Friday, May 4, 2012

Heading north, of Idyllwild!

Well it is finally going to happen. I am going to leave the warmth of Stacey's home town and nurturing care. Tomorrow we, Mother Goose, Alphabet Soup and I will be heading off to Hwy 10, avoiding the knee deep snow on Fuller Ridge and the potential disaster of falling off a snow bound cliff. Dramatic sounding I know but it has happened. But it won't to me! I don't know what the next days will hold but I am assured of adventure.

Say goodbye to the San Jaciento Mountains.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

May 3rd Stacey's House

What a pain today was, at least in the beginning. I began hiking at 6:30 am and started with hill climbing, continuing with more hill climbing. Because I didn't get far enough yesterday, and I seemed to be moving slowly up hill, it became clear to me I wouldn't make it to Idyllwild by trail today. Foolishly I hadn't packed enough food for tonight so I had to make a choice to take a side trail out and get to Idyllwild by an alternate route. What a duffus I am. I hope to be able to manage the logistics of this stuff better as I go along.

May 2nd Near Cedar Springs. Mile 163

It's dark now and I am in the company
of Alphabet Soup and Mother Goose. They invited me to travel with them and I believe I will. Traveling alone during the day and camping in company at night. They are an unlikely duo, he in his early thirties I'd guess and she 64. They make great traveling companions though. Mother Goose is a legend, though you'd never know it by her own voice. She actually has, if you can believe it, 35,000 miles under her shoes. She started long distance hiking in 1988 and hasn't stopped yet. Her goal is 50,000 miles by 80. I think she can do it.

Today was a late start day, not getting on the trail by 11am. Still we managed 13 miles, most of it up hill. The bulk of the day was spent in my home territory. Big boulders, pines, manzanita, the smell of sun on rocks, wind in the tall trees. I learned to live outside in these mountains. I have a deep heart connection to this part of the world.

I met up with another snake friend today. This time I got a photo, though it isn't great. Maybe next time I'll get even closer, though still safe of course.
The other image is of the fog coming into the valley below our camping spot. I'm glad not to be in that cold soup. Burrrrr. This is one time when the old adage of "hike high, camp low" would be a bad idea.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1st. Table Top Mt. Mile 147

Happy May Day, Beltane and/or International Workers Day! I think I have everyone covered but if not, feel free to comment so I can celebrate that too.

My celebration is consisting of walking uphill all day then Trail Angel Stacey is picking me up at Hwy 74 to take me back to Idyllwild for dinner and a general cleaning up. Not that I need it, heh, heh, heh. Then back to the same spot tomorrow morning for the two days it will take me to walk back to the spot it only took a half hour to drive from. Why am I doing this? Uh oh. Too early to be asking myself that question.

At 11 today I walked up to a water cache called "The Hikers Oasis". Apparently some people, from LA no less, drive 100 miles (one way) to put water out for thirsty hikers. What a blessing that was, to know there was some water there that I didn't have to carry on my back. Very nice of them.

The weather has been cooperating today with high clouds cutting the heat factor by bunches. Plus a wind and the walking is pleasant. Now if only my feet didn't hurt. Humph.

PS some might wonder why my Spot beacon never seems to be anywhere but Idyllwild. Well, the party will be over soon and I'll be on my own without Stacey's kind assistance.

4/30/12 Mile 137.5 Tule Spring

Phew. A 17.5 mile day today. That made up for the smallish day yesterday and makes tomorrow doable at 14 miles. Looks like I will get into Idyllwild on Thursday after all. I guess I'd better start getting used to big mile days.

Tonight I am camped in proximity to some folks I camped near last night, though we are out of earshot. There is Mother Goose, Alphabet Soup and Kent, who I've been calling Clark Kent.
I don't know the why of their names, perhaps I'll find out tomorrow.

Today at mile 127 we were able to take a small detour off trail to a guys house who lets PCT hikers get water from his tank. I don't know if he has a well or needs to have water hauled but it sure is kind of him. The photo is of his tank with my new pack in the front. I stopped and cooked my dinner meal at noon so I wouldn't have to do it late, after walking all day. I must say I am beat. The heat is hard to walk in.

Today I finally saw my first rattlesnake of this trip. I was walking along, head down and dog tired. For some reason I looked up and about ten feet ahead I saw the most beautiful rusty red rattler, in fact I believe we saw each other at the same time. The snake whipped itself into a coil and gave me a grand warning. The reason for no photo is that I was backing up too fast and there's no telephoto on my iPhone.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Mile 115

Noonish and sitting under a big 'ole oak tree, near to Aqua Caliente Creek. I am in the company of 7 other folks, recently of Warner Springs, none of whom I've met before. I am moving slow today, having just spent the last five days sitting on my keester. In addition I've got six days of food weighing me down. Well that won't last for long.

6:44pm Mile 120

Another hot day, probably in the low 90's. I'm camped at the junction of the PCT and Lost Valley Spring in the company of four guys, none of which I've known before today. They sure are yackers-and they say women talk a lot.

The Kick Off was fun but the downside of going backwards is that I am now in the company of many more people than before. I was already tired of being in the company of lots of people and was pleased I had a nice spot for the night. Well, I still have a nice spot, I'm just sharing it with many people. So much for privacy. On the other hand, I really should feel welcoming since there aren't many spots to sleep in these hills and there is plenty of space here. I can get over myself. However, knowing what I know now, I would probably have skipped the kickoff, not because it wasn't fun but because of the crowds. I didn't think of that before hand.

I am in my new tent tonight and happy for the space as this place is crawling with ants, red and otherwise. They may go to sleep when it gets dark but even if they don't I'm protected from their bites in my new home. Yahoo!