PCT2016 Daily Journal

Southern California

Mile 0 – Mile 702.2

The hot and arid stretches of the Pacific Crest trail, from the Mexico border (Mile 0) through to the gateway of the Sierra Nevada mountains at Kennedy Meadows South (Mile 702.2).

Day 1: Getting this show on the road…

Day 2: Is that a scamper, or a rattle…?!

Day 3: Looks good enough to drink…

Day 4: Boisenberry Apple Crumb…

Day 5: Beyond the desert…

Day 6: Scrubbing behind the ears…

Day 7: Listen to your body, not your brain…

Day 8: Where Roman extravagance bisects the PCT… (NERO)

(The Mountain Fire Closure, forces a detour through mountain roads, surface streets and alternative trails, avoiding 151.8 – 178)

Day 9: Feeling Elevated…

Day 10: What goes up, must come down…

(The Lake Fire Closure, forced a detour from Ziggy and the Bears in Cabazon, CA directly to Big Bear, CA thus eliminating 55 miles of trail from 210.8 – 266.1)

Day 11: A little bit of everything…

Day 12: Turning the corner, of happiness and sadness…

Day 13: Would you like fries with that…

Day 14: Scrub-a-dub…

Day 15: Doing things the Wright(wood) way…

Day 16: From Dawn to Dusk…

Day 17: On Memorial Day – taking time to remember…

Day 18: A taste of hotter things to come…

Day 19: Adjusting to the new normal…

Day 20: Variety is the spice of life…

(Powerhouse Fire Closure forced a detour from miles 478.2 – 517.6)

Day 21: Hiding from the sun…

Day 22: Easing back into the real world

Off-Trail Days 1 – 16: The benefit of hindsight… (ZERO)

Resupply: Mojave, CA

Day 23: What the hell am I even doing here…

Day 24: Boots on the ground…

Day 25: Out of the frying pan and into the fire…

Day 26: Dealing with the inevitable…

(Due to a major forest fire in the vicinity of the trail, the PCT closed whilst I was day-camped at Bird Spring Pass, forcing me to abandon miles 630.8 – 652.1)

Day 27: Staying one step ahead…

Day 28: Making the final push…

The Sierra Nevada

Mile 702.2 – Mile 1153.4

The glorious Sierra Nevada, the backbone of California, arguably (with much competition) the most incredible section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Starting from Kennedy Meadows South (Mile 702.2).

Day 29: At the gates of the Sierra… (NERO)

Resupply: Kennedy Meadows (South), CA

Day 30: Cowboys and thunder…

Day 31: Peeking back and looking forward…

Day 32: As the doors open to the main event…

Day 33: Mt.Whitney and the great high Sierra…

Day 34: Finding beauty in unexpected places…

Day 35: Because they can’t all go swimmingly well…

Day 36: Celebrating the fourth…

Day 37: Reaching deeper, higher, and snowier…

Day 38: Rumors and hearsay…

Day 39: Making it to a friendly port…

Resupply: Vermillion Valley Resort, CA

Day 40: Where every cloud has a Silver (Pass) lining…

Day 41: A hop, skip, and a hike…

Day 42: Sunday is the day of rest… (ZERO)

Resupply: Mammoth Lakes, CA

Day 43: Failure to disengage…

Day 44: Closing in on Yosemite…

Day 45: Resupply in paradise…

Resupply: Tuolumne Meadows, CA

Day 46: Bats, bees and birds…

Day 47: Hitting the big 1-0-0-0…

Day 48: Walking to the clouds…

Resupply: Kennedy Meadows (North), CA

Day 49: Breaking bad…

Day 50: Couples therapy…

Day 51: Rolling into Tahoe…

Day 52: Ice cream and beer fix all ails…

Day 53: Making the most of the Desolation…

Northern California

Mile 1153.4 – Mile 1689.2

There is little consensus in anecdotal PCT discussions about where the Sierra Nevada section ends, and the loose term for Northern California starts. In the context of my planning, I called it as Donner Pass (1153.4), close to where Interstate 80 bisects the trail. Geologically, apparently its a little beyond Belden, CA. In my maps, they listed South Lake Tahoe. It is what it is! Northern California came with suggestions of long, waterless stretches and mundane boring landscapes coupled with ‘trail depression’ and/or worse. I found the section to be fascinating. Glorious in its remoteness, vistas of unexpected volcanoes and magnificent ridge-top hiking for miles upon miles. Its lack of traffic (it seemed that a huge portion of hikers dropped out at Lake Tahoe) coupled with the great weather made it a section of unexpected and much savored memories.

