiker’s Hut. Shower, have beers with owner.

Walked into town for ice cream at old drugstore soda shop. Trailhead Cafe was closed, Etna brewery was closed! Went to Ray’s market for beer & supplies. Back to Hiker’s Hut where I met “T-bot” & “Bloody Stick”. Bloody Stick is a year round trail bum with lots of stories.

Walked to Bob’s Ranch House for dinner. Call Sue. Back to B&B for fresh Rhubarb pie. In the hut, Bloody Stick tells stories late into the night. Crash on upper bunk bed.

7/12 Bob’s Ranch House for breakfast. Got a ride back to the trail, met section hiker “Hoov”.

Later stopped to talk to 2 trail workers. Got high with them and they gave me a joint. Ultimate Trail Magic! Buzzed hiking until sunset. Camp on ridge near Shackelford Creek trail junction. 19 mellow miles. Had to use the headnet for the mosquitoes while cooking dinner.

7/13 “First I boost, then I jet” song lyrics stuck in my head. This will be my motto to get me to Eugene. Trail traverses ridges with great views, beautiful flowers. Smoke joint sparingly, try to make it last. Lunch at Paradise Lake. Mellow cruise, drop elevation to Grider Camp where work crews & rangers are staying. 25 miles.

7/14 Hoov came in late to camp, woke me out of a dead sleep. In the morning, 12 mile walk to Seiad Valley. Last six and half are on road. 10 am P.O., shower at RV park (nasty!). New shoes, clean clothes, cafe for lunch. Good burgers, fries & milkshake. Here comes Hoov.

Store next door for energy drinks. Sit in shade and mentally prepare for long, hot climb ahead. Slow pace & last of the herbal enhancement helps ease the pain. Rattlesnake #7 was guarding Lookout Spring. Stop at alpine meadow. 22 PCT miles, last ten climbing.

7/15 Terrible night’s sleep because of pesky deer. Was drying salt stained clothes outside of tent. Heard deer moving around tent, shooed them away several times then fell asleep. Woke up to missing clothes and pack that had been dragged by shoulder strap. Saw they had licked spot where I peed.

Hot day of hiking, hard to get going. Ran into “Biodiversity Man” with his bevy of ladies. Two guys carrying bamboo fighting sticks headed south. Very sleepy in afternoon. Dozed off while walking, stumbled, fell off trail! Reach Oregon border at 7 pm. 28 miles, camp near west ridge of Observation Peak.

7/16 Another long, hot day. Thirty miles, cowboy camp near Pilot Rock.

Back on familiar territory. This part of trail is course for Siskiyou Out Back ultramarathon I did in training. Lots of people on trail near Mt Ashland. Feet are getting blisters from new shoes. Hope sore feet survive another 180 miles (six days?). Body & clothes really stink!

7/17 Another long, hot day. Thirty miles, camp north of Keno Access Rd.

On trail by 5 am. Got to Route 66 by 10:30, hitched to Green Springs Inn got great breakfast (recommended by hiker yesterday). Largest cinnamon bun I’ve ever seen, great coffee. Funky, bohemian vibe with reggae music & waitress with nose rings. Hitched in back of truck with two young dudes with marijuana plant in backseat.

Full belly, hot afternoon, took a siesta. Got up & cranked out miles til 8 pm. One skunk. Clothes reek.

7/18 A long, hot, disappointing day. Only 26 miles, camp past Mt McLoughlin trail.

Easy trail this morning, made ten miles by 10 am. Excellent water from hand pump well at Brown Shelter. Hike mostly in shade, got tired before hwy 140. Feet are hamburger, toes are painful. Stop for water at sediment filled creek (tough on filter). Devastating four mile climb to McLoughlin trail. Realized I can’t do 30s everyday.

This evening “Buckeye” came by camp headed south. He was part of big group that flip-flopped to Canada because of snow in Sierra.

7/19 Mr Roboto is back. 32 miles, camp north of Jack Springs.

Springs were a a waste of energy, hiked steep, downhill side trail to find mud pools. Fast miles in morning, feet & legs feel surprisingly good. Saw “Wild Hare” & “Dick Tracy” who I hiked with on day one (more flip-floppers).

Few creeks or water sources. Dry camp, can’t wash up or brush teeth. On 12 miles to Mazama Village in Crater Lake NP. Mosquitoes are bad here. Terrible dinner wearing rain gear, headnet, sweating. I gagged on all my food today. No BM today, digestive system is shutting down.

