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.
I woke up this morning and promptly took two Advil for my foot pain/swelling. Speaking of swell, this obviously meant that it would be a swell day to walk over 21 miles too.
Stopped a few miles down the line where the turnoff to a spring was. I didn't need water but Mario and Erin were there so I made breakfast and chatted with them. They asked what I thought of Portlandia and I mentioned the Wild Flag video I was in.
Saw a lot of people on day hikes since this was the weekend. The trail dropped a great deal of elevation over the course of several hours. Ran into a girl dressed like a FS ranger but it turns out she was Heather from the PCTA. She was out doing research about what parts of the trail needed maintenance work. I asked her about Pete Fish and she smiled. "He's 83 now and still comes out and works on trail crews"
Pete Fish is a guy who I met in 1994 during my PCT hike across Washington. We later met up after Steven's Pass and walked into Canada together. It was the final section of trail he had to do. The next morning we had breakfast at the Manning Park lodge. When the waitress came by after we were done and asked if we'd like anything else, Pete replied: "another"
"Some more coffee?", asked the waitress.
"No...another omelette", said Pete.
I continued up the trail and went to blow snot out if my nose and a bunch of blood came out instead. I cleaned that up and a while later a couple backpackers heading south came by. The guy looked at the dried blood and said "ah, you too...the high desert air is so dry here!"
I took another Advil and continued down the trail towards the Rodriguez water tank. The trail passed some people who were apparently target shooting but seemed to be having a better time seeing who could use up their ammo the fastest. I could hear the bullets bouncing off rocks in every direction so I dropped the hammer and got past them.
At the tank were a few hikers who had made up makeshift shelters from their ground cloths, I did the same. It was about 85 out and pretty hot. I tried out the dehydrated peanut butter in a bag. It wasn't too bad but quite a damn mess. Next time I am using a more firm container.
I had a little bit of cell service so I looked up what to do about my foot. Rest and ice. I had ice and resting on the trail is kind of hard since I have the urge to just keep moving. I still have mixed feelings about getting on the Internet from the trail since it seems just, weird. Since I spend so much time on the Internet at home, it feels a bit like I never left. This will be less of an issue soon when cell service is apparently more spotty.
I took a clock photo of Mario and Erin before they headed out. They were going to hike the last seven miles to the highway and then hitchhike into the town of Julian for beer and food.
Marshall and I decided to hike to the highway together and then hitch to the more "Joe Lunchpail" RV park four miles to the east. A few miles in we met a couple of hikers, Joe and Nancy.
The trail parallels the highway for a good half mile, with a barbed wire fence separating the two. Joe and Nancy shuffled under the fence to get to the highway faster. I wanted to just stay on the trail until the crossing, so Marshall came along with me.
During the half mile walk alongside the road we didn't see any cars. Right as we got to the gate I saw headlights in the distance. So I made a run for it and got to the highway just as the car was approaching us and stuck my thumb out. The percent chance that someone would want to pick up two guys with backpacks, in the dark, hovers around .0928%. Guess what? That car flew right on by.
I got my stuff out to make a sign and we said that if the next car didn't pick us up we would camp and hitchhike in the morning.
As I was getting ready to make a sign a car appeared and I stuck out my thumb. The car drove by and brake lights came on, followed by an extended session in reverse gear.
The couple was coming back from an earth day celebration in San Diego. Soon we passed Joe and Nancy who were needing a ride too. The driver asked if we knew them and we said yeah. The guy said "alright! Let's go get 'em!" Soon after there were four of us plus one pack shoved into the back seat. Fleetwood Mac was playing on the CD player so it was a nice ride in.
We were dropped off and we soon had our tents up and had something called "showers".
Later on Joe and Nancy asked my name and I said Craig. Joe said "Craig? Are you Craig Craig?" I said "of planner fame, yes. "we found you! We saw your note in the planner that you were gonna be on the trail and we were hoping to meet you!"
I was asleep soon after.