Friday, December 3, 2010

Jawbon Flats photos

Here is just a few photos from Jawbone Flats. Its an amazing place.

This is where I live, Cabin 7

 A typical afternoon

 This is what the walk across town is like

Thanksgiving morning

Full moon over Jawbone Flats

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

catching up on the business. 11-13-10

So i have completely neglected my blog. But here I am thinking I need to write about whats happening.
So my last post was from the trail at Snoqualmie pass. I will give a quick debriefing of what happened next. Julia dropped us off at the trail,  and we ascended straight into the snow. Then it turned to rain  then sleet. we saw many weekend backpackers running back to their cars to get out of a miserable situation.  And we kept walking.  The rain never stopped.  I wanted to go home. After another four days of rain walking, we made it to Skykomish, and got a hotel  room. This was the hardest part of the trail for me.  I had to make a decision now,  to continue on waking up every morning dreading the task of the day, or to not reach Canada and call it good.

 I had come almost 2500 miles, and I loved it until this point. so with 175 miles and about 8 days (forecasted to rain every one of them) to Manning park, I decided it was time for me to go home. I did not complete the whole trail in one season. and to this moment, two months later, I do not  and have not regretted my decision once. I had never felt truly depressed and un happy, until my last week on the trail in the rain and cold.  continuing on like that just seemed so un necessary. Perhaps if i had seen some of Washington's epic views, and could have dried my sleeping bag a time or two it would have been different. But it wasn't.  And that was the coolest trip I have experienced yet.

Now Jessica and I have a backpacking trip planed for next summer, and I cant wait. The Canadian border should still be there, and hopefully we see the most beautiful section of trail with some blue sky.

Since I have been home, I have been filling my time working, and dreaming about the trail life. And thats about it. When you spend all day as a stone mason,  all you want to do after work is sit still. I guess the good news is after almost five months of just walking, I finally have got some upper body strength.

This afternoon I'm moving back to the woods. I took a sort of caretaker and maintenance  position for the winter at Opal Creek Ancient Forest.  Its a very cool old mining camp that is used as an education center in the summer. I will live there with a couple other people, taking care of the property until april.
Im hoping this works out so I can be skiing off my front porch and into the woods at any moment I wish.

Stay posted for pics of this next adventure. and i do have internet at my new home in the woods, so send me an email, and let me know when you want to come visit.
And thanks to every one who helped me on my hike. I honestly could not have done it with out all of you. The PCT had been my dream for a long time, and I got to experience it to the fullest. I owe many thanks.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Snoqualmie Pass, Mile 2,401

Being at mile 2401 is good news, it means there is only about 260 miles to go. Although Washington is full of big climbs and relentless descents, it had been more of a mental challenge than a physical one. My body can comfortably handle the terrain, and the miles, but i have been on the trail for well over four months, and I can see the end now. The summer season is slowly losing its grasp on the mountains, and I feel like we are racing to beat autumn to Canada.

The First 80 miles of the state were full of elevation gain, 2nd growth forests, and clear cuts. On a cold rainy day in this forested section, we made an unplanned side trip to Trout Lake, for a warm bed, and a huckleberry milkshake. This was an important stop, due to my slowly slipping motivation. With an attitude adjustment, we were back on the trail, and climbing into the Mt. Adams Wilderness. Although still cold and cloudy, we were leaving the clear cuts and entering the mountains that make the Washington Cascades a remarkable place. We walked thru huckleberry fields, and beautiful northwest forests of Douglas Fir, Hemlock, and Alaska Cedar.

Before arriving at White Pass for resupply, we passed thru the Goat Rocks Wilderness. I was really hoping to find some mountain goats here, because I'm almost an expert on goats after working on the farm, but they were no where to be found. On a cold fall like morning, we passed through the clouds at over 6500 ft. During very limited visibility, we walked across a 5 foot wide ridge on the crest called the Knifes Edge. It felt like climbing in a true alpine style. the Goat Rocks were possibly my favorite section of trail of the whole trip. check out the most recent pictures for sure.