7/20 An uncomfortable day with a happy ending. Legs tired from yesterday. Irritating roller coaster trail. More Sobo hikers today (Twisted Sister, Tomato). Nasty 3 mile round trip to Mazama Village on crappy, steep side trail.

Made a big mistake chugging oj and eating ice cream sandwich. Terrible stomach ache for hours. Had to hang around M.V. all afternoon. Did laundry, shower, call Sue, chat with tourists. At 3 pm, started long climb to Rim Village.

Trying to hike was torture. Green & yellow BM. At Rim Village, restaurant was closed for remodeling, settled for polish sausage at food truck. Loaded up with 4 liters of water – heavy pack! Full stomach, bad gas.

Luckily, evening hike on Crater Lake rim was stunning. Tourists asking questions. Ended the day with most beautiful campsite of entire trip. Stealth camped on north rim of crater. Sunset, alpine glow on peaks with large full moon rising on opposite rim. 22 PCT miles with 3 mile side trip. 74 miles to Willamette Pass!

7/21 Three months on the trail. Good day of hiking, 31 miles. Camp north of Maiden Lake trail junction. Beautiful sunrise at Crater Lake, easy trail all day. High clouds, light rain, cool temps. Camped with southbounders I first met near Big Bear.

7/22 Foggy morning, sunny by evening. On trail by 5:40, leaving Sobos in their tents.

Legs very tired, hemorroid acting up. Saw two elk in morning, one had blackface, tall antlers. Ran into two of Dave Horton’s support crew at Summit Lake. They called me over and offered brownies, soda, watermelon. Talked to Dave about his record attempt.

Boosted by sugar, did more miles to Diamond Peak. About 30 miles today, 13 to Willamette Pass.

7/23 A chilly, clear morning. Dave Horton jogged by camp on his way to a 50 mile day. Effortless hiking to W. Pass by 10:15. Excited call to Sue, clean up in restroom, double lunch at outdoor grill. Watch mountain bikers, wait in shade. Sue arrives, hallelujah!

PCT Journal, Chapter 5

Posted in Trail Tales with tags , on January 22, 2011 by A lo Hawk

Mr Roboto comments: This is the unedited journal of my 2005 thru hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. Chapter five begins after a week off in Eugene and chronicles the final push to the northern terminus in Canada. 

7/30 Back on the trail after a week off in Eugene. Not 100% recovered but feet & legs are rested. Sad night last night. Tough good-bye with Sue this morning as she dropped me off at the Downtown Athletic Club. My hiking club planned a send-off hike to the PCT at Santiam Pass as their monthly outing.

The group heads out to Santiam Pass after coffee & scones at Starbucks. Nice, slow hike towards Three-fingered Jack. Answered lots of questions about my trip. Said good-bye at the afternoon turn around spot. Continued on until 7 pm. Camped at Rockpile Lake. 14 miles with slow pace, tender feet & heavy pack.

7/31 19 miles, camp at Bays Lake in Jefferson Park. Took it easy today, still adjusting to hiking again. Approaching majestic Mt Jefferson met two female section hikers “Garlic” & “Pockets”. Friendly girls, invited me to camp with them. Stop at gorgeous, overused Jefferson Park (meadows with lakes reflecting the mountain). After setting up tents they invited me to skinny dip with them. Swam in clear, deep water with awesome views(!). Nice dinner at lake shore watching alpine glow.

8/1 26 miles, camp past Chinquapin Viewpoint. High clouds move in this morning. Left camp early while trail nymphs slept.  Pleasant morning climb to ridge with views of Mt Jefferson & Mt Hood. Quiet hiking past several lakes. Early lunch at Upper Lake. Arrive at Olallie Lake Resort by noon. Met some hikers, sat for a couple of hours drinking soda. Re-energized for afternoon hiking.

8/2 33 miles, camp at Twin Lakes Loop trail. Easy miles today on familiar terrain (Mt Hood ultra). Wanted to get close to Timberline Lodge at Mt Hood to make their famous all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet tomorrow. Hikers, bikers & horses on the trail. Bear #5 this morning. Ate some good, ripe huckleberries. Lost 45 minutes for an unforgiving BM this morning.

