In the summer of 2007 I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. I hiked the trail in 79 days 21 hours and 42 minutes, which set a new unassisted record. I also kept a daily journal and will share them with all whom wants to follow my journey on Americas great wilderness trail.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
It is these moments that I would like to share, as well as the trial and tribulations of a record setting hike. For as I progressed northward I began to understand why I enjoy hiking, and why I like covering as much ground as possible. I found the pleasure was not just in mileage, but also living in the wilds as well. The more I traveled through desert, mountains, and forrest, the more I felt alive.
I hope that by sharing my daily journals, I can touch others, and perhaps intrigue some to take a long journey into the wilderness, for this hike was one of the most incredible experiences of my life.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
It was about this time that I began to feel a warm spot on the front pad of my right foot. I tryed to solve the problem by changing my socks around and adding more layers, but nothing seemed to work. It would not be long before I would get a blister. At this point I had a more important issue, I was running low on water, and needed to get to Lake Morena.
Soon after dark, I found walking through the tall grass was nerve racking. The fear of rattlesnakes would send me jumping with every noisy step.
Around 10:00 pm I reached Bolder Oaks Camp Ground. Off in the bushes, I could hear a Thru hiker playing a harmonica. At first I found no water in the camp ground. This could mean a dry camp with no dinner, and a long walk to water in the morning. I further investigated the area and found three other Thru- Hikers. They located a small amount of water coming from the last faucet at the bottom of the hill. After greeting one another and filling my waterbag, I camped alone, at the other end of the campground. After having dinner, I investigated my feet and realized I was going to get blisters on both feet.
5/20/07 mile 26.4 > mile65 = 38.6miles
Trying to take advantage of the cool morning air, I woke up before light, gathered my things and quickly departed. As I came close to Kitchen Creek Road, I found a few oranges. This was the first random act of kindness. We hikers call this trail magic, and are always grateful to find such generosity from others. I began peeling the orange as I crossed the road, and found a piece of rug that the Illegal Aliens strap to there feet, to avoid leaving foot prints in the soft dirt.
As I finished the nice cool orange, I began wishing I would of grabbed one more. This was also about the time that my right foot began to really flare up. I stopped, and found a large golf ball size blister on the front pad. I put duck tape over it and proceded on.
5/21/07 mile 65 > mile 101.4 = 36.4 miles
At the first hint of light I proceded north, attempting to get as far as I could before the heat of the day. I also was surprised to find that my feet were not too sore.
I soon reached Rodriguez Spur Tank, and found that somebody had dropped the tank's cover inside the tank. While tryng to retrieve it, I dropped my sunglasses inside the tank as well. They were under four feet of water, and I could not see them. I did not like leaving them, for I really liked those sunglasses. I was lucky enough to have brought an extra pair. I am known for losing sunglasses, but I did not exspect to loose them so soon.
I reached sissors crossing and found plenty of water in the cache. Cosidering it was well over 100 degrees now I grabbed a gallon and barely stopped to write in the register. The sun was out in full force now, and I was entering the extremely dry, San Felipe Hills.
By the time I reached the third gate,I almost was out of water. I was happy to find water in the cache. I am always greatful to the people who haul this water to this location. It is a long way up a steap hill.
5/22/07 mile 101.4 > mile 135 = 33.6 miles
I woke up late this morning to find my feet were in extreme pain. I was having a hard time blocking out the pain. I started the day with 600mg of Advil.
I was soon in Warner Springs Resort, where I first stopped at the golf coarse restaurant, just in time for the breakfast buffet. Like always at any buffet, I got my money's worth. I was also thankful that I did not smell of skunk at this point.
I picked up my box at the post office [I mailed 24 box's to various places on or around the trail], where the employee's and I are trail friends. I bought more duck tape, ice cream, and orange juice at the gas station, and proceded north.
I then camped in the middle of the trail, cleaned my feet, as well as eating more Advil in hopes of getting a good nites sleep. Infection was now taking set in my open wounds.
5/23/07 mile 135 > mile 172 = 37 miles
I had a hard time waking up today. The first few miles were painful, until the Advil kicked in. Up until now I was trying to be possitive with my foot injuries, the pain was just starting to take its toll, and at times were just too overwelming.
I passed by Tule canyon tank without retrieving water. I had enough water to reach the Anza cache [one of the most reliable caches on the trail]. Upon arriving at the cache, I was shocked to find it empty. It was 10:00 am, pushing 100 degrees,and I was 10 miles to the next source. It was hard to keep my wits, but I just kept walking, trying not to work up too much sweat.
After a couple of miles up the trail, I came within a 1/2 mile from a residence. I went streight towards the large home and found it completely surrounded by a tall fence. I was also greeted by some barking dogs, who didn't seem too unfriendly. I yelled, "hello" a few times, with no success of contacting anyone. I then located a spicket and hose, some 10 feet behind the front gate. I made friends with the dogs, and climbed the brick collumn to the other side. After filling my water bag, I put things back the way I found them, and made my way back to the trail.
Reaching Palms to Pine Hiway, I found 3 caches of water. There was also a lot of trash from hikers who thought the caches, were also places to discard their trash. I was still carring alot of water, and just rehydrated and topped off my bottle. I also saw 3 hikers get dropped off, and they were now in front of me.
Shortly after dark, I heard what sounded like a party. On top of Fobes Saddle, there was several gallons of water, and a college party. They were using the cache to clean up with. I explained to them what the water was for, but I feel I was ignored. Having plenty of water still, I continued north and watched the party from far above.
5/24/07 mile 172 >mile 201.5 = 29.5 miles
Today I could barely stand on my feet. As the morning progressed, and the Advil kicked in, things started to look better. I found a some water before saddle junction. The San Jaciento River, had a small drip behind a large boulder, some 100 feet above the trail.
5/25/07 mile 201.5 > mile 226 = 24.5 miles
I started the morning going down hill. This was not helping my feet, and at times I could barely handle the pain. From avoiding pressure on the fronts of my feet, I am now getting large blisters on my heels. They cover the entire heel. No matter what I do I can not find comfort. I ate too many Advil to count, rearanged my socks, shoe strings, and insoles. I taped them every way possible, and nothing seemed to work.
This is when I figured the 2nd insole, was doing more harm than good. I removed it and from there on my heel's felt better.
5/26/07 mile 226 > mile 252 = 26miles
Once again I had a hard time starting the day on my feet. I began the day walking through a burned section of trail. I passed another hiker about 8:00 am. He was still in camp, so I let him be.
5/27/07 mile 252 > mile 274 = 22 miles
I woke up devistated, and beaten. I began the morning by walking down to the hiway and triing to hitch hike into town. There was no traffic,and after a 1/2 hour, I began walking to the hi way 18 crossing. These miles were real tough. I called my friend Nitro, who lives in the area, but she was on her way back from Colorado. I did make it to her cache though, where I had a soda and left her a note where I was going to be. I then proceeded to hitch into town from hi way 18, where I impatiently gave up and continued north where I at least knew I could get into town on my own. I saw a nice couple section hiking, whom met me at Van Dusen Rd. I was so grateful to get a ride to town, cause I just do not think I had it in me to go any farther.
5/28/07 0 miles
I slept all night with the tv on. Something I did not plan anywhere on this hike. I tried to get to my feet and fell to my knees. That is how I made it to the bathroom. I could not leave in this condition. I called the office and said I would be in later to pay for another night. My friend Nitro came to see me, but the lady in the office said I was sleeping and did not want to be disturbed, but the truth was I just did not have it in me, to walk to the office and pay the bill. I had the lady come to me, I ordered pizza, and called everyone with the bad news. I then made plans to attend my friend's wedding, that I had should have not missed it anyways. The only problem was I was going to have to walk to Cajon Pass, to meet my ride.
5/29/07 mile 274 > mile 293 = 19 miles
I took advantage of every last minute, in the motel room. I bandaged my feet the best I could and walked out to catch the bus to the post office, where I mailed my journals and unused items home.
5/30/07 mile 293 > mile 313 = 20 miles
I spent the morning just hanging out and waiting for Jenny to get ready. I was not in a hurry and I enjoyed her company. We talked all the way that day. It took my mind off my feet and helped me enjoy the hike a bit more. I loaned her my MP3 for a while, which she really enjoyed cause we have the same taste in music.
5/31/07 mile313 > mile 342 = 29 miles
I woke up early and started before light. I left some pistachio shells and chex mix where we were sleeping without noticeing, which was quite embarrasing. I am big on leave no trace and have been picking up trash and organizing caches the entire way.
6/1/07 miles 0
I woke up late, because I was in no hurry today. Squatch was going to pick me up for the wedding this morning. Optimist and Stopwatch arrived. We ate together and I dubbed them the sherpas cause they carry 10 to 12 days worth of food at a time. Squatch interviewed them for his next documentary on the trail. We then took off for a long drive to Truckie. I hopped behind the wheel for 15 minutes and got a speeding ticket doing 95. So Squatch took away my driving privlages. We stayed at my Mothers condo after visiting Scott and Michelle on their last night being single. I ate all their food and they all got a laugh at my ticket. My feet already felt so much better, just being off of them.