After some deep fried food and a resupply at the gas station in White Pass, We continued north as the weather deteriorated. We walked thru some rain the first day, but managed to wish it away in time to pitch camp. The next day, started overcast, then drizzle. Then when we wanted lunch it started to rain, so we huddled under some nice cedar trees for  some relief. After lunch, the weather took a real crap, and according to my little FM radio, reached a record three inches of rainfall. It was uncomfortable. The rain did not let up, so we pushed for a 30 mile day and arrived a nice shelter, with a wood burning stove, and plenty of mice to keep company for the night.

The next two days faired-up and were not too special. More clear cuts, which I happen to not like at all. We ended up at Snoqualmie  Pass on Thursday, where our wonderful friend Julia took us to her home in Seattle. Today is our second zero day and I hope the last one of the trail. It finally feels like the end is in sight. I am having mixed feeling about finishing, I'm having fun, and I like this simple way of life, but my feet are tired and most of all I'm missing a certain little Pit Bull that's waiting for me at home.

It seems that we will reach Manning Park on September 16 or 17, where my parents will pick Jessica and I up for a long drive home. I may not be able to post until I get to Canada, so for now, check out all the new pics by clicking the link above this post, or the link in the post below. Thanks to everyone for all the support. It means a lot and keeps me going when I'm wet and cold. More from Canada coming soon!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More photos

Post from HQ in Eugene: Sam and Jessica came off the trail today for a couple of zero days in Seattle. They left the trail at Snoqualmie Pass, near mile 2400. Rec'd a SD card with photos yesterday. Take a look on Flickr at PCT Set V.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Oh Washington.

Dear Washington,

After 2100 miles of walking I have reached your southern border. My feet are hurting, and my body is tiring. I'm told that you have many climbs and many beautiful vistas to enjoy. As autumn starts to join us in the mountains, you will become colder, and more rain is most certain to join the daily routine. But as it turns out, I'm excited for that. Just no snow. Please. In a moment, we will cross the Columbia, and be with you for three weeks. Take us to Canada!


Monday, August 9, 2010


This is going to be a quick one, I only have the rest of this afternoon to relax and sip on PBRs before we head back to our summer home on the trail.  Jessica and I made it from Ashland to Highway 58 and Eugene in 9 days. It was mostly amazing terrain, with good trail and great views. But... there is these little things called mosquitos that can ruin your life, at least when you live in the woods. And for a about 197 of those 200 miles, you could be moving  at a full sprint, and they would still be swarming and biting and sucking your blood . So instead of hiking 100 more miles to Santiam pass, where we had planed on heading home for a couple days, we have taken our break a little early.

I have learned  that its really important to remember that all discomforts will pass with time. If its not Mosquitos, its heat, or wind, or cold, or snow covered trail, or who knows what else the trail will put in front of us. It is a test of patience. Because walking is slow, and nothing happens quickly. Its been a great lesson and as I look back all the challenges so far, I feel nothing but grateful. So always remember discomforts will come to pass.

Its been so nice to be home, eating burritos and wearing cotton for a few days. Today is our third full Zero day, and I feel really rested, and ready to finish the last 700 miles. We spent the last two days preparing all of the resupplys for the remainder of the trip, which was a chore, but now its done.

Early tomorrow were headed back to Willamette pass by car, then north on foot. Im hoping with my whole heart all the stupid mosquitos are dead, but I'm sure there not. so we will just keep walking, and make the best of it.

All my most recent pictures are posted now . Check them out here or click the link at the top of the page. Sorry for all the pics of me.... Jessica had the camera. There's also a couple more pics from my phone, below this post... hope you like them.

Canada is only a little over four weeks away!

Some pictures to look at

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heart Oregon

I finally arrived at the Oregon border after walking three months to the day across California. I certainly got my fill of the state, and I'm very happy to be on familiar trail again. As one would imagine, there were many highs and lows over 1700 miles of walking. California offered so many amazing mountains, views, and memories, and I'm grateful my body and mind allowed me to reach  the end of one state, and the next step of this journey.

