Friday, April 25, 2014

The Journey Begins - Week 1

Preface: I am still getting uses to this mobile blogging from the wilderness. It looks like I will be able to update once a week. Also having some issues posting pictures from my smartphone, for now I will either post text only or if I am at a place with a computer I will use that. For this post I am using the computer at the Warner Springs community center. All pictures are unedited straight out of the camera, if I can figure out a good editing app for my phone I will try and fix them up a bit.

Border Monument

Day 1: PCT mile 0 to 20

Lori dropped me off at the trailhead on Saturday morning. Since I was going to be meeting her back at the campground, I was able to slackpack the first 20 miles. This was great and I highly recommend it. The hike was really nice with many different plants in bloom. While I was hiking, Lori went into Julian for some coffee and WiFi connection. Julian is famous for its pies and luckily for me, Lori brought me back an entire pie.

Day 2: PCT mile 20 to 38

Pretty hard to say goodbye to Lori in the morning but we knew this was coming. We each have our own adventures and I know they will make us stronger individually and as a couple. The hiking was great today and I am meeting other thru hikers. We are all very clean and keen, still fresh from our regular lives. I wonder how long that will last. Made it to mile 38 today, just outside of Mt Laguna. Spending the night next to a small creek with 3 other hikers.

Desert Horned Lizard

Day 3: PCT mile 38 to 52

Hiked the 5 miles into Mt Laguna to pick up my first resupply box. Ended up having to wait 3 hours for the post office to open, it was fine though, gave me a chance to rest and eat. After resupplying has a great walk for the afternoon, brief stop at the GART faucet for water and ended up at Pioneer Mail picnic area. 52 miles done and the mellow pace is helping me to adjust to life on the trail.


Day 4: PCT mile 52 to 75

After a windy night at Pioneer Mail, I spent the day hiking through beautiful hills. The day get out overcast which was perfect for hiking and I made the 16 miles to Rodriguez Spur where the next water supply was located. Rested there for a couple of hours and then joined Eric and Andrew as they wanted to put in a few more miles. The sunset was incredible and we are all three hunkered down in our bivies trying to stay out of the wind. 75 miles done, the stars are shining overhead and life is good.

Day 5: PCT mile 75 to 94

Another windy night spent out under the stars. Woke up just before sunrise and walked the first 2 miles down to Scissors Crossing where there was a water cache. A local trail angel provides this water to hikers, without it we would have to carry a lot more water for this dry section. The trail today wound its way through Anza Borrego state park. It was very exposed, dry and sunny but beautiful as well. Many of the cacti are in bloom and the soil has a reddish color. Made the 16 miles to the second water cache, 3rd gate cache. It was very well stocked and there were quite a few hikers there. It is pretty quiet on the trail but you are sure to find people near the water sources. After topping up with 2 more liters I continued down the trail a few more miles. Staying the night with Eric and Andrew again, other hikers who l have not yet met are nearby. This spot seems to be less windy than the previous 2 nights.

Water Cache at Scissors Crossing
Bring your own shade

Day 6: PCT mile 94 to 109

After a wonderful nights sleep I was feeling good as I made my way to the next water source at Barrel Springs. After a quick stop there, I kept on through some lovely grassland with a little side trip to Eagle Rock. A little while later I was in Warner Springs eating and getting cleaned up at the local community center. Spending the night camped out with about 20 other hikers. Section A is officially finished.

Barrel Springs

Eric, Andrew and Adam at Eagle Rock

Animals seen so far:
Rabbits: 7
Random lizards: tons
Rattlesnakes: 1
Other snakes: 5
Desert horned lizard:2
Random birds: many
Ground squirrels:5
Ticks: 1 (on me)
Coyote: 1