6/2/07 miles 0
Squatch and I went to breakfast before we went to the wedding where I could eat some more. I was shocked to find my feet were pretty much healed and for once only looked worse than they were. The wedding was great, and I was so happy to be there. I hung out with Trauma who walked 10,000 miles in 06, Jeff and Donna Saufley, who's house was still farther up the trail for me. I also saw my friend Adam who just set a new record on the Arizona Trail. I hung out with Shawn who has a couple of movies about the trail coming out. Tom and Sheila, from 04 are always a pleasure to see. Peter, Nona, Scott's Dad, and so many others made it so great. But of coarse, food was a priority. After the wedding, I went right to bed.
6/3/07 mile 342 > mile 350 = 8 miles
We stopped by Scott and Michelle's before heading back. Scott turned me on to some clothes I lost, and I bought a umbrella from Michelle, cause mine was broke. We drove on back and stopped for dinner with Nitro. That was real nice to spend time with her. She is getting ready for the continental Divide Trail, to complete her triple crown of hiking. She dropped me off at the trail, and her and Squatch went to resupply the water cache at Swarthout Road. I took off like a bat out of hell in hopes to catch them before they left. They saw my head lamp, flashed their headlights and waited for me to come down the hill. We talked a while, Squatch did a interview
and I hiked into the dark. It was nice to be on the trail again. Walking through the narrow canyons at dark was a bit spooky, and I shook some large animals from the brush, that sounded like deer. I found a flat spot on the trail and watched the lights from the trains and freeway till I fell asleep.
6/4/07 mile350 > mile 385 = 35 miles
I seemed to be walking up hill all day, for in which my feet were fine. But the down hills were painful. I climbed Baden Powell today the highest point of So Cal. I saw lots of day hikers in this area. There was no register, So I signed a piece of paper and put it in the box, and started a new one. The decent down the peak was about all I could take. Shortly after Little Bear Springs, I was reunited with Berta, Swan and Carter, whom I camped with.
6/5/07 mile 385 > mile 427 = 42 miles
Today started with the sound of alot of trucks going up and down hi way 2, repaving it. I think they will open it soon. I saw lots of deer today as well as many quail. The water report needs to be improved, cause it was completely wrong. I carried way too much water all day.
6/6/07 mile 427 > mile 454 = 27 miles
It was hard to get out of the sleeping bag this morning, for it was cold. I shook out a heard of doe right off the bat. The forest around Mnt. Gleason is so healthy. The old growth is the healthiest on the trail so far. Todd at the ranger station said it was in the low 30's last night. Down in Solidad Canyon they were filming a horror movie. It was quite an unusual scene. I caught up with another hiker, and we kept each other company to Vasquez Rocks, where I met up with Tyvec and Robecca. All three hung out in a cave while I pushed on to Agua Dulce. After reaching town, I ordered a pizza, bought some ice cream, orange juice, fruit and vegetables. A lone driver came to pick the other hikers and I up and take us to the Saufley's home. I walked to the corner touched a sign, and they all had something to say, but that is what makes the chain complete, in my eyes. At the house I caught up with all the rest of the hikers except Optimist and Stopwatch. There were also about 20 other hikers there. I took a shower, went through the hiker box's, got a new water report, and relaxed. I wanted to get back to the trail, but things were so nice here. Plus I really like spending time with Donna and Jeff. There were several hikers who were there for days, and would not offer there cots or beds. I ended up sleeping on the tarp while a few of those same hikers stayed up most the night drinking.
6/7/07 mile 454 > mile 486 = 32miles
I had a hard time sleeping last night cause of some hikers who were drinking and carring on till 3am. I finally got up and walked to the power lines and went back to sleep. I got back up around 6:00 am, and began walking. The new shoes I had mailed myself were nice except my feet were now a bit larger and my toes were hitting the toe box. I called the Andersons and told them I was coming through, and I would like to see them. The oasis cache had some soda's and a lawn chair, and I found it hard to leave. I caught up with Optimist and Stopwatch, at the ranger station getting water. Joe Anderson arrived and he picked me up, for dinner. Manynames and Out Of Order showed up. There were also about 6 other hikers there. After dinner, They gave me a ride back to the trail. I caught back up with Optimist and Stopwatch at Elizabeth Lake Road, where Kelly maintains a cache. I slept on some filthy red carpet, but what the heck.
6/8/07 mile 486 > mile 532 = 46 miles
Today started out great. I got an early start, and walked with only 1 pair of sox, and only ate 3 Advil all day. I did not carry too much water and things just seemed like they were getting back to my normal hiking. I ran into some large Mountain Lion tracks and I circled them for my friends behind to see. I took part of the old trail to try something new and resupplied at Gil's Country Store. I ate alot of food and had great conversation with the owner and his family. I bought extra food, cause my next stop would be Kennedy Meadows some 185 miles away, through some really hot terain. I grabbed two gallons of water and left with a really heavy load. I found I had great phone reception as I walked down the LA Aqueduct, and I talked till well after dark. Time was flying by and if it was not for the heavy pack ripping into my shoulders, I could have walked much farther. I found some 2x4's and wrote my name with them, on a concrete block. I bet the next person rearranged and did the same. Today was a great day!
6/9/07 mile 532 > mile 562 = 30 miles
I slept in sorta late today. Upon arriving at Cottonwood Creek Bridge, I noticed two hikers waking up. We exchanged hello's and I proceeded to get water from the spicket. It was barely dripping and took some time to fill up 5 liters. I soon passed the others [Kangeroo and Wren] and it started to get real hot. I was feeling sorry for those two behind me, carring those huge packs with no umbrella's. I was sweating as much as I was drinking. It was a pleasure to finally get to the tiger tank and take an ice cold shower. I was now in the Tehachapi Wind Farm and it was real windy. I found a sheltered area and stopped early. I had a great view of the desert below and also good phone reception too.
6/10/07 mile 562 > mile 597 = 35 miles
Today was real hot! I ran into Tuff Guy and Freight Train Before making the big climb out of the desert. There were a few gaterade caches in this area and a few empty bottles. There was a lot of motorcyclist all over the trail today. I then met two more hikers sitting in the shade, and then four more at Golden Oaks Spring. I walked with two of the guys [Chuckwagon and Matt] until dark, where we found flat spots on the trail, that were sheltered from the strong wind.
6/11/07 mile 597 > mile 634 = 37 miles
I crept out of camp early, trying not to wake the others. I was attempting to beat the heat. I soon ran into Sole to Soul, at Robin Bird Spring. I saw a beautiful Bear that had the most perfect coat. This area is heavily hunted, with hounds and if this bear does not find a new home he will surely be harvested.
6/12/07 mile 634 > mile 673 = 39 miles
When I talk about pace, it is reguard to this. I like to have 10 miles by 10 am, 20 miles by 2 pm, and 30 miles by 6 pm. If this happens then the rest of the day will get me close or above 40 miles. Today I was ahead of pace all day.
I met up with Lost And Found, and we walked into the dark. We caught up with others and I had the most crowded camp all summer. It was sorta nice for a change to join in. It was nice to exchange stories with everyone.
6/13/07 mile 673 > mile 702 = 29 miles
Today I left camp early and hiked with various hikers all day. Around 20 miles I took off to just get it over with. I was resuppling today and had a huge hunger. I cleaned up in the Kern River and was lucky enough to see a beaver chew down a small tree and drag it to the Dam. I was shocked to see this and now realise the term, busy as a beaver is for real. When I arrived at Kennedy Meadows, I was disappointed to find them closed for the night. I ran around back and caught them before they left. They opened up for me, and I found two of my boxs. I grabbed some ice cream, root beer and a bag of Doritos. They seemed to be in a hurry, so I decided to wait around till tomorrow for more resupply. I sat on the porch and had rootbeer floats until I was bloated. Soon everyone trickled in and were disappointed to find them closed as well. The hikerboxs were full of goodies, so I helped myself to them. A girl named Munchkin, started a card game that I have no idea about, but joined in anyway. I had a good time, but could hardly keep my eyes open. I also started getting signs of Giardia today, but cause I would still be in the sun for a few days, I prolonged eating antibiotics.
6/14/07 mile 702 > mile 724 = 22 miles
Today I decided I would go to Ireland's Restaraunt and get a decent meal, before heading out. I would take 6 1/2 days of food to Red's meadows, and I wanted to start right. I do not want to say much about the condition of Ireland's, but it is quite the experience. I think I already have giardia so I was not too worried. I then grabbed some extra food from Kennedy Meadows, and a box that I forgot about, and made my way to the campground.