From the OR/CA border, it was 25 more miles to I-5, where we arrived yesterday morning. As we descended from Mt. Ashland, I thought about all the experiences I have shared with Furniture and Ishmael, and how fortunate I have been to have traveled with great friends for three months. I can only imagine what future adventures we will embark on together.
 Before hitching into Ashland yesterday, we had coffee and a breakfast beer at Calahan's Lodge, and thought about all our good times, and how how our hikes would change as we parted ways. We spent the night at the home of ultra runners Erin and John, who took us in with great kindness and hospitality. After coffee this morning, I rode with Erin to take Furniture and Ishmael back to the trail,  so they could continue their quest to reach Canada before late August deadlines. We said our goodbyes and Erin and I headed back to town.

Im hoping to have all of my administrative duties finished before Jessica arrives on tuesday. Im very excited to be able to walk the rest of the way to Canada with her. We will leave Ashland Wednesday morning  and walk to Crater Lake, where if all goes well, we will get to spend the day with  my parents.

Over all things are going very well, and I'm having lots of fun. So I guess its been a successful trip so far. Every day, when its really hot and my feet hurt and my legs are tired, I remember how fortunate I am to be on the trail where I have chosen to live for the summer. I can tell already that its going to be hard to leave the trail lifestyle in only 6 more weeks.

I want to thank every one who cares at all to read this blog... it means lots to get those positive and encouraging comments and emails. It certainly helps keep me going when I'm down.

 If anyone wants to come visit Jessica and I on the trail, this would be a good time to let me know. I have a pretty dialed in itinerary for Oregon, and I would be able to give pretty specific days and locations. So if a 25 mile day hike, or a car camp on the PCT sounds good, call or email me sooner than later and we will set it up. come play!

I just posted a couple pics from my phone too, so scroll down!

hope everyone's summer is groovin along!



Here's a few photos from the last 400 miles that I took on my phone.

Officially in northern California... Furniture and Ishmael demonstrate what we do best... Walk

Lawn art

The half way post

Lodging at the Heightman's in Old Station,Ca. My dream house really!

A bit less trail, but still important.... Caldera brewery, Ashland

Friday, July 16, 2010

Whoa! Mt Shasta

The last couple of weeks have been lots of hiking and very little time in town. It has been very enjoyable, but it hasn't allowed for blogging. So while I have a quick moment here in Mt. Shasta,  I will give you a run down  on what a typical day has been like for me.

I usually wake up around 5:45 or 6, then lay in bed until my eyes open all of the way. I put on my pants, deflate my sleeping pad, and stuff my bag. For breakfast, I usually have a gourmet Cliff Bar with peanut butter and honey on it, and a chocolate instant breakfast mixed with water in my bottle. I like to be packed and walking before seven, but some days it just doesn't happen.

I will walk for two or three hours, then have a short break for a snack attack. Then I will walk 'til 12 or 1 or later, and its lunch time. For lunch, I love burritos! I usualy have a tortilla with cheese and some pre-sliced meat. I usually add mustard and hot sauce to make it delicious. After lunch I walk some more. Dinner time comes around 6 or 7 depending on where the nearest water source is.  Dinner is usually a Lipton side, with a potato bomb (instant mashed potatos dumped on top) or couscous with tuna. I love dinner.

I will walk a while longer, lately til dark or around 9 pm, set up home for the night in a nice patch of  not always flat dirt, and then the whole thing starts again the next day.  Its a simple life, and a little gritty at times, but it works for me.

Its only 200 mile from here to Ashalnd, and I'm hoping to make it there in 9 days. Once I get there, I will be taking a few days off and Jessica will be coming to join me for the rest of the trail. I can't wait. At that point, Ishmael, and Furniture will be continuing at there amazing pace to get to Canada before their Fall commitments. I'm really excited that California is almost behind me, having been here for two and a half months already. Time to feel back at home, on some familiar trail.

More to come from Ashland in a short 9 days. Im hoping that I can label all the Flikr photos and do other good stuff like that.