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 around 4:15 and looked at the sky. It was still dark but I could see the day coming. Rather than doing the smart thing and turning my alarm off, I forgot about it and kept staring off at the sky. It was on that annoying audio sound too so I scrambled to get the thing shut off before it woke everyone up.
Since I had done most of my packing the night before I just had to get dressed. My alarm went off again. I cussed and got it shut off, but I could here people nearby turning about. Someone got up out of their trailer, went outside, peed next to it, then went back inside. I had made enough noise already that I put my pack on and carried my sleeping bag and food in my arms. Somehow I managed to get everything out to the road in one trip. I packed things up and started walking back to the PCT.
The morning walk was really cold. It was finally so cold that I had to put my gloves on for the first time this whole trip, at least for any length of time.
I hadn't had any coffee yet and was kind of wishing I had just left yesterday afternoon. It isn't really a concern with trying to be ahead of people, I just don't want to have to be pushing 25 mile days through Washington just to try and get to Canada in time.
Got to the first crossing of the Kern River and made coffee. It improved my mood a great deal. There was leftover water so I figured that would be a good reason to make some beans and rice for breakfast. I had eggs and hashbrowns originally for this leg of the trip, but that was before I changed stoves. Can't really cook those things on a jetboil stove, at least with my setup.
As I was eating, Detour came around the corner and said hello. He was camped nearby. Lighting Rod and a couple other people came by as I was getting ready to leave. He had a bag of cookies, so I stayed a bit longer.
The hike up to Beck Meadow was nice. Well, the forest was burnt but even with that it wasn't like the burnt forests in Southern California.
A couple of southbound hikers came down the trail. He told me I wouldn't be needing my ice axe. I said that I knew that, but didn't have any way of mailing it home from Kennedy due to their setup. Anyways, I discovered that the ice axe works great for hanging my flip flops off of. They are much quicker to get at now. The other bonus is that when I had to go to the bathroom, the axe works wonders with digging a hole.
Went to check how far I was from the next meadow and I realized I could move the two iphone apps I use the most to the front screen, rather than in their "PCT" folder. I went on an organizing kick after Aurora from Perth, Australia (age 10) scolded me for not keeping my apps organized. You can see her as a young child on the main lunky.com site, somewhere in late December 2002.
Reached Beck meadow figured out it was one of the places I took a photo in 1996. It took me a while to figure out where I was standing in the original photo but I got pretty close. Ended up taking a few more photos when Detour and another guy, plus Tower and Thirsty Boots.
The second Kern River crossing came about a few hours later. The only interesting (if you could call it that) was when I was getting closer to another hiker and they let out a huge fart, not knowing I was there. I backed off a bit and then started making more noise than normal so they would see me and let me pass.
I had a few photos from 1996 taken at this river crossing. I had forgotten that a whole horde of swallows occupied the gaps under the bridge. A bunch of us laid in the tall grass by the river and relaxed. For once I actually felt relaxed and wasn't feeling the need to keep pushing on. Since we are out of the desert now there is less need to keep moving.
I was drying out my sleeping bag and later ended up crawling into it and falling asleep. The sun was out but the shaded portions were cold. I woke up to one of the hikers that was carrying a guitar singing a song I had been singing in my head the whole week prior to reaching Tehachapi/Mojave. Little Feat's "Willin'". He was singing it and it was such a nice way to wake up. I told him thanks and that I had that song stuck in my head a couple weeks ago because of the Tehachapi reference. I also gave him the missing verse he was struggling to remember (Smuggled some folks and smokes up from Mexico..) He was really surprised I knew the song and I told him how I had heard a few different versions. It turns out he thought it was by this singer/songwriter Richard (?). Later on Purple Haze showed up and he too mentioned how he had put that song "Willin'" on his iPod too. After the guy left I found out his trail name was "Jug". He got this name because he carried a jug of gatorade on the trail. No hiking poles, just a milk jug of gatorade.
Met another hiker named Five Star who had just turned 40. He was a manager at the North Face store in Beverly Hills prior to hopping onto the PCT. He got his trail name when he had bailed on his motel room and went to the nicer motel across the street. Some of the hikers were laughing at this and gave him that name.
The water looked a bit scarce after here so I loaded up five liters and took off. The trail had a significant climb and I could really feel all the weight. It took me two Pixies albums to get up the hill to camp. Detour and I kept leapfrogging each other because I would stop to take a picture or he would stop to take a quick break. He hikes pretty fast but stops often, hence we go about the same pace.
At some point Detour must have stopped to camp because I kept pushing it hard up past the 10000 foot mark. I wanted tonight to be the first camp above 10000 feet and I was able to get up here just after the sun went down. Thankfully since I have the G15 camera again I could get some photos. I also finally figured out how to lock the exposure in the video mode, better late than never I guess.
Made dinner and then broke a sweat trying to get the damn lid back on my bear canister. It screws down 95% of the way and stops short of the locking tabs.
Time for bed, tomorrow is a little bit of uphill and then it drops a bit. Need to figure out the next couple of days so I can set myself up for camping on top of Mt. Whitney.