6/15/07 mile 724 > mile 754.5 = 30.5
Today started off by losing my sunglasses. This was my 3rd pair cause I broke the 2nd, while in Big Bear. I then found nothing but stagnet water in Death Canyon. I also met Kady, who was on the trail since Walker Pass. We hiked together 1/2 the day, till I needed to get my miles. I also met Bull and City Girl. He was cool and she was nice. We all bounced around most the day. I traded some fig bars for an extra pair of glasses from Katy. Water was real scarce today and I spent alot of time looking for it. I saw the 1st Marmot today, and alot of weekenders from Trail Pass north. My toe is starting to get real swollen, so I squeezed it with duck tape.
6/16/07 mile 754.5 > mile 784.5 = 30 miles
I had a great morning, staying in pace. I saw alot of deer. I also ran into a note saying NaborJ was sick at a ranger station. He hiked in 05, and I wondered how sick he was. I then ran into Warner Springs Monty. He and I hiked together the rest of the day. It was nice to have someone to talk with all day. He is a real nice guy. He told me of all the people who were up on Mnt. Whitney today. I was bumbed cause a couple were my friends. We got to Forester Pass and heard people were lost and could not find the trail. The snow field was not even a 1/4 mile long, and could not understand how someone could get lost. Anyway I said hi to the pass for a friend who asked that of me and made it to the bear boxs below. Monty gave me some pudding, which was a nice treat as well as change.
6/17/07 mile 784.5 > mile 816 = 31.5 miles
Monty and I got up early and hiked together to the Kearsarge Pass Trail, where he was going in to resupply. We passed a few more hikers and I also met a couple on my way up Glen Pass. I then made my way up Pinchot pass, where I passed two more thru-hikers. On my assend up Mather pass I passed 3 more. I then camped in a great camp site at the base of Mather Pass. There was minimal snow on the pass, so I was not worried about ice slowing me down in the morning.
6/18/07 mile 816 > mile 848.5 = 32.5 miles
This morning I had a pleasant conversation with a guy doing the high trail. I soon ran into Speedstick. She got that name, cause she is probably the only one who wears deoderant on the trail. We walked a mile or two together. I then ran into an old friend, Thomas who is section hiking.It is times like this that reminds me, how small the hiking community really is. I shook out alot of deer in Deer Canyon and Le Conte Canyon. I bathed in Big Peets meadow and it was freezing. I was shocked to see snow around the Muir cabin, but not enough to slow things down. I started a register here. There was a solo lady camped at the Evolution Creek outlet, and I met one more thru-hiker just below. This is where the mosquitoes were getting real bad. I found the only peace you had was just keep moving. So I kept moving. I camped in prime Bear counry, with my giant food pillow, but I slept surprisingly well.
Today I felt like seeing something Different. So I took the Cascade Trail. I had no maps, just the belief that this trail was going the same way. I do not think it is shorter or I would of heard of it a long time ago. Soon I was tramping through mud and running through swarms of mosquitoes. I forded the river more than a few times, I was just starting to think, I made a mistake with this choice. Then I began going up hill and way over to the west. I was then worried to fact that I may have went on the wrong trail. About then I run into horse people, and I asked them if this trail made its way to Reds Meadow. I was OK. So I then relaxed and enjoyed the new scenery. Soon I was in familiar ground, and there were day hikers everywhere. I got phone service for the 1st time in 12 days, and enjoyed talking to my children. I arrived at Red's Meadow quite hungry. I ate two cheeseburgers, chef salad with chicken, a roast beef sandwhich, Ice cream and they sent me off with two asada tacos. I ate all this in less than an hour. I talked to various friends on the phone, and proceded north. I saw alot of campers, tourist, and a few hikers. I did meet another Billygoat who hiked the trail in I believe 2000. I made my way to Agness Meadows where there were two more thru-hikers stealth camping near Agnew road.
6/21/07 mile 914.5 > mile 941.5 = 27 miles
I got an early start in hopes to be at the post office before it closed. Things went real well, except for the bugs. I saw many weekend hikers near 1000 Island Lake. I also saw some runners who were running beteen Yosemite and Mammoth. I saw No Car just below Donahue Pass. I jogged into Tuolumne, to find out the guy at the post office would stay open for hours still. I sent alot of stuff home and bought more than enough food. I decided to hang out for the night. There were alot of hikers here, probably more than any given place that I had been. I visited a little, but just wanted to rest, for I was going to do another 5 day run to Echo Lake Resort some 150+ miles away. I went to bed early.
6/22/07 mile 941.5 > mile 975 = 33.5 miles
I got up earlier than all the other hikers today. I am surprised, of all those people, not one was up early, ready to get a jump on the day. I saw lots of deer through the lower meadows. It was a beautiful morning, walking next to all the waterfalls. I did not see a soul all day. I walked up on a grand Bald Eagle. He was standing on a log near Benson Lake. I walked up from behind and spooked him. He flapped his wings and I could feel the wind. It was absolutely amazing. He was huge and I was blessed to witness him so close. I was bumbed not to share this with anyone. Shortly after that I spooked a small bear. I did not see to much, but you get to know the sound of a bear running down the hill. I hiked late, and found a nice camp just below Seavey Pass. It felt like it was going to be cold, so I put on all my clothes for bed.
6/23/07 mile 975 > mile 1007.5 = 32.5 miles
I walked along Kerrick Canyon, laughing at the hell I went through in 05 in this same place. I had to chop steps in the ice for hours to get across this canyon, and this year I just walked on by without a problem at all. One thing I will say, it is my opinion, Yosemite is surely the hardest section on the entire PCT. It is steep, rocky and either up or down, not much in between. But, it is beautiful. I also went 50+ miles without seeing a soul. I then ran into two southbounders who burst my bubble, and said there were several hikers in front of me. Not too far ahead, I ran into the 1st two. I then fell into a creek trying to cross it. I had kept my feet dry all day, and right before dark I am soaked. I then met Ultrabright, and another girl who were both solo hikers, in the same place. They said that the two guy's in the next camp who had a bomb fire were also thru-hikers. I just pushed on in dis belief. It was windy, I was wet and I just realized I lost my ground cloth. I probably lost it when I fell in the creek. I found a sheltered area in the trees.
6/24/07 mile 1007.5 > mile 104o.5 = 33 miles
I woke up with the strongest wind of the trip so far. It was quite hard to walk on the high ridge of Sonora Pass. I had all my clothes on and my bandana around my face. I just moved as fast as I could until I got down to the pass. I met a section hiker who gave me the bad news that Yogi was in Sonora and I missed her. I was planning on hanging out a while with her, so that was a drag. He and I walked a while, and exchanged stories. It was nice to be out of the wind and on easier ground. I needed to make my miles, so I took off and hiked hard till dark. My shoes were now worn and I was beginning to feel everything under them. I still had a long way to go till the new ones. The rocky sierras tore them up, and I will not ever go that far between shoes. I was in prime Bear country again tonight.
6/25/07 mile 1040.5 > mile 1075 = 34.5 miles
It was a nice day today. I met a Day hiker who gave me 2 apples and some granola bars. I found a piece of a arrowhead and lost it as well. When I got down by The Nipple, I was swarmed by mosquito's. I also fell again and cut my leg as well as two deep punctures from a log. I went to walk over a creek on a log and it rolled on me. I went off limping, not wanting to stop cause of bugs. I then noticed smoke in the horizon. As I got up high. I got phone signal and found warnings from my friends about a fire in South Lake Tahoe. It was suppose to be getting close to the trail. I pushed on in hope to get my box and make it pass the fire. Upon dark I met a section hiker, and we camped close to each other. I was almost asleep when I saw two hikers with there headlamps on, they said a bear would not leave them alone. I gathered my food close and went back to sleep.
6/26/07 mile 1075 > mile 1108 = 33 miles
I woke up before light and boogied in hopes of getting pass the fire. I made great time to hi way 50. I met a guy and his son who slept there cause it was closed the night before. I asked them if they were going to Lake Tahoe and they said yes, and gave me a ride to the casino's. I went up to the 18th floor of one of them, and ate more food than I can remember. I was back on the street in no time, where I purchased a hat and new pair of sun glasses [yes, I lost the others the day before]. I put my thumb out and had a dirrect ride from a bored kid who needed a few bucks. I gave him $20 and he gave me a quick ride back to the trail. I was only gone for an hour and a half. I walked up to Echo Lake Resort and was shocked at all the hikers hanging out. I got my box, bought some extra food, and a rain coat to use as my dropcloth. I then walked on, and was soon greeted by Backtrack, Silver and Scatman. Backtrack and Silver were a couple and I had met Scatman at the Kick-Off. It was nice to hang out with them, so I made early camp with them and heard the interesting story how Scatman got his name.
