Staying at Jeff’s hiker hostel was an inspiration. His family took us into their home and treated us with the upmost hospitality and generosity. We took several “zero” days here to rest up and get the hell out of the desert sun. This is the attic that became home for a few days.
On the 3rd day of our stay, he took us out back to shoot a couple rounds off with his 22.
On day 17, it was decided that waking up at 4:30am and hitting the trail at 5:15 was the best option. The early breakfast was inspired by a 20 mile waterless stretch that lay ahead. Knocking out 10 miles before the heat of the day allowed me to carry only 2 liters during the waterless stretch.
When it was all said and done, I arrived at the next water source at 2pm. I wasn’t dehydrated, I still had half a liter of water left. But, I was mentally and physically drained from the morning and afternoon hiking.
Of course, that’s when the trail provided something to uplift my spirits. A trail supporter must know of the difficult waterless stretch, so he/she setup a nice spot to relax and enjoy yourself.
Next to the water cache, this trail angel provided a couch and a garbage dumpster filled with some PCT Magic. Inside the dumpster was 8 different kinds of soda, various cookies, water, fruits, first aid supplies, and a trail log for thru hikers to sign. Continue reading “Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: 370 Miles North – Trail Magic”
The white bronco took another one of the hairpin turns at breakneck speed. The vehicle itself, which may have been held together by duct tape and paranoia, shrieked in protest as the driver gunned the engine and took another turn like he was in a car chase. Maybe he thought he was. No this isn’t OJ- this is D-Wayne. Not Dwayne. Not D. Wayne. D-Wayne.
“Is it Dwayne or Dee Wayne?”
D-Wayne was our driver, as he stopped at our extended thumbs and asked, “where yer heded?” We told him Big Bear, and we clambered into the front seat. Finna sat in the middle and could be seen trying to keep his body from flying side to side as D-Wayne floored the car around each corner.
” You know bout dem kim trails?”
As we are both hiking, and could barely understand the words coming out of this guys mouth, we assumed he was talking about some nature trail in the area, despite us telling him we were from across the country.
Tantalus stands in a pool of clear, sweet, water, in the shade of a fragrant fruit tree. He is racked with an insatiable hunger and is dying of thirst. But, every time he stretches his boney fingers towards the tree or his cracked lips to the water, it moves just out of reach. As I made my way down the 167th switchback of Fuller Ridge, and I wasn’t halfway down yet, I understood Tantalus’ predicament- temptation without satisfaction. Continue reading “Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Descent into Madness”
He sat in the dirt resting his back against a graffiti covered wall. Cleanliness had long since become a secondary thought, and a little dust would not make a difference anyway. Grime is caked upon his legs and face, and found comingling with the dried sweat on his shirt. Someone hands him a small plastic bottle of cheap tequila. He takes a swig without much thought and passes it on in a fog. Next to him, two bearded me in cotton sweat suites eat cold beans out of ziploc bags- with their hands.
On April 17, I began my Pacific Crest Trail thru hike. Traveling north from the Mexican border, I will reach Canada sometime in early September. I’m currently in a small town called Idyllwild, about 175 miles north of Mexico.
Mileage completed: 179 miles
Miles per day: 17.9 miles
The journey began on April 17th, 2014. Finna, my hiking comrade, and I found ourselves in the shadow of the southern monument, buzzing with anticipation and excitement. I wanted to cry- or whoop for joy, but I couldn’t decide, so I just stood and smiled. My hand touched the cracked wood of the monument with the inscription “Pacific Crest Trail, Mexico to Canada” and it was finally real. After years of wanderlust and planning, I am where I should be. Its been said that passionate people give all of themselves to their dreams, so i started my 6 million step journey by jumping two feet in. I was all in, literally and metaphorically. So I began to walk and soon realized that the green tunnels of the east were gone and a new challenge lay ahead. The trail is serpentine and it winds it’s way along the outside of most peaks like a constrictor suffocating it’s next victim. It is gently graded and is certainly lacking in any real uphill climbs found every few miles on the AT. But, it has not been easy. The desert sun and heat are a formidable duo and I’m pretty sure they killed Shade, because it is not to be found for long tracts of trail. Water must be in the witness protection program because you can only find it in shady places or from a hose behind a general store. Continue reading “Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: A Beginning to a Long Walk”