110 Miles

April 29, 2010

Well I’ve made it to Warner Springs Resort!  110 miles in!  Exciting.  So far so good basically.  Lots has happened, where to start…

I stuck around at the kickoff, met some great great people.  The hike in from the border was cold and rainy, but trail magic from trail hikers, Guthook and Kentucky Blue took my cold butt into town to nurish with some soup.  The rest of the kickoff was uneventful and warm.

Set out on Sunday solo.  Hiked 19ish miles to around Mt. Laguna.  Camped with some great people: Ann, Wolf Taffy, Shamus, Ryan and Sam.  Ukelele playing ensued about the girl both Shamus and Wolf Taffy dated.  Crazy universe collision there.

What else… Hiked the next day to Sunrise highway for 20 miles.  Hiked the day after that 18 miles to Scissors Crossing, where at miles 77. something miles there was still very active border patrol on microphones at 4:30 in the am.  Woke that day around then and hiked to third gate cache (where there is a water supply brought in by a miraculous soul).  Took a nap there, hiked in there with Guthook, who is faster, but we ended in the same place at the same time.  Finished that day at Barrel Springs with crazy trail magic.  People in RVs from San Diego had chili, hot dogs, hot chocolate, brownies, beer, crazy good things, it was a very welcome sight after a 23 mile day. 

Then hiked in to Warner Springs today with Guthook, Neon, Shameus, Wolf Taffy in a room.  There are hot springs here too, I’m about to check them out.  I don’t think they will hold a candle to the boiling river. We will see though. 

The weather has been mostly good, windy the other day, reminded me of Patagonia.  This time I did it solo though, but felt prepared.  Have met some great, great people.  I’m excited and overwhelmed by the trail, but I think that is probably about how it is supposed to be.

Snow ahead!

Miss all you guys. Thank for all of your comments, they are encouraging to read!

In SD!

April 21, 2010

This will be quick… In San Diego.  Staying at the home of amazing trail angels.  It is raining and warm.  Going to finish up some last minute things, relax, and head out tomorrow.

Bye Bozeman!

April 20, 2010

I’m leaving in a couple of hours to board a plane to San Diego!

I’ve gone back and forth today between being really, really excited and then really, really nervous.  Thoughts of “what the heck am I doing” have definitely gone through my head, but then I’m excited again.  Right now I’m excited.

I just mailed off my first resupply box to Warner Springs.  I repacked it to include full crampons and an ice axe.  There are rumors of hairy conditions in the San Jacintos.  I haven’t yet decided if I am going to walk around this portion or attempt it.  It will definitely be weather based and based on information of people who have gone through already.  It is Spring so I’m sure conditions change quickly like they do here in Montana, for better or for worse.  So that seems like it will be the first challenge and I’ll be hitting that obstacle in about 2 weeks.

Some people have been asking about my gear, I don’t have very much.  The basic run down:

-Feathered Friends Egret 20 degree down bag, I love love love this bag

-TarpTent

-ULA Equipment Circuit Pack

-Evernew Titanium Pot

-Alcohol Stove

-OR 10 oz warm jacket, this thing is so light, but really warm

-Rain coat

-Sierra Design Rain/wind pants

-Sunshirt

-Trekking Poles

-Some long underware

-Katadyn Hiker Pro water filter that hopefully won’t break and some aquamira for backup

-First Aide

-Compass and a GPS, at least for awhile, it soothes some peoples fears and I guess mine too, although I minimally know how to use it.  I’ve got the waypoint thing figured out though so I guess that’s good.

-Lots o’ water.

-Probably some other stuff I’m leaving out.

-A sweet tiny knife from Columbia River Knife and Tool, it weights 0.3 oz and is really cute.

The base weight of my pack, meaning no food and water, is 17.5 pounds, not too bad.  I’m little so hopefully that won’t be too heavy, but I don’t think it will be, the pack fits like a dream.

Well, ready or not, I’m off to California and the border.  I start hiking on Thursday and will spend the weekend at the kickoff.  Then I will trek to Warner Springs and hopefully arrive there next Thursday, then into the excitement that is the San Jacintos will begin in some form or another.

Thanks for reading! Catch you on the flip side!

Note: I wrote this yesterday, but didn’t post it until today… Final post before leaving will be coming soon!

I’m leaving for San Diego in 2 days!  Two Days! Today I finished moving out of my house, at least my things.  Mostly now I’m transferring them to my resupplier extraordinaire.  Everything that I could possibly need, and probably am not going to need, I have at the ready.

It has kind of been a pain in these last few days in that if I have an issue I need to address it immediately.  Case in point, my water filter!  My trusty Katadyn Hiker Pro kicked the bucket after 10+ years of excellent filtering capabilities.  This filter predated my hiking probably, I’m not really sure though I “borrowed” it from my dad.  Anyway, rather than try to repair the faulty connector only to have it break during some catastrophic time on the trail where there is going to be a trough for horses filled with dead rats, I have decided that I would get a new one.

Another thing, I didn’t perfect the fine features of my stove until a few days ago.  Since I didn’t know if I was going to be really hiking the PCT until 1.5 weeks ago I had only half-heartedly played with building alcohol stoves.  Some of models worked sometimes, other times not so much.  In the sun it is impossible to see the blue flames coming out of the stove to know if it is working, you just have to listen.  This was worrisome, so I abandoned that design and went with a simpler, less efficient, but more reliable version.  Hopefully it works, it has not been tested much.  It should be good though.

So hopefully other issues will not continue to crop up.

It works!

April 15, 2010

Finally, I have a blog up!

I am about the hike the PCT!  I am leaving on Tuesday for San Diego.  I only found this out 5 days ago after I got a no from a potential job.  So instead of heading down under I am heading westward and southward to the California/Mexico border.  The past few days have been CRAZY!  I have found a storage unit, packed, started to move into the storage unit, made lists, made more lists, bought food, tested stoves, seam sealed the tent, finished babysitting twice, and am starting to wrap up tutoring.  Operating last minute is not my style.  I hate being pressed for time and feeling rushed and more than slightly unprepared for the adventure ahead.  I am still working out the details of my cooking stoves.  I have a only-understandable-to-me itinerary currently that will hopefully be translated to a better format to be understood by those who need to.  So a whirlwind to say the least…

Backing up…  The Pacific Crest Trail is a trail that runs from the border of California/Mexico to the Washington/Canada border, that is 2700 miles roughly.  This will take me until about September, so awhile.  While the distance is much shorter going straight from point A to point B, this way takes me though deserts, the Sierra, forests, old volcano terrain, the Cascades, and more.  Exciting!  So I am going to attempt it.

The first conception of this crazy attempt of an adventure happened in January of 2009, when I could start to see the end of my master’s degee and wondered what to do next.  I had heard of the Pacific Crest Trail before and the idea stuck me around then to do it after I finished school.  I started buying gear last fall and planning this winter.  Then I got side tracked for awhile by a potential neat job.  Now I’m back to the original plan and it feels like the right thing to do in my life now.

This wasn’t much of an epic post to begin my blog, but I have many things to get done.  I’m not sure how much I will update this, my mom might do some journal transcribing for me, but we’ll see.

Thanks for reading!