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.
Was up around 5:30 and on the trail before 6:00am. Didn't make coffee since I was unsure of the water situation at Kelso Valley Road. In 1996 I had to walk a mile down the road to a cow pond that was fed by a spring.
Listened to a Marc Maron and Nerdist podcast on my way down to the road. Got there and there was a huge cache of water there. Maybe about 75 gallons.
Made some coffee and beans for breakfast. Saw about three hikers come through. The guy hiking with Tower is named "Thirsty Boots", I liked that name. Tower hiked the PCT in 2007 and is doing it again this year. They are in their 50's or so.
I remember this area pretty well for the most part. It is kind of funny how hiking this trail now is almost and entirely new experience since it has been 17 years (19 in the case of Washington)
After the road I hiked a couple of miles and stopped to get some rocks out of my shoe. I saw U-turn (who had left before me), apparently he ended up on some other trail.
The wind was its usual annoying self. It kept the heat down I guess. I would much rather have heat over wind though.
When I think of my 1996 hike and this particular area, there is one spot on the trail where I had Husker Du's "Chartered Trips" in my head. I could no longer identify that spot.
Had 12 miles in by around 11:30am. It was another seven miles or so to Bird Spring Pass. I figured I would be there by around 2:30 or so. It ended up being almost 4:00pm. The wind was blazing and the trail had been screwed up by the motorcycle jackasses riding their bikes on the trail. Rather than a firm packed trail, it was all torn up and like walking on deep beach sand.
In my 1996 photos there is a photo of me standing next to these three huge boulders stacked ontop of each other. I think it is gone now since I could no longer find the spot.
I did however see that the abandoned school bus I have in a 1996 photo is still down in this ravine. It is much more rusted now. I kept on walking thinking I should go check it out. "Maybe I will come back here sometime".
I thought it was a bit absurd that I was this close to it and was not going. I dropped my pack and walked down the ravine to the bus. Before I got to the bus I saw this little fenced off area that was maybe four feet square. Inside the fenced area was a creepy looking mine shaft that went straight down 75 feet (as I later found out from the PCT guidebook). I went and checked out the bus and the inside looked a little familiar, almost as if I had walked down to it in 1996 and completely forgotten it. Didn't find anything else there other than another mine shaft that was partially filled in with long logs.
Got to Bird Spring pass and there was a water cache there. There is a dirt road that sees little traffic (if any). In 1996 I had just happened to meet a guy driving a truck who stopped and asked if I wanted any water. I had got some but not enough, I was horribly out of water a few miles later since it was so hot. I can remember going into the next spring feeling really dehydrated.
This was not the case this time, there was another 75 gallons of water or so. I made dinner there and chatted a bit with a couple other hikers. I am both behind and ahead of the people I have been traveling with, so I feel a little like I'm the new kid in school. I did talk with u-turn as he was leaving. I told him about the bluetooth keyboard I am using to type journal entries on and he seemed really interested. If I was having to type these things on the phone directly they would be much, much shorter. Luke (from the Hiker Town day) showed up with a couple other people, he was going to camp there at the pass.
The dinner I had (flavored instant potatoes, rehydrated green beans, bacon bits) powered me up the 1500 foot climb. I had to go to the bathroom really bad and there was no place to go so I had to really step on it to get up the hill. That same feeling you have in a city can happen out here too.
I hiked until about 8:30 and then started looking for a spot to camp. I had passed a few hikers earlier, Blur (new guy I met) said there were spots near him, but I felt the urge to keep moving. I found one spot in a drainage, but it felt a bit "off". I looked around and saw a few beer cans which seemed odd, we were not super close to the trail nor road. I also
saw fresh pee (or some liquid) in the dirt there so I just moved on another half mile or so.
I think the last two days might be the longest amount of distance I have covered. 27 yesterday and today (roughly). If I can do two more that will leave me with only a few miles to do on Saturday where I will resupply at Kennedy Meadows.
Kennedy Meadows is a big place on the PCT since it more or less signifies the end of the desert and the start of the mountains. It is pretty much just a rural store and campground. Apparently they show movies on Friday and Saturday night, so I figured that would be a good excuse to push the miles, we will see how it goes.