6/27/07 mile 1108 > mile 1146 = 38 miles
I was blessed with a long flat walk this morning. It is the 1st one like this in a long time. I saw one solo southbound section hiker, who said there was not much water ahead. I do not think she realized where I came from. I saw another Bear and alot of Deer. I stayed ahead of pace all day. I ran into some Boy Scouts who wanted to know all about my hike. I also walked right under the ski lifts of Squaw Valley. The weather was great but, the bugs were bad.
6/28/07 mile 1146 > mile 1183 = 37 miles
I was expecting to maybe see my friend Trauma, at Donner Pass, so I hiked as fast as I could this morning. I was in the hope of a ride to food. I finally got phone signal and found he could not make it. I was well ahead of pace, and decided I needed to bath. So the next creek I was in. I washed my clothes, and around the corner came the trailcrews, while I was in my birthday suit. I just held my head high and put my shorts back on. When I told them my story they quickly understood and wanted to know more. I made my way to the Peter Grub Hut, where I could not help from eating some emegency food. I wrote a note saying sorry, and that I could not help it. I saw a mountain biker on the trail, and he gave me an attitude. So I real nicely said, Hey, I just passed a Ranger back there. He was nervous the rest of his ride. [bikes are not permitted on the PCT]. I would use this one all summer long. I did not see another hiker all day. The bugs were not too bad today. I camped in the middle of the trail.
6/29/07 mile 1183 > mile 1216.5 = 33.5 miles
I was woke up today by heavy machinery. I thought they were doing some road work, but shocked when I say they were logging. It was only a two man crew and was absolutely amazing to see how many trees they were harvesting. They had a huge machine that cut stripped and stacked the logs. Another guy just loaded them on a flatbed trailer. I guess the day of the Lumberjack is over. I was really looking forward to a good meal in Sierra City, so I wasted no time getting there. Upon walking in I met a Old Man who had lived in the little town for 87 years. He was still driving and checking the utilities as a job. He tod me young people know nothing about being old, but old people know everything about being young. He also said that if I did not stop hiking I would have knee problems at his age. I answered nicely and said I had loss 40 lbs and if I stopped hiking I would die fat and unhappy. He sized me up and said, well thats good. I was happy to see what the general store has done for us hikers. It was hard to leave, but I was starting to get back on schedeual, and was focusing on staying out of town and doing all my resting on trail. I saw two day hikers and there dog, close to there car, back at the trail. I then saw them again 10 miles later at there other car. They said they had done 100 miles of the PCT, and proceded to ask me how much I had done, I just said not too much. They were satisfied with that and we went our seperate ways. I then found a great camp and stopped early to eat the fish and chips, I brought.
6/30/07 mile 1216.5 > mile 1255 = 38.5 miles
Today was easy walking almost all day. I saw alot of deer and quail the 1st part of the day. Some of the Quail chicks were so small, it amazed me. There legs were like pencil leads, and the rest of them was just as fragile. Idid not carry very much water all day. I am now able to go long miles on little water. After crossing the Feather River I saw a Mother Bear and her two Cubs. The Cubs went up the tree, and Ma Ma, went down the hill. I stood below the tree for a while taunting the cubs until Ma Ma came back. I then gave them there space and watched from afar. I went another mile and made camp. It was this day that I did the math and realized I could make it to Canada under 80 days if I picked up the pace a little.
7/1/07 mile 1255 > mile 1289 = 34 miles
I stayed on pace all day, even though I woke up late. I wanted to get to Belden before the little resteraunt closed. There were quite a few deer as well as alot of quail again today. Sometimes the Quail would surprise me, moer than I surprised them. The section into Belden needs trail work. The brush has become overwelming in some spots. I really enjoy the MP3 player on the long down hills. With the Advil, I almost forget about my neverending foot problems. I called the local trail angels to pick up my box, and to get me some food, and they came through for me. Thank You, Lori, and Brenda! I had the pleasure of hanging out with some other hikers and exchanging stories. I soaked in the bath after a shower, and my feet really needed it.
7/2/07 mile 1289 > mile 1328 = 39 miles
I woke up early and walked back to the trail. I stayed ahead of pace all day even though it was mostly up hill. I saw the 1st rattlesnake of the year, and it reminded me how crazy it was to get through So Cal, without seeing one. Not long after I saw another, except this one was huge. I also got my 1st view of Mnt. Shasta. which I will see for the next couple of weeks. I got all settled in a nice camp and then was greeted by ants. I just layed there and tryed to ignor them. I am also not using a any insulation between me and the ground anymore. I found I just do not need it if I am tired enough.
7/3/07 mile 1328 > mile 1369 = 41 miles
I started the day walking through new logging area. They rerouted the trail right through the middle of it. I also had to smack some cows on the ass to get them to move out of my way. I saw a very old aquaduct used for hydrolic mining in the mid 1800's. I hiked into Drakesbad, for the best meal on the trail. I was shocked to see all the food and sodas I had for under $10. I then pushed on to get away from bugs, but they only got worse as I went north. I passed two more thru-hikers who were not in that good of moods. I do not know if it was the bugs, big packs, or the fact that I passed them. Maybe it was a mix of all the above. I was shocked to see how much burned in the last fire in Mnt Lassen National Park. I found a nice bed of pine needles and slept like a baby.
7/4/07 mile 1369 > mile 1405 = 36 miles
I was really looking forward to seeing Giorgi and Dennis, the local trail angels. It was 4th of July and they had to pick my box up for me. I made good time in even though most the way, was through soft sand. I arrived at the store and called them. While I was waiting, I ordered 3 roast beef and cheddar sandwiches, as well as bought some extra junk food. They picked me up, and brought me to there house. I told them trail conditions as well as got the northbound trail conditions. I had a bite to eat, and changed into my new clothes I sent myself. They were exspecting today to be hot. I was bumbed not to be able to stay, and felt bad about eating and running. I then got a ride back to the store where I picked up my sandwiches, bought another orange juice, and set out for the Hat Creek Rim. I crossed the Hwy before the rim and noticed two hikers I saw in the morning, hitching on ahead. I laughed cause they were bragging earlier about how many miles they have hiked this year. I waved and they looked the other way like they did not see me. I was grateful to find the cache at the trailhead. I left a note in the bottle, and topped off my water container. I took one last guzzle and headed out in the inferno from hell. It was scorching hot, easily the hottest day of the year, and the only thing that kept me walking was the fear of running out of water out here. I finally made it to the next water cache and tanked up for another long haul. I was amazed to see cattle out here and still wonder how the hell they live in this heat. It was dusty, and dry beyond further explanation. I was grateful to see the sun go down, but had developed chaffing, by this point to get more miles. I do not know if it was caused by heat or two days in a row of town food. I was greeted by ants once again except it was too hot to climb in my bag, and I was too tired and dirty to worry about it. I think I was just getting use to bugs and hard ground.
7/5/07 mile 1405 > 1445 = 40 miles
Last nite really sucked, I had bugs of all sorts all over me. I got up early though, and heard voices right away. They were walking on the road that paralelled the trail. I soon caught up with Swami, another thru-hiker. We walked together all the way into Burney Falls. He had lots of great stories from hiking all over the world. He is Australian, and works in Mexico. I would have liked to hang out with hime alot more. He said those voices were two other thru-hikers on there way to town. In Burney Falls I ate, picked up my box and made calls. I was strict with my new rule of no more than 1 hour in town. I headed to Rock creek where I soaked for another hour and spent the rest of the afternoon catching up with pace. Alot of people complain about section O, but I love it. I like all the shade and the soft trail tread. I also see lots of wildlife, and enjoy all the creeks and swimming holes. The miles are easy and nights are cool. I had a great nights sleep.
7/6/07 mile 1445 > mile 1485 = 40 miles
I had a great hike today. I did not see a soul and had plenty of water all day. I swam twice, andshook abear out of the brush. The trail was over grown, but I love the thick forest. I did walk throgh some clear cutting, but not enough to ruin the wilderness feeling. I had to dig a splinter from my foot, that has been bothering me for days. I had phone signal in camp, with some cheerful messages from friends and family. I was camped on an ant pile though, and am about to declair this as year of the bug.
7/7/07 mile 1485 > mile 1526 = 41 miles
Todays miles flew on by. I was in Castella way ahead of pace, and only spent less than an hour. I needed the fresh sox that were in my box. I had a couple of burrito's and took one to go. I was taking 4 days of food, and was aiming for streight 40's. I skimped on my food and it was a mistake that nearly costed me a unplanned resupply in Ettna. Anyway, the Rangers in Castle Craggs Park are very nice. They asked if I needed anything, even a shower. I declined and headed north. I saw another rattlesnake that I had to help off the trail. He was angry and did not want to be bothered. Tonight was nice and cool with no bugs. I slept well.