Day 54: Returning to familiar places…

Day 55: A slow start to the day… (NERO)

Day 56: Making up for lost time…

Day 57: Getting hitched in Reno… (NERO)

Day 58-59: New York New York… (ZERO)

Resupply: Sierra City, CA

Day 60: Catching up with myself…

Day 61: Keeping it simple…

Day 62: Life below the tree-line…

Day 63: Backstage passes on the Pacific Crest Trail…

Resupply: Belden, CA

Day 64: Closing on the half-way point…

Day 65: Feeling like family…

Day 66: Neither here nor there…

Day 67: Making the Hat trick…

Day 68: Making myself at home…

Day 69: Burney Falls and beyond…

Day 70: Ridge to ridge…

Day 71: Nearly there, wherever that is, to I-5 and beyond…

Resupply: Castella, CA

Day 72: Crossing to the dark side…

Day 73: Westbound and down…

Day 74: Ridgetop bliss…

Day 75: Engaged in the eternal search for the perfect pie…

Day 76: Rest day in Etna… (ZERO)

Resupply: Etna, CA

Day 77: Escaping Etna…

Day 78: The episode where I live in an RV park…

Day 79: At home in the State of Jefferson…

Day 80: Escaping the grasp of California…

Oregon

Mile 1689.2 – Mile 2144.6

Instantly alluring, Oregon was that tangible milestone we all yearned to reach for the last few weeks. Practically speaking of course, little changed when we entered Oregon, but it was worth the wait, if for the intangibles alone. From Crater Lake through to Mt.Hood. Oregon’s gentle terrain provided the respite we needed, with the views to keep us pushing onwards.

Day 81: To Oregon and beyond…

Day 82/83: Zero’ing out in Ashland… (ZERO)

Resupply: Ashland, OR

Day 84: Back to the ‘real’ (hiking) world…

Day 85: Sneaky breakfasts, when nobody is looking…

Day 86: Magic and Mt.McLoughlin…

Day 87: Swinging from highs to lows, and back again…

Day 88: To Crater Lake and beyond…

Resupply: Crater Lake, OR

Day 89: Bouncing with no springs…

Day 90: Seeking Shelter at the Cove…

Resupply: Shelter Cove, OR

Day 91: Hiking to Ireland (Lake)…

Day 92: Sprinting for a burger…

Day 93: Setting up for a summit push…

Day 94: A busy day at the office. South Sister, then back to business…

Day 95: Lava fields and distant peaks…

Day 96: Hitting town, on a Bend(er)…

Resupply: Bend, OR

Day 97: Walking 2000 miles and more… (NERO)

Day 98: A day in the clouds…

Day 99: The day I walked fifty miles…

Day 100: A short hop to Timberline…

Resupply: Timberline Lodge, OR

Day 101: Under the shadow of Mt.Hood…

Day 102: All the way down to Eagle Creek…

Day 103: So close it hurts… (NERO)

Day 104: So whats the rush… (ZERO)

Resupply: Cascade Locks, OR

Washington State

Mile 2144.6 – Mile 2650

The serene, the magnificent, the turbulent and the ever green. Washington stole my heart. The jewel of the Pacific Northwest, from the highest of volcanoes, to the deepest of glacial valleys. The greens, the light, the snows, the rains and the final autumn gold as we finally completed the trail on the Canadian border.

Day 105: Crossing into paradise…

Day 106: Pushing things too far… (ZERO)

Day 107: Sleeping under the brightest stars…

Day 108: Delighting in Indian Heaven…

Day 109: Under the gaze of Mt.Adams…

Day 110: The Goat Rocks…

Day 111: When the rain caught up…

Day 112: To White Pass and beyond…

Resupply: White Pass (Packwood, WA)

Day 113: Rain, hail, sleet and snow…

Day 114: Happy to dry out…

Day 115: Just 2 resupplies to go…

Resupply: Snoqualmie Pass, WA

Day 116: Hauling out of Snoqualmie Pass…

Day 117: Chilled to the core…

Day 118: Wandering through the clouds…

Day 119: Pretending I’m a real person… (ZERO)

Resupply: Stevens Pass, WA

Day 120: Time for the final push north…

Day 121: Immersed in the color and the light…

Day 122: In the shadow of a giant…

Day 123: From one river camp to the next…

Day 124: Stehekin and a brief touch of paradise…

Resupply: Stehekin, WA

Day 125: Sparing the words for the pictures…

Day 126: Second to last, but up there with the best…

Day 127

FIN