The Alabama Hills & Other Adventures on Cali’s 395.

The Alabama Hills & Other Adventures on Cali’s 395.

The contrast between the Alabama Hills, and the eastern escarpment of California’s Sierra Nevada mountains is something to behold. Below; smooth, earth tones abound, as stacks of monzogranite boulders lay scattered in all directions. Above; a sharp, blue wall of glowing granite, with Mt. Whitney serving as the highest spear tip. Tucked into the labyrinth, hide natural arches. The best part, it’s just one stop on the outdoor playground that is, California’s HW395! Continue reading The Alabama Hills & Other Adventures on Cali’s 395.

Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows – Why I hate the desert and will venture there no more.

Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows – Why I hate the desert and will venture there no more.

I try to add something extra to my blog posts. Instead of just a slide show of my actions over a period of time, I like to describe the trail, and any experiences that transcend the individual and illustrates what makes walking such an immense distance so worthwhile and beneficial to mind, body, and spirit. However, if Bob Dylan, John Lennon, and Charles Dickens decided to have a child together, that baby would fail if asked to write a kind word about the trail betwixt (OK there is one nice word) Tehachapi and Kennedy Meadows. So instead, for the sake of future hikers, I will give a brief account of this section and maybe brag a bit about a special day I spent hiking…for 43 miles.

After leaving Tehachapi, all your guide books will lie to you and tell you that you are in the Sierra Nevada. You are not. You are in a hellish landscape of fire and brimstone, where water does not exist and the earth has decided that the bottoms of your shoes should melt if you stand still long enough.

I wanted no part of it. And thus, my hiking style changed to a ‘hike the hell out of here’ technique. I left Tehachapi late, because my ride decided to check three different hotels for other hikers, and then wait for said hikers to finish eating breakfast, despite the fact that they had just sat down to start eating. So instead of a 10 minute drive to the trailhead at 7am, it was a 2.5 hour drive to the trailhead at 9:30. No big deal-except for the fact that it would be over 100 degrees for the next 5 days. Continue reading “Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Tehachapi to Kennedy Meadows – Why I hate the desert and will venture there no more.”

Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Descent into Madness

Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Descent into Madness

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Darwin passes 200 miles!

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”

Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Bridge People

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.

It was about this time I contemplated if I was a hiker, or a homeless man lurking under a bridge in the desert. Choice- It is the only difference between a hiker and a bum, and maybe a $200 down jacket. Continue reading “Pacific Crest Trail Thru Hike: Bridge People”