7/8/07 mile 1526 > mile 1567 = 41 miles
Right away this morning I ran into a friend, Gil Parker. He and a friend were heading south, and it was a great pleasure to see him. I was in a great mood after departing them. The trail is such a small place. Shortly after that I ran into a cache. It was great cause I got a little extra food, that kept me from going to Ettna. I also had a nice cool Gaterade. I was hopeing my friend Andy would meet me at Scott Mountain Rd, but he didn't and I just continued on. I found a real nice place to bed down, and had a great nights sleep.
7/9/07 mile 1567 > mile 1607 = 40 miles
I woke up the earliest in a long time. I think it was cause I stopped early and slept well. Because I am not useing a mat to sleep on, I look for soft ground, like needles or grass. Right away this morning I ran into Dave Planterhauf, who has been on the trail for years. He told me of who was ahead. He also handed me some food cause he was going into Ettna. Thanks Dave! I then ran into two other thru-hikers, one was detour, I forgot the other's name. I then crossed paths with some section hikers and a dog. The trail through the Trinity Alps is toughest in northern Cal. I was proud to get my miles today. I then noticed my friend Andy's hourse and dog prints. He went about 8 miles in and turned around. I knew it was his, and it turned out he was here only an hour earlier. I ran to catch up, but with no luck. After I crossed Ettna Summit, I just looked for a place to camp.
7/10/07 mile 1607 > mile 1650 = 43 miles
I had another early start, and had no water for 10 miles. After that there was plenty. I saw alot of weekeners and day hikers. The highlites were the marble moutains where I spooked a Bear off the trail and down into the woods. I ran into the Sierra Club with there huge packs and pack mules to follow. I do not see the ethics behind this. A conservation group, bringing all this crap into the wilderness. The gal and her father who ran the pack animals were really cool though. We had great conversation and bagged on the group a bit. They had a coupl of green mules and were afraid of the incoming storm that was building. I was also afraid and was fast packing my way downhill to safety. The clouds were getting black, and you could hear distant thunder. I made it down to the 1st bridge accross Grider Creek. I then found a good place to put my tarp up for the 1st time this summer. As soon as I got nested, and finnished my journaling, it began to rain. And it rained, and poured, and thundered, then flashes of lightning. The lightning was amazing. It was non stop till 3:00 am, and was really close. I was ok, but could not help from worrying about that nice girl, father and those green mules. They were 4000 ft higher than I and surely were still traveling when this all started. I never heard the outcome of this and am still curious. I did not get wet, but was real close.
7/11/07 mile 1650 > mile 1679 = 29 miles
I wanted to keep my bag dry, so I put it away, broke camp and headed for town. I walked through alot of overgrowth and was soaking wet. I was just wearing shorts, shoes and a pack. I then began to notice foam secreting from me. I was completely confused. I thought it may be pollen from the plants, or filth from me, but I think it was all the Emergencies I was drinking. It was exactly like the foam that comes from mixing the packets of Emergencies together. I was drinking 6 to 10 of those a day. I never saw this before nor have I seen it since. But foam was coming from all my joints, especially the joints that were the most soaked. Anyway I made it to town and ate alot of breakfast. My stomach was beginning to hurt, and I looked around for something to help it. But nobody seemed to have anything. So I bought a bunch of extra food and started heading back towards the trail. I decided, since the storm was still brewing and there were thunder and lightning still, I would take the road to Cook And Green Pass. There is nice creek side camping, and considering how I felt as well as I needed to bath and get this foam off me, I was road walking. I first ran into some early blackberries, and that was nice. I could not stomach to many, so I filled my cup. I then came up to some beautiful horses, that were real friendly, but the fence was electric. I could not trick them to touch it. About then a guy and his wife pulled up and asked if I found anything for my stomack. I said no and he said hop in I live right down the street. So I hopped in and he told me all about how he came up to Siedd on vacation and only went home to the Bay are to pick up his thing to move here. He then gave me the medicine and sent me on my way. I went down to the creek, washed and took a nap. I felt so much better and wanted to get back. I was tempting to just keep walking, and I even started to, but just did not feel right, and tuned around and started walking back. I then got lucky and put my thumb out and got a ride back. The lady probably thought I was nuts to see me turn around and head back the way she just gave me a ride from. It took me 37 minutes to walk back to the water hole, and I am glad I did it. I then walked and walked and waked. For some reason roads are much harder than trails. There were some nice waterfalls though, as well as some Gold Prospectors digging in the creek. I then had a unpleasant encounter with some dirt bikers who wanted to harass the homeless hiker. I was in no mood for this and just could not wait for the trail. Once I got on trail, I could see the fires from the lightning storm and it looked like the hillside was hit by clusterbombs.It then began to rain and I pitched my tarp once again.
7/12/07 mile 1679 > mile 1722 = 43 miles
Today I woke up early in attempt to make up for yesterday. I soon passed a girl, who I saw late last night. She proceded in the rain and I was impressed. The rai last night seemed to put out most the fires. But there were a few burning to the East. It was nice and sunny this morning, but the greenery was wet. If you went through the weeds, you were soaked. My shoes are destroyed now, and when there wet they are real uncomfortable. Besides this, when the feet get wet, all kinds of issues happen. So now my feet hurt. The cows in this area, all have cowbells. It is quite strange to hear this. It is almost soothing. I was at the Oregon/California border right at noon. I found in the register, that the two right in front of me, were going to Ashland to rest. I was passing Ashland and would not ever meet them. I then met Pete Fish a 71 year old ultra runner, who was marking the trail for saturdays race. He is famous in his world. He had heard of me, and I had heard of him, and now we met on the trail, the trail is a small place. I found a flat spot in the trail and went to sleep.
7/13/07 mile 1722 > mile 1761 = 39 miles
1st thing this morning, I met a couple in their 70's whom Scott and I met outside Big Bear last year. The trail is a small place. I always like hiking around Pilot Rock. It just feels like history, and I imagine all the pioneers who aimed their covered wagons towards this beakon, for hundreds of miles on the end of their journey. I was lucky to get a ride in to Hyatt Lake Resort.
I was so stoked to find the newpizzaria, as well as my new shoes. I ate well, took some pizza with me and got a lucky ride back. I also left my phone on the charger, but like the spoon, I don't go back. I had a long afternoon dwelling on the fact but oh well. I pulled water from the aquaduct, and it taste bad. The smoke from the fires seemed to be getting worse. Found a nice camp, and was happy not to put up my tarp. P3 to hep ignore there buzzing sound. I did not see a single ruined it. I saw some section hikers near Mazama who saidwas not going to be easy though. I 7/14/07 mile 1761 > mile 1800 = 39 miles
Today I just did not feel right, and I think it was all the pizza I ate yesterday and this morning. I had a hard time staying with pace all day. the mosquitos were bad as well as the flys. I also had ants again last night after I journaled. I saw absolutely nobody anywhere and that includes road crossings. The smoke is starting to get to my lungs. I hope it does not get worse. The bugs were so bad in the evening that I could not stop. Near dark I came to a high spot that had a little wind and was keeping the bugs at bay. I slept in the middle of the trail. Once again the Ants were out in ful force, but this time I just put up with them.
7/15/07 mile 1800 > mile 1836 = 36 miles
I had a early start today, and was ahead of pace all the way to Mazama Village. I wanted to spend a little time there washing, eating and making phone calls. I needed to somehow call the pizzaria back at Hyatt Lake and retrieve my phone. I ran into a few section hikers also and they all could not believe I was walking through all the bugs with no protection. I also dropped my MP3 in the water today. I was bumbed cause it was my best weapon against the bugs. If I could not hear them, I could ignore them. And that is what I have been doing, walking fast so they could not land, and just ignoreing them. The other hikers thought I was nuts, when I told them I was just ignoring them. And in all honesty, I was not bit up as I have been before. I was given a bottle of Deet in the sierras and used it a couple of times, but for some unknown reason found ignoring them was just as effective. I ate at the buffet, and got my money's worth. I showered and washed my clothes, as well as made my calls. I then grabbed some extra food and headed for the rim to camp. I know there is no camping on the rim [Crater Lake Rim], but I wanted to make sure I got the early sun and be in the wind [to keep the bugs at bay]. The smoke has really took its toll on my lungs. I found a stealth spot on the rim where I camped one time before.
7/16/07 mile 1836 > mile1875 = 39 miles
At daybreak, I was woke up by one angry squirrel. He did not like me near his tree and was not shy, letting me know. He ran up and down the trunk of the tree screeching and knocking things down, attempting to rid me. I provoked him a little, and he then knocked a pinecone down on nearly hit me. I wanted to get up early anyways, to avoid getting caught sleeping on the rim. I was blessed by a beautiful sunrise, that was orange from all the smoke. The entire southern Oregon was covered with smoke, and it looked like I was finally getting out of it. I had a nice walk around the rim, but the long haul to Mnt. Thielson just seemed to go forever. I was also just really burnt out, and to make things worse I was carring 4 liters of water. I ran into 3 southbounders who told me there was no snow all th way through the rest Oregon. That was a relief, for I had been worrying about this a little. The weather was starting to look threatning, so I pushed hard to make sure I got my miles. The bugs were still bad and I was almost wishing for rain to rid them. Then another strange thing happened. I was assending through a tunnel of trees, and a large Owl landed inches above my head a few feet in front of me. As I had to pass under him, I was worried he might do some crazy thing like dive bomb me. Afterall, it was a strange thing to land so close to me. As I passed he, just did the Owl thing and turned his head 180 degrees. I felt like we had some communication or something, looking each other eye to eye. I then found a flat spot in the trail, and put up my tarp.
