Passed 100 miles today! Woot! So far things have been going well. I have been feeling like a dust mite trying to navigate a crumpled piece of paper, in lots of wind. This landscape is amazing. It is very rugged and open. I have been above 5000 feet mostly. Then descending to 2500 and back up again. In and out with the contours of the mountain side. It has not been too hot, but the sun has been out in force making a great equation for sun burns and dehydration. As much as I dislike my sun hat, I have been grateful to have it. The first few nights I was very cold, and got very little sleep, but I guess it has warmed up a bit becsuse I have been sleeping much better. There was a bit of moisture today, falling from the sky with the 40 mph wind gusts, making for a very challenging morning.
The afternoon was, I think, my favorite bit of the trail so far. I descended back to the valley floor to a spring, gravity fed to a trough, with full cans of beer and gatorade floating in the cold water. After enjoying my very last bit of food, I started out across a highway, when a man down the road waives Robbie and I over to his RV for more beverages, hotdogs and cookies! Woo!
Then the next eight miles were rolling grass meadows and beautiful rock formations. We saw some wildlife (cows) and we walked along an oak tree lined stream. I'm now in Warner Springs, and my belly is full of burgers, onion rings, and chocolate ccake.
To the post office in the morning for my package of food, then to Idyllwild within 5 days.
Now that the hair cut is out of the way...
Were driving to the Portland airport right now, and it's 6:20 am. We left right after I stuffed all of my bits (my home for the summer) into a large red duffle, and now it's only two days till the walk actually starts.
I want to thank all of my friends, for coming to say goodbye, whether or not it was to actually see me or for the food and beer (Seth). And also Jessica and my parents, for being so supportive, and taking care of my little dog, and all of the things you will do for me from mission control. I could not have this privilege without you guys. It means very much to me.
I would love to get encouraging emails from everyone, I should be able to recive them at least once a week. Although I may not be able to reply always, it would be nice to hear from you. I also love cookies in gift packages.....I will let you know where to send them if you like. Samuel.firstname.lastname@example.org is my email.
Here I poke with my fat little thumbs at the tiny keyboard touch screen on my (Dad's) phone. I have spent a good part of the last two days trying to get a post from this phone to the Internet. No luck so far, but I think this one is it (I have said that in the last three attempts). I figure better to work it out now than on the trail.
In between all of this technological nonsense, I have been finishing up the first resupplies, and I'm hoping to get them in the mail to California tomorrow. There are so many little things that have to be done still, but when I go to do them, I can't remember what they all are. Lists. That would be smart.
I'm very excited because wen we get to San Diego next week, I have a free day before I start walking. I talked to my friends Sam and Tom and they are going to spend the day surfing with me! What could be better than that the day before you start walking 2600 miles.
Hope you all can read this online cuz it just took about an hour to write on this little thing. Here is what 48 snickers looks like.... Don't be jealous, I have to work for those.
Since my foot has been bothering me from my old shoes, I took a couple days off from walking. Then on Tuesday, Matt and I went up highway 58 to do the 12 miles to Eagles Rest hike. No pain at all during the 2000ish foot climb! We sat there for ten minuets having a snack, and watching the clouds blow by, and when my muscles got good and tight we were ready to start down. My foot started hurting again right away, and by compensating for that, I got my knee to ache too. So my plan from now till Campo, is to sit and read Nomad's new book, eat plates of pasta with butter, and finish up my resupply boxes. Maybe just a few short walks in there if my feet are feeling okay. I don't want to blow it now!
Lots of the hikers are talking about weather in southern Cali right now. Lots of snow and ice around. I really hope the early starters are safe and using good judgment. No need to push it through the snow dangerous trail conditions this early in the journey. Here is a trail journal of a hiker that is near mile 200 of his thru hike right now. I highly recommend reading the day of the link and the day before. Great story. http://trailjournals.com/entry.cfm?id=303568
Good luck Freebird
If all that isn't enough to bore a person, here is my most recent gear list. I will not carry all of this at one time, just most of it. There are also things that I will have that are not on this basic gear list. Things like ice axe and bearcanister will be only carried for sections that have snow and bears to add to the adventure. The total here is 9lbs 11.8oz
(Click FULL PAGE at the top of the gearlist so you can actually see it) PCT Gear List
The sweetest part about having a birthday right before a PCT thru hike is getting to eat the best chocolate peanut-butter cake ever. Some say you should try to pack on the calories before a long distance hike and build up your fat reserves, so with birthday cake and Easter dinner all in the same week, I had a good go at that. It was great to spend my birthday with my wonderful friends and family enjoying the only sunny day in weeks, and playing pool at the pub. And with Easter two days later, I got to see all of my family at Grandma's, possibly the last time for that before I leave.
April 1st was Tashi's birthday too. Here she models her new necklace
Jen and I at the neighborhood pub
A shot of Brain with my new camera, taken shortly before I whooped'em at pool.
Jessica got me the shelter I have been wanting for the hike, and every time I set it up, I like it more. This one has mosquito netting, which my tarp doesn't have, which should add huge comfort in the sierras. My parents gave me a new camera for the hike! Its waterproof! It will be great not worry about rain, and it wont break if I drop it on a rock because its shock proof too! so sweet.
I have been having some technical difficulties, trying to decide which electronics I will carry with me. I for sure want my camera. I would like a phone, and I would like to have email, so I can keep this blog rolling along. I also have to keep every think charged some how. When trying to keep the weight as low as possible, it becomes a big headache. Who knows the best combo...... I guess I will figure it out as I go.
There has been quite a bit of talk about me cutting my hair before I leave. I don't really want to, but I know it will way more practical if I don't have to worry about my flowing golden locks. It will have to be a quick decision when it happens, and I will post a photo. So Helen stay tuned!
Its only 1.5 days till Yonder plays... better get out my overalls. Here's one more to enjoy