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.
Went over two passes today. Kind of back on track again.
Woke up and was out of camp real fast because there were a lot of mosquitoes. Had a climb and four miles ahead of me to Pinchot Pass. Could have stopped for coffee and breakfast but really wanted to do that on the pass. Picked up three liters of water for the pass cooking at what I thought was the last water source. Walked about a mile and here was another stream. Oh well.
It took me almost exactly one Best Show podcast (2.5 hours) to get from camp to the top of the pass. There were a couple of hikers there on top. Turns out they were PCT hikers, Shangri-La and Yeah Yeah. They had bailed off the trail at the Saufley's and went up to Kennedy Meadows. They were sick of the desert and wanted to get to the mountains, so missing 250 miles of trail didn't bother them at all. I ended up taking a clock photo of them before they headed down.
A couple of other hikers passed by before I left. I made coffee and dinner for breakfast.
The descent down into the King's Canyon creek valley was good. I realized I really need to eat a heavier meal for breakfast and have coffee to get into the groove.
Got to the South Fork of King's creek and jumped in. Hopefully the footage from my underwater gopro camera will turn out. I felt a lot better after the quick swim.
The trail started climbing again out of the valley. I finally reached the creek where I almost lost a shoe in 1996. Back in 1996 I had thrown my shoes over to the other side and one of them went too high and into the creek. I saw it float away and I spent a good 30 min looking for it to see if it got stuck anywhere. Just as I was about to give up I saw some yellow and blue down under the water and it was my shoe. I took a photo of myself flipping the creek off, like I had beaten it or something.
So anyway, when I got to the creek it didn't look like the correct one. Once I crossed all the mountains and rocks fell into place. I set up the photo on my tripod and since Shangri-La was there I had him take the photo and tell me where to position myself.
From there the trees dropped out as the trail got closer to Mather Pass. The whole day I was trying to remember what the deal with Mather Pass was in 1996. I couldn't even remember what it looked like, only that I had some issue with it. When I reached the pass and saw all the switchbacks I remembered. In 1996 the pass was covered in snow and it took me nearly two hours to go up, something which maybe took 20 minutes this time around since the trail was (mostly) snow free. I can remember sinking up to my waist in the snow and struggling to get to the top. Nothing like this now.
The drop down the other side of the pass took me longer than expected since there was more snow. I hit Palisade Lakes around 7:20. I saw SL and Yeah Yeah making camp.
Around 7:40 or so I reached the other lake and dropped my pack. Back in 1996 I had stopped around this point to get water. A guy came down the trail and started talking to me. He was a really interesting guy, did sound stuff in Hollywood and knew a lot about electronics. We talked a while and he said that he was camped up the hill in a secret little spot, but there was room for my tent if I wanted to camp there. I figured I wouldn't have a chance to meet anyone like this guy again soon so I took him up on his offer. We talked a long while into the night and exchanged contact info. The next year in 1997 I biked down the Pacific Coast Highway. On my journey back from San Diego I stopped by his house in Studio City and stayed with him and his wife for a night.
So anyway, I thought it would be fun to put my tent in the exact same spot, since I had a picture of it. It was a steep rocky ridge for a few miles but there were these hidden flat outcrops. It was on one of these outcrops where we had camped.
I dropped my pack, grabbed some food and my headlamp, then started climbing the hill. For the next hour and a half I went on a wild goose chase that would have probably ended any relationship. Here, there, up down, scaling rocks up, scaling rocks down, etc. I started getting a bit frustrated that I couldn't find the spot, then frustrated that I was frustrated...it wasn't THAT important. At least I was by myself. After walking a long way it got dark and I figured I was probably close to crashing in on SL and Yeah Yeah's camp, so I went back.
Got my pack and luckily I had made decent enough mental notes of where a campside was that I saw during my running around. I found the spot and made camp. It isn't exactly "level" nor does the ground stretch nor than about five feet without "dropping off", but it will do,
Mountain House and the last of the Subway cookies was dinner tonight. Fingers are getting very cold since I'm not in a tent tonight.