7/17/07 mile 1875 > mile 1914 = 39 miles
Today I was ahead of pace all the way to Shelter cove. It was raining all day, but was not cold. It was nice to not have any bugs though. I saw 3 section hikers, but was in a hurry to get to Shelter Cove and get out of the rain. I resupplied and left disappointed on their food selection as well as the prices. I am glad I had a box there, cause the next section would have been hard without it. I then was on my way to the Maiden Ski Shelter, but as I checked the large barn at Hwy 58 I felt this was good enough. The barn is used to store salted gravel, and would not be nice to bed down on. I found a large piece of plywood to sleep on, and went to sleep nice and early. was pretty
7/18/07 mile 1914 > mile 1949 = 35 miles
This morning was raining so hard that I decided to sleep in. Finally I decided to head out. Soon the rain stopped, and I ran into a section hiker, who said BillyGoat is in the Maiden Ski Shelter. I pushed hard to the shelter, hopeing to run into him there. When I opened the door, I found him there. I was expecting to find Captain America, and T-, but we were both confused where I must of missed them at. After a short visit, I walked back to the trail and ran into another hiker I knew, St. Alfonzo. We walked a short while, and he informed me the whereabouts of T- and Captain America. They were at the Ski Resort when I passed by. St. Alfonzo has been section hiking the PCT for 27 years, and only has washington left to complete after this year. I then pushed on and ran into Pyro, who got his name for blowing his hand off from a pipe bomb, when he was a child. He was driving St. Alfonzo around, helping him from one section to another. He told me my friend, Leperchaun, had just drove by. I asked him if he would drive after him and bring him back cause I lost contact with him. It was nice to see Leperchaun, for I had not spoken with him since 2004, when we hiked a portion of So Cal on his thru-hike. I then found a soda cache, and wished they could have been caffine sodas. I really like caffine while hiking. The sun was out to just before dark, then the rain clouds came back. I then ran into 20 or so Boy Scouts who were camped where I had planned. I then found a place in the middle of the trail that I could string up my tarp.
7/19/07 mile 1949 > mile 1989.5 = 40.5 miles
I had a late start cause I thought Elk Lake would not open till 11 am. I was wrong they opened at 8 am. It rained all the way to Elk Lake, I was a relief to go inside. I ate two meals, bought a few things and took a long hot shower. About the time I left, it stopped raining. I met several section hikers, and a couple were heading south. I always like to meet southbounders cause they might know something important about where I am going. These hikers had started in central Washington and also informed me that the snow was not a problem. I then caught up with Carla, one of the section hikers, and we hiked together for quite a while. She lives close to me and is very nice. I then needed to make my miles and procede north. It was about this time I decided it would be nice to make it to the Observatory on McKenzie Pass. I would not have to put up my tarp and I could make it to breakfast at Big Lake Youth camp. I got my headlamp ready, cause I would surely be hiking late. I hiked as fast as I could and arrived there around 10:30 pm. Inside the Observatory, the ground was hard and uneven, and the ceiling was leaking. I had worked hard to get here and my only other choice was the outhouses, so here I stayed.
7/20/07 mile 1989.5 > mile 2024 =34.5
I had a hard time sleeping last night, and it took a tourist to get me up. He had a noisy truck, and I did not want to be caught sleeping in there. I was packed before he made it up the stairs. I made it to Big Lake at the perfect time. They were finished with breakfast, but had not put away the food. They sent me away stuffed, before I picked up my box and went through their hiker box. As I left it started to rain. By the time I got to Santium Pass, the visability was about 100 ft. I saw some mountain climbers, coming down Mnt Jefferson due to the weather, and some day hikers leaving as well. By now I am so sick of rain, and if it keeps up much longer, I'll miss most of Oregon. I saw alot of frogs today, and wondered where they go when its dry. I stopped early cause of rain and had a hard time finding a place to put up the tarp. When I finally decided where to camp, I had a herd of Elk run right accross the ridge right next to me. I not only wondered what spooked them, but also thought about them coming back and tripping over my lines.
7/21/07 mile 2024 > mile2064 = 40 miles
Woke up with everything soaked this morning. I left all my clothes on and took off one layer at a time as they dryed. The visability is 100 ft at best. I am going through my favorate area in Oregon and can not see it. Around noon the visability improved to about a mile. I was entering Jefferson Park. I then began to see lots of hikers. I decended down a large snow field, and was again in a cloud with no visability. I met elderly man and his daughter who were spreading his wifes ashes where they hiked together for many years. It takes a moment like that to put life into perspective. I began to feel so happy to be alive, experiencing life at its fullest. I knew I had the record in the bag, and was maybe counting my chickens before they hatched, but living this moment was nothing short of pure joy. Or maybe cause I realised it was clearing up. I then arrived at Ollalie Lake to find it crowded with people. I never saw it so crowded. I ate 6 micowave burritos, a box of doughnuts, a 1/2 gallon of milk and a 1/2 gallon of orangejuice. I then Loaded up on junkfood cause I did not send a box, and was back on the trail in less than an hour. Soon I was on 10 miles of new trail, that was made by a new trail machine I never saw before. I camped with no tarp tonight which was a bit of a gamble.
7/22/07 mile 2064 > mile2105 = 41 miles
This morning was beautiful, and quite a change from the last few days. I stopped at noon, cause I was ahead of pace, to dry my clothes and sleepingbag. My bag has been damp since California. I ran into lots of horse people as well as campers near Clackamas lake. I saw a lot of cattle around the park and was relieved to find they were not allowed but had nocked a fence down. The Rangers were trying to heard them back to the fence. I am now a expert in foot hearding and joined in for the fun. They were shocked, to see my meathod, and before long they were both experts themselves. They asked me if I lived on a ranch, I replied, "sorta", and continued on heading north. This has been the 1st days on junk food, and I am already over it. The splits in my feet are severe and very painfull. I am destoying my socks from all the ducktape. I am looking forward to the breakfast buffet tomorrow at Mnt. Hood. It is legendary. I passed historical Barlow, tonight and forgot water so I pushed on in the dark. I did not use a light, and when I got to the next water sorce, I scared the hell out of some solo girl hiker. I did not see her, and walked right up to her, before noticing. She was so upset she would not except my appology. I made camp there anyway, a few meters away.
7/23/07 mile 2105 > mile 2140 = 35 miles
I slept in today, cause I thought th Y east would not open till 9am. I was wrong they opened at 7 am. I had a great breakfast, as I watched the clouds build up again. I decided that I was going to buy another layer of clothes, to prevent freezing to death in the northwest. I did not want to take any more unneccesary chances. I had been risking it with too little up to this point. So I went big and bought a ski outfit. A two layer waterproof jacket w/ hood, and a two layer waterproof pants with some thick sox, is what I ended up with. I spent way too much time on Mnt. Hood, and needed to hike fast to make up time. Sandy Creek was washed out, but I knew where to go, so it was not too bad to find the trail on the other side. I saw three murder mystery books under a large Knife in a camp spot. It was kinda creepy. It began raining, but I am now enjoying my new suit. I walked a mile pass the Eagle creek trail, until the lake came out of the fog, I then turned around and went back to the trail. I wanted to take the much more scenic trail. I pitched my tarp accross the trail, and was looking forward to being in Washington tomorrow.
7/24/07 mile 2140 > mile 2175 = 35 miles
Today turned out to be the nicest day in a long time. I saw many hikers, around tunnel falls and the trail to it. I met a section hiker named Palamino, who bought me lunch. Thank You! I also was given a wallet to take to the post office. It was full of credit cards and money, I am sure the guy was real bumbed. I think that would be the worse thing on a long distant hike to lose your wallet. I always fear this. My shin for some reason is flaring up. There no reason why, that I can think of. I bathed for a long time in Gillette Lake. The Lake was empty of people and the water was nice. I passed some signes that the forest service put up, explaining where the money from logging goes. It also explains the methods they used as well as the dates it was done. I knew better, the state of wasington has devistated many miles of forest, with clear cutting, and other greedy methods of tree harvesting. I feel that these signs are propaganda, for whats to come farther north. I was getting really burnt out and decided I would only walk 35 miles for the next couple days to regain strength. I only needed 32 miles a day to come in under 81 days for a new record.