8/3 On trail by 5:45 ready to make tracks to Timberline. At the lodge by 8:30. AWESOME buffet only $11.95. Started with croissant & fruit (fresh watermelon, cantaloupe & pineapple) and great coffee. Three glasses from fresh oj machine. First trip: eggs, sausage & bacon, pancakes, potatoes. Second trip: eggs & pancakes. Third trip: make your own waffle with strawberries. STUFFED is the word. Then waiters announce chef made complimentary pastry for everyone. Afterwards sat on big sofa with big windows looking at Mt Hood in food coma.

Call Sue, head out by 10:15. Tough trail climbs up & down deep river canyons. Rest at Ramona Falls. Cook dinner on trail with views. “No Way Ray” comes by, we hike to Lobo Pass and camp. Flies were annoying. 24 miles.

8/4 Wake up & leave before No Way Ray at 5:40. Easy hiking along ridges, views of Mt St Helens, Adams & Rainier before Indian Springs. Meet other hikers, take Eagle Creek alternate trail to Cascade Locks. Beautiful falls along Eagle Creek. Stop at two great swimming holes to cool off. Walk paved bike trail into town. Views of Columbia River and Bridge of the Gods.

Charburger for chow. Marionberry milkshake, Blueberry Pie, T-bone steak & potato: YUM! I go to RV park for possible camp. Too many barking dogs but owner let me stay in empty RV for $20. They have showers & laundry. Walk to Salmon Row Pub for several Walking Man Barefoot Brown Ales. Call Sue. Too hot to sleep in RV. 27 miles today.

8/5 After BM, go to Charburger for breakfast. Read paper while waiting for P.O. Shower, pack, have beers at Salmon Row while waiting for others.  No Way Ray & Walking Heads show up for lunch. Say good-byes, cross Bridge of the Gods into Washington at 2 pm. Twelve steep, hot miles, 3,000 ft climb to a saddle. Camp 8 pm. While eating dinner, heard rustling in brush. Watched a porcupine waddle through camp. Ugly suckers.

8/6 Porcupine greets me in the morning. More shaded forest walking up & down. Beer cache near road at 7:30 am – Breakfast of Champions. Stabler’s Store in afternoon (short ride in pickup), Ben & Jerry’s, liter of Mt Dew. Walk up the road to a food stand at someone’s home. Delana served a pastrami sandwich & soda.

Back to trail at Panther Creek campground. Stealth camp to avoid fee. Took a walk around campground loop to find yogi opportunities. Mostly families except for three guys sitting around picnic table stacked with empty beer cans. Bingo! Walked up, told them my tale, asked for a beer. Hung out the rest of the day, went for a beer run, friends show up, hot dogs & beer around the campfire til late. Stumble back to camp after 10 pm. 24 miles.

8/7 23 slow, tired miles today. Met “Start Slow” & “Taper Off” on trail. Saw elk #3. Camp at Blue Lake, take a swim. Windy evening, clouds moving in.

8/8 Nice morning, no clouds. 31 miles today, camp in meadow near Mt Adams. Pleasant, shaded walking, soft trail. On pace to make White Pass resupply by Thursday.

8/9 30 miles, camp on narrow side trail before Walnut Creek. Saw bear #6 this evening. Entering scenic Goat Rocks Wilderness tomorrow.

8/10 Spectacular day of hiking. Goat Rocks lived up to the hype. Reminded me of Glacier NP. Animals: 3 elk with huge racks, 14 mountain goats. High exposed trail along knife-edge ridges; steep, rocky trail with tricky ice patches. Beautiful meadows with views of Mt Rainier, Mt Adams & Mt St Helens. 26 miles, camp at Ginnette Lake.

8/11 Three mile walk to White Pass. Three cow elk. Windy & cold on the road to store/P.O. Mocha & breakfast burrito. Laundry. In free hiker box found fuel canister & sanitary wipes. Call Sue, hygiene with wipes. Slam liter of Dew, head back to trail.

Legs were tired but trail was nice with lots of friendly hikers, pretty lakes. 22 miles, camp near Laughing Water Trail. Elk noises during evening.

8/12 29 miles, camp at creek past Arch Rock Shelter spur. Lots of day hikers north & south of Chinook Pass. Several good yogi opportunities: apple, fresh cookies, energy bar. Twenty mountain goats near Big Crow Basin.

