I first hiked the Pacific Crest Trail over the course of 1994 and 1996, then I hiked the whole thing in one go in 2013. During the latter hike I kept this website updated as I progressed up the trail. I still have about 45 hours of video to edit, but in the meantime there is a lot for you to look at here. Over the course of the 168 days I wrote 138,734 words and put 13,644 photos on this website.
Woke up and got things packed up. Walked down to the picnic area and onto the highway. The road walk was actually a nice change of pace for a bit. Some hikers will even walk the road a lot longer than they need to. The PCT crosses the Angeles Crest Highway 2 about nine times, if you walk the highway it is a lot shorter distance. Then again, you could walk I-5 from Mexico to Canada a lot faster than you could walk the PCT.
I was only a little over two miles of roadwalk, but I got to see stuff I wouldn't have otherwise. I heard a truck honk and when it went past me I saw a couple (um nameless) hikers in the back. Some hikers need to walk the entire way, others don't care if they take rides. I'm in the former camp. If I were taking rides I would take a ride around all of Southern California, since it isn't um, optimal enjoyment.
Cora had to have surgery this morning and told me to think about her so I listened to the New Bad Things for most of the morning.
Got to the Burkhart Camp and exploded my pack onto a picnic table. Saw Willow and Turtle camped there. I dried stuff out and cleaned myself up a bit. Turtle came over to ask me about the water situation up north. He saw the Bike Routes of Portland bandana that I was drying out in the sun and got all excited. "Portland! I went to college there, at PSU back in the late 80's". I showed him about where I lived on the map. He tried to describe where he had lived and I helped him remember the name "Sellwood".
A nice woman in a nearby camp asked me about the trail. She mentioned seeing a brown recluse spider last night, and the acid she had done the night before. Probably a good thing those two events didn't happen on the same night. She told me her boyfriend had been bit by one of those spiders and had a baseball sized lump in his back for a bit.
Turtle and Willow headed up to walk the road and I headed towards the PCT. After a lot of climbing, dropping, and walking in every direction the PCT ended up crossing Highway 2 again at Cloudburst Summit. Had I walked from the Burkhart Campground to Cloudburst Summit I could have saved about 2-3 hours, but my linear focus to hiking the PCT would not allow that.
Didn't really think about much of anything on the walk, although at one point if I had the Internet available I would have looked up the wikipedia page for an Afterburner (like on a jet). I am thinking about getting a jetboil stove and thought of how my old MSR stove could be called the MSR Afterburner since it is so loud and shoots flames if it is not hot enough.
Crossed the 400 mile mark and soon ran into Giggles and Suncup. I ended up eating lunch with them at this Boy Scout cabin which was also the last decent water source for 20 miles or so.
As the day moved on it got much hotter. By the time of the last crossing of Highway 2 I was pretty worn out. There was a box near the highway with a sign on it for PCT hikers. It was from someone named Bear and there was all kinds of fresh fruit inside.
I rested a bit at the roadside rest area. Looks like the socks that I bought at the dollar store are good for about 12 miles on the pct before they start developing holes. I changed socks and took a bit of a break. A hiker I had met the other day at the McDonalds soon came up.
By about 4:00pm it had cooled a bit so I continued on. Saw the hiker again and he was stopped and looking at me. Turns out there was a king snake on the trail. He wondered if it was a coral snake and I said no.
I went to a family reunion in 1988 and was a little bored. I was reading a national geographic and saw a thing about snakes. King snakes have red touching black, while coral snakes have red that touches yellow. "Red touch yellow...kill a fellow, red touch black, good for Jack".
I was packing five liters of water since the next good water was some distance away and was slowing me down a bit. A fire had been through the area and there was poodlebrush everywhere. Eventually (and after much climbing) I reached the 7000 foot level and looked for a place to camp. A fire had been burning in the valley below and it made for a nice effect with the sun going down. I spent a while looking for a place to camp, one that was somewhat flat, out of the heavy wind coming from the west, and one not near a burnt tree that looked like it might fall at any moment.
I finally was able to also have cell service and saw that Cora's surgery went well. Called her and talked a bit, then made dinner.
Looks like I'll be getting into Agua Dulce sometime Friday night or so. Going to camp on the edge of town and then go to the Saufley's house on Saturday morning...at least that is the plan right now. The plan before that is to go to sleep right now.