7/25/07 mile 2175 > mile 2210 = 35 miles
I woke up late, and was hiking around 7 am. I soon came up on a hiker who was still asleep next to a creek. I could tell they were out for a while, so I made loud steps in hopes to get there attention. They did not move so I continued on. I later found out it was Sara a southbound thru-hiker, that is in front of the southbound hikers. I went into Stabler's Country Store, and had some microwave burritos and orangejuice. I collected my box and was back on the trail in less than a hour. The owners of the store are from the LA area and are real friendly. I saw a few weekenders struggling with huge packs, and bad attitudes because of it.I saw two mountain bikers on the trail, but they were cool so I did not play my mountain biker joke on them. I then met Jason the next southbound thru-hiker. I was walking shirtless through all the mosquitos, while he had a fire to rid them from his camp. I talked for a while and headed on. I stopped early at 35 miles and made camp. About dark a heard of Elk walked right by me. I watched them for 10 minutes before they got wind of me. I am looking forward to seeing my good friends Scott and Michelle tomorrow.
7/26/07 mile 2210 > mile 2245 = 35 miles
I woke up late but, was able to surge back on pace. I ran into a section hiker named Bugtit, and 20 minutes later crossed paths with Scott and Michelle. We sat down for a hour and a half and exchanged stories. They fed me continuously. Their appetites were not in full force as mine. It was a drag to hike seperate ways, but they left some food farther up the trail for me and I better get it before it disappears. When I found it, I was in hog heaven. The first thing I ate was all the cookies. I would eat good all the way to white pass, thanks to them. I regained alot of strength today and slept real well that night. I was happy for good weather, and not very many bugs. I did have foot problems though, and by now I was leaving my bandages on as long as they would stay. Sometimes the ducktape would stay on for days, and when it did not, I just put another piece on right over it. I could now count the days, and was pretty sure exactly when I would finish.
7/27/07 mile 2245 > mile 2285 = 40 miles
This morning I got an early start, and was well ahead of pace all day. It is amazing what good food and alot of rest can do for you on journey like this. I saw some section hikers right away. They all said they saw the next thru-hiker [Sideshow] yesterday the same time in the same place. I was hoping to catch him cause he is a fast hiker and we could hike a while together. I just seemed to not be able to gain on him though. I walked around a rock pile and walked right into a heard of Batchler Elk. There were about 40 to 50 indivduals. For a moment we all just froze, antisipating each others next move. Suddenly they all took off, and I could feel the ground shake from the stampede. Some ran into the direction of the trail, and I continued to see them throuout the morning. I then ran into some horse people that near my favorate water on the trail, Lava Spring. They gave me candy, and I told them about the water. I then crossed paths with a hunter and his wife, who were staking out this years hunt. They knew the area well, and I took in a lot. While I was approaching the Goat Rocks the mosquitos were bad. I saw a few goats high on the hill, far from the trail. I made it to the old Dana May Yelverton shelter that is no longer a shelter and slept in the ruins. It was a full moon and a very clear night.
7/28/07 mile 2285 > mile 2322 = 37 miles
Last night I played war games with a mouse. He was brave and I was tired. I ended up giving him a handful of corn chips, to keep him from walking accross my head anymore. That was the end of that, and I think he won. I should have pushed on another 2 miles last night, pass the snow fields, cause now I had to make my way accross ice. It was dangerous and I had to skirt around the steep parts. The desent was rough on my feet, and was painfull until the Advil Kicked in. I was now on about 2000 to 2600 mg of Advil a day. That is alot concidering I never used pills in any of my other hikes. I ate a sandwhich at White Pass, and got 2 to go. I met 2 southbound section hikers, and we exchanged information about the trail. The mosquitos were bad and I just walked fast to avoid them. I walked up on a Cow Elk that was calling to her Calf. She did not see me, and the calf could. She continued to walk up closer to me, calling out to him, but he cryed back, as if to say, no way I am not coming down there. They went back and forth to each other, all in while she continued to get closer to me. Finally she was right behind a tree from me. So I walked out and scared her to death as she booked it down the hill. He went back up the hill and they were where thy started. I then whistled with the Marmots, like I usually do when I am in Marmot territory. I think it's funny to watch them peek out to see what's going on. I kept on walking, listning to their crys to one another. I made camp on the Mnt. Rainier National Park's boundry, and watched a storm begin to build. Although it was a gamble, I did not put up my tarp up.
7/29/07 mile 2322 > mile 2363 = 43 miles
I woke up early, to the trees beginning to sweat [condisation accumulating and turning to rain]. My bag was still dry so I got up and proceded north. Within a mile the same Cow Elk and Calf did the same exact thing. The Calf ran off and the Cow called him back. They played this until the Cow realized I was there. This time though a few other cows took off with her. Then a large Bull ran after them, calling out over and over. He then saw me and stopped as if to protect them. Not wanting to get gorged or trampled I continued on with a faster pace. I soon met a weekend hiker who was out trying to get in shape for a long hike. We hiked together for a while, till he needed to rest and I continued on. I saw many more hikers through the park, and finally had to stop talking to them to get my miles. The fog never did let me see Mnt. Rainier and I felt really empty because of it. The afternoon brought a steady rain and I just pushed on getting really soaked. By evening it stopped raining, but now I was going through clear cuts with lots of undergrowth. I was soaked till I stopped. The one thing about constant wet feet is they get really clean. I knew though as soon as they dry, the splits and cracks would only get worse.
7/30/07 mile 2363 > mile 2402 = 39 miles
100 feet into my hike I was soaked. The undergrowth swallowed the trail and I was now walking in 10 pound shoes that sounded like giant sponges. About 9 am it cleared up, and I praised the sun. About noon, I stopped and dryed all my gear and clothes. Shortly after this I had stopped to gothrough my pack on top of a ridge. I noticed a large animal walking belowme on a logging road. Further investigation and it turned out to be a huge mountain lion. I watched him spray a tree and walk back and forth on the road. He was as big as a African Lion and I was so close I could see him switching his tail. He then roled around on the road and then jumped as if he smelled me. He then took off like a bat out of hell, and left me wondering which way he went. I did not know if I should make a bunch of noise or quietly walk away. I chose yelling and screaming, in two or three voices to attempt to sound like more people. If someone was to walk up after this they would of thought I was nuts. Knowing I would make it to Snoqualmie Pass today, put me in high spirits. I passed several section hikers and practically ran to food. I had 39 miles by 7:oo pm. I went streight to the resteraunt and ate a chicken salad, steak dinner, a stack of pancakes and cake and ice cream. The funny thing was, this did not fill me. I then had more icecream at the gas station. This was also the 1st time I did not recieve my box. Instead of freaking out I bought 5 days worth of junk food to get to Stehekin. My pack was the heaviest all summer. I then headed back to the trail and slept at the trailhead.
7/31/07 mile 2402 > mile 2438 = 36 miles
After only 5 hours sleep, I left the trailhead knowing today would be tough. To begin with, my pack was digging into my shoulders and I had a long hard assend back to the crest. After that it would be a day of long ups and downs. I would at least need 35 miles each day to Stehekin to stay ahead of the unsupported record. Considering I was now going to not have my highly nutritious food and instead live off of junk food, I was in for a hard hike. I met a weekend hiker who was 67. He stayed with me to the top of the ridge walk. He had been hiking the Northern Cascades all of his life. I asked him alot of questions and took in alot of information. He was a strong hiker, and I was quite impressed. At the top, I continued on alone and then ran into some section hikers, two girls and a guy. They were impressed with my pack size and wanted to know how it could be so small. I then let one of them pick it up and they could not believe how heavy it was. I told them it was all food, and it would lighten up in two days. I then again walked on alone and caused a avalanche, on a steep switchback. After turning a corner, two mountain goats came to investigate. We all three stood there puzzled, at each others greetings, till the took off the other direction. After a long down hill decend, my feet were killing me. The extra weight was taking toll on them. The next climb was long and neverending, but I impressed myself on the milage I accumulated today. I was happy to be able to walk late and not put up the tarp.
8/1/07 mile 2438 > mile 2476 = 38 miles
I got a early start today, and passed some people camping real close to my camp. I then came upon some huckleberries, and I ate my share of the real food. I also filled a water bottle, before I continued on. The mosquitos were bad near lakes and in valleys. I met some section hikers who said Sideshow was going into Skykomish to resupply. I was bypassing Skykomish and might catch up after all. So I pushed hard to make it to Stevens Pass. At Stevens Pass I met some road workers, who were camping next to the trailhead. I hung out for a while and they gave me some chili. I then walked down to the bathrooms and camped in the girls room, in case one of the guys needed to use the restroom in the night. The restrooms were clean and insulated. I did not have to pitch my tarp, but I had to prop the door open, cause it got so hot.