8/13 32 miles, cowboy camp on weather station yard. Easy morning, long afternoon of roller coaster terrain. Stop for water at Government Camp Shelter. Long, dry stretch with horses & motorcycles on the trail. Lots of clearcuts with ripe huckleberies.

8/14 Up early, on trail by 5:30. Rocky, up & down trail dragged on. Pretty Mirror Lake. Got to Snoqualmie Pass by 1:45. Call friend Kent in Seattle. Liter of Dew, burger, wait for Kent. At Kent’s place drank tequila, made calls, shower. Great dinner, watch TV late.

8/15 Sleep in, coffee, laundry, pack, breakfast wraps. Post Office, visit friend Don, friends at West Seattle YMCA. Luna Park for burgers, salad, beer. Nap at Kent’s. Internet update. Three bowls of ice cream, cookies, more tequila.

8/16 Have juice with Kent & Sherie waiting for Don. Don & I drive out to North Bend for filling breakfast. We get on trail by 9. Nice walk & talk with Don. Saw naked woman #7 . Good-bye to Don. Saw four mountain goats. 18 miles.

8/17 Mileage = ? Trail closed for maintenance, detour over Waptus Pass. Saw bear #7, lots of boy scouts. Watched a tree fall while eating lunch. Beautiful Cathedral Pass, some rain.

8/18 25 miles, camp at Valhalla Lake. Ordinary day, good weather. Hike through Stevens Pass ski area. Feet are hurting in new shoes.

8/19 27 miles, camp at Indian Pass. Start of the detour around Glacier Peak due to washed out bridge on PCT. Climbs, descents, views at Grizzly Peak, pretty lake Pear & Sallyann. Two guys bear hunting.

8/20 Tough day of hiking, 25 miles. White River trail – very brushy & unmaintained. Long climb over Boulder Pass, great views. Napeequa Creek ford – no problem. Exhausting bushwhack climb up to remote & secluded High Pass Basin to camp.

8/21 Four months on the trail. 28 miles, camp 3 miles from High Bridge Ranger Station. Plan to catch early bus to Stehekin tomorrow.

High Pass at 7,ooo ft; camp at 2,ooo ft. Awesome mountain scenery early, deep river canyon late. Toes are raw, body needs shower & clean clothes.

8/22 Easy 5 miles to Stehekin Valley Road bus shuttle pick-up. Bus stops at fabulous bakery then to Lake Chelan Landing. P.O. closed, phone busy! Must get errands done before last shuttle back to Stehekin Valley Ranch.

Finally reach Sue with surprise news about early finish coming. Got package in time for bus ride. Second stop at bakery then got a cabin at Stehekin Valley Ranch. Had lunch, shower, laundry (line dry), nap.

In afternoon, lounge in hammock reflecting on four month journey. It has been the toughest mental & physical challenge of my life. Felt I truly tested my limits.

Folks at another cabin invited me over for drinks on their deck. All went to dinner in dining hall. Fantastic food, 8 pies for dessert. Sat & talked with all the people drinking coffee & tea until 10 pm. Recharged for the last four days of the trail.

8/23 25 effortless miles, camp at Cutthroat Pass where I had taken friends hiking years ago.

Great ranch breakfast this morning: Omelet, biscuits, pancakes, hashbrowns, bacon. Help yourself lunch making table set up. Made a huge Dagwood sandwich, apples & cookies.

Cabin friends gave me ride to trail, hike with them a while. Steady climb & rain headed to Rainy Pass then Cutthroat Pass. Windy, cold night but protected campsite.

8/24 Another effortless day of hiking. 30 miles, camp at Windy Pass. Beautiful, sunny day of hiking, the miles are coming easy.

8/25 Why did I hike 30 miles? Because I can’t stop this hiking machine. Camp at Windy Joe Mtn PCT camp. Four miles from Manning Park.

Another beautiful day of hiking: cool morning, mild afternoon. Legs not perky but kept moving all day. Climb to 7,100 ft then downhill to US/Canada border monument. Bunch of ladies with llamas at Castle Creek. Had dinner, kept moving. Stop at 7 pm.

8/26 DONE! End of the hike. Downhill and out of the wilderness to lovely Manning Park Lodge. Arrive at 8 am, breakfast at cafe, saw “Rhino”. Made reservations for tomorrow on Greyhound & Amtrak. Sit in the sun, wait for room check-in.

Shower, lunch, nap. Beers at Bear’s Den, TV late. Ready to go home.