8/2/07 mile 2476 > mile 2513 = 37 miles
My feet are shot. I have severe cracking and damaged toes. My toes are wounded mostly from careless tripping and kicking unseen stumps,roots and rocks. When this happens it is so painful. I sometimes walk in unbelievable pain, knowing I have to just deal with it, for I am almost done. I no longer care how much Advil I eat, cause I am almost through with those to. I find myself counting them, like some drug addict constantly reviewing his stash. My socks are worthless cause the ducktape has left sticky stuff all over them. I have now lost 3 toe nails with another ready to go. At night and sometimes in the middle of the day, I stick a needle under my big toe nail to relieve the pressure. I will not describe what comes out, but I will tell you I was beginning to worry about this. I wondered if Sideshow had made it back to the trail yesterday. I did not see anyone for the 1st 10 miles to ask. There were cobwebs accross the trail for 15 so I figured he had not. I then left him a note introducing myself, and explaining that I would take the original route around Glacier Peak. I saw some section hikers, and a couple of ladies in their 60's who were doing great. They told me about a weather pattern coming in. I made it to the detour around Glacier Peak and went the original route. I ended up camping in White Pass and watching the clouds build.
8/3/07 mile 2513 > mile 2549 = 36 miles
I woke up early, with the clouds building quickly around me. I made great time, even though the visability was 40 feet at best. I was walking through my favorate section of the PCT and could not see it. This was the day I should cross paths with Eric, my ol hiking partner from 05, for he is yo-yoing this year. It was cool and damp, and felt like it was going to downpour at any moment. As I dropped down to lower altitude, the conditions improved. I then decended to the White Chuck River and saw a lone hiker. He was going through his rations, and seeing if he had enough to turn back. He told me, if I was to cross the river, I was taking my life in my own hands. Without much to say I tested the 8" log and proceded to cross. It was very sketchy and I would not have wanted to go back that way. I waved at the guy, for the roar of the water was to loud to hear one another and continued north. For a few miles, the trail was slightly overgrown and real wet. I made great time concidering the condition of the trail. I then assended Fire Creek Pass, and found the most snow so far this summer. It was hard and icy. I made it down the large snow field and came accross a narrow snow shute. It was approximately 20 feet accross and 50 feet near verticle. I attempted to skirt around the top, but slipped and fell to my butt, trying hard to dig my heels into the ice to slow myself down. I only slowed down when the snow turned to rocks and my heels could get a grip. I jumped up and walked around checking myself out for wounds. I was shocked to find only minor abrasions and a sore tailbone. I went back to the base and picked up my belongings that came out of my pack, and continued north. Soon I was in huge overgrowth, and large blowdowns. A couple of spots of the trail was washed out and made for a difficult crossing. Then after crossing milk creek, the overgrowth was so bad that the trail was non existant at best. I was relieved when the trail reached Vista Ridge and was in nice shape for a few miles. When the trail started decending to Vista Creek, things got really bad. The Blow Downs were every 50 to 100 feet, and the trees were up to 7 feet thick. Sometimes the tree would take several others with it, and or lay parallel to the trail and make thing real slow. It was one long obsticle coarse that seamed to go for ever. Once reaching Vista creek, things got easier. The blowdowns were few and far between. Finally I reached the Suiattle River and found a log accross it. I stopped a couple of minutes, caught my breath, and crossed the log to the other side. I screamed F-yea over and over, for the last huge obsticle had been completed, and I was ahead of the record by more than two days. I then limped up the switchbacks all beat up and tired, for I just had the hardest day of hiking of my life. Although I was physicaly destroyed I was mentally charged, and would scream out now and then with pure joy. I was still going under, over and around blowdowns, but I knew the trailcrews had made it to the detour turn off just a couple more miles ahead. I put my tarp up, right accross the trail and tried to find comfort with my new tailbone injury. I also realized why I did not see Eric, for he went through north and surely decided to take the detour south.
8/4/07 mile 2549 > mile 2574 = 25 miles
This morning I had things all figured out. I could hurry and beat the record by a few more hours or I could take my time and beat it by a day and a half. Considering The next town is my favorate on the PCT, I chose the second. I would casually come in and catch the last bus to town, and leave on the first one out, in the morning. I had a hard time the first few miles, I was sore all over, especially my tailbone. I met lots of hikers, and dispite my injuries, I was on cloud 9. I was relieved to find the trail crews had cleared the major blowdowns from last winter. Thank You! When I made it to high bridge, I heard a jeep coming. I ran to the road and put out my thumb just in time. I got a ride to town and could have caught the last bus out, but decided to stay anyway. I was no longer in a hurry to finish. I had done what neede to be done and I was content with that. I then met Berkeley Bill, the last hiker ahead of me. We exchanged a few stories and he hopped the next bus back to the trail. I then proceded to eat alot of food. I washed all my things, including my pack. I went back to the resteraunt and ate more food, and met a few people, who's family started this resort in the early 1900's. I then grabbed my things and camped on the porch of the old cabin in town.
8/5/07 mile 2574 > mile 2603 = 29 miles
I woke up early and went streight to the resteraunt to eat. I hung out with a bunch of fire fighters who were about to go fight a fire somewhere close to the trail. I had to wait for the first bus and then make a few stops along the way. My favorate stop is the bakery, where I bought a buch of cookies to go. I grabbed carrot cake, and a blueberry muffin to go. At the next stop, Cliff the owner of the ranch, who I known from the pass, sold me a new pack for next year. They do not make this pack anymore and I feel it is the best pack made for thru-hiking the PCT. He mailed it to my house. When I was dropped off at the trail, Sideshow was there. It was nice to meet him. He said he found my note, and also saw where I had slid out. He crossed paths with Eric, who had just came out of the detour. I then walked back to where the jeep picked me up, only to cause the bus driver to stop and try telling me where the trail was. He just laughed at me. I then walked on, watching the clouds build once again. As I came to coon creek I was amazed on the amount of frogs on the trail. There must have been millions. They were the size of dimes, and were so many, you could not sep without crushing dozens. At first I tip toed, but it just seemed useless. I then passed a family of section hikes who could not believe I jumped in the ice cold water to bath. I explained I would rather be cold for a miute than dirty all day. I was soon on the high crest again, and the storm was coming in strong. I felt like the PCT GOD was not going to make things easy for me. I had been unheard of rains for this time of year, and it just continues. I chose a nice camp spot, where I could set my tarp up weather proof. It was surely going to come down hard. Soon after getting in my bag, I had the pleasure of being in a grand lightning show. It was exploding all around me and soon was accompanied by a intense downpour. This was the hardest downpour of the summer, and the funny thing was I fell right asleep, ignoring the whole crazy thing. I was woke up once when I felt a stream of water under me. I created a dam, and mopped up the water with my shirt and went right back to sleep.
8/6/07 mile 2603 > mile 2641.5 = 38.5 miles
I woke up this morning and just stuffed everything into my pack. All my clothes and gear was soaked. I also had to hike through alot of wet undergrowth. About 6 miles into the hike I ran into Berkeley Bills fresh foot prints. The sun came out, and I stopped in the first clearing to dry my gear. I was not too worried about my clothes, but more focused on my sleeping bag. It took 30 minutes or so and I was back on my way. I saw some large deer as I assended back to the crest. Soon after I passed harts pass I saw Bill in the distance. We had a great time hiking together. Time passed quickly, as we exchanged stories and information about our hikes. He was planning to turn around aftwer he resupplied in Manning Park. We camped on a high mountain pass, each assuming another night of rain. The clouds and fog came in thick as it turned dark.
8/7/07 mile 2641.5 > mile 2655.4 = 13.9 miles Canada - Northern Terminal
I was woke up early by Bill, who was already breaking camp. We were walking at 5:10 am. I was filled with joy all the way to the border. I had no idea, how I would react on reaching the terminal. I passed by in 05, without hardly breaking pace. When I saw the cut in the trees, which marks the US, Canadian border, I began hiking faster, yelling out in happiness, "I did it, F,yea, I F...en did it". over and over. I was torn between joy and relief. Bill then arrived, as I sat down with the register. I then got a bit emotional, something I did not think would happen. I have to admit I was ready to be finished. I wrote something to the fact that I love the trail and all that it has done for me. We then took some pictures of each other in front of the monument and proceded north to Manning Park. I am so glad Bill was there, for he made those last miles so pleasureable. We ate well twice, we shared a hotel room, and I called home and shared the good news. I went to the pool and jacuzzi, to soak my feet, and swim a little. It was nice to sleep indoors and in a bed.
8/8/07 COMING HOME
Bill headed back to the trail shortly after breakfast. Part of me wanted to go with him. I shook his hand, said thanks and wished him well. I then was alone waiting for a bus, in public, with people all around. I found myself in conversations, not wanting to talk about where I was where I been and what I accomplished. I was done and had no desire to talk about it. It was like that all the way home. When asked I just said I was hiking and left it at that.
I was not home long before I accepted that the PCT would call me next year as well. I believe in the right conditions I can beat my record by 10 days or more, and will attempt it next year.