Showing posts from July, 2015

PCT Day 16: Storms a Comin

Day 16  6-3-2015   Sleep 2130-330 Miles 718 – 763
            There was fog all around and I was cold.  I started moving fast and the uphill got my body warm in no time.  As I cruised along a ridge, the sun started to rise and the moon set.  There was a fog settled in the valley’s.   Surely, I have died and gone to heaven.  I have thought this numerous times now.  Does heaven have days? Some better and some worse? No way.  Can’t wait to meet God.  No wait, Joey, you are a Buddhist.  At best you have been reincarnated into a hiking machine with a super sense for beauty.  Okay, I’ll accept that too.  So the machine was doing all the work and I was enjoying the ride.  Until the sun got higher in the sky.  I entered a fog, my mind was just a haze.  Could I still be sleep deprived?  I had two good nights of sleep though.  I trudged on for a bit but my pace was slowing.  Finally I remembered, “when you are slowing down and things are speeding round, you must first stop and regain the ground,…

PCT Day 15: Kennedy Meadows Cheddar Cheese Massacree

Day 15 6-2-2015  Sleep 2000 - 330 Miles 671 – 718
            It was breezy and cold when I first started.  I knew I was in the mountains and this would become more the norm.  What a relief.  Being too hot to hike midday, trying to sleep during the day and hike all night was really wearing on me.  Sleep is import, to me.  I don’t think more is better.  You want to sleep efficiently.  I believe in the ~90 minute sleep cycles.  I think mine are closer to 86 minutes, they all vary and person to person there will be huge variation.  90 minutes is easy to calculate.  So when I am falling asleep I set my alarm at four hours and thirty minutes or a full six hours later.  I figure it takes me a few more minutes to fall asleep therefore less than 90 minute sleep cycles.  But this is all guesstimation and I have not perfected sleep.  That being said, 90 minutes of sleep, which I was getting the last three nights out of the desert was not enough.  Physical exhaustion; I’ll work through.  But when…

PCT Day 14: Sweet Dessert

Day 14 6-1-2015  Sleep 100-230 Miles 626-671
            I woke up to the wind howling.  I even threw my jacket on to stay warm.  Sweet!  Again, I got the speed walking legs going and thought, man I am going to get this done in no time.  Sure enough, all good things come to an end.  The trail didn’t end, it just kicked up into a massive climb.  Suddenly, I was more power hiking and struggling up the hill.  I drink and drink, because I will have to carry less weight on my back.  The pro cyclist do it on the big climbs, I will too.  Worked great.  Except now I am reaching the top and I have all this extra water in me, that is cooling me down.  At the top, it is exposed and quite windy.  I am cold.  I repeat again…to myself, I am cold.  Well that is actually a nice feeling.  The sun was rising and I didn’t mind.  One I finally wasn’t hot and two it was absolutely gorgeous from the top of this mountain.  I wove along until I saw Highway 178, WalkerPass, the “official” end of the desert as …

PCT Day 13: Head Bobbin and a Robin spring

Day 13 5-31-2015  Sleep 130-300 Miles 575 – 626 
            Still dark, kind of cool.  Lets do this!  Yea, I am the kind of person that jumps out of bed half the days.  Sure it was only a 90 minute nap, but that is enough for my battery.  I was flying along a smooth road enjoying the cool breeze.  The twilight and sunrise was pretty, but I would have taken another eight hours of darkness.  I got water at the Golden Oaks spring and knew, twenty miles until Robin Bird Spring.  Just get to Robin Bird spring then you can nap with water.  It was so hot, there were trees, but most were burnt dead wood and provided no shade.  Time slowed down.  My legs slowed down.  My thoughts raced.  I thought it was only twenty miles, haven’t I gone farther.  Geez.  Slurp slurp.  Wait what? I am out of water?  I check my bag.  Sure enough there is just the tough drops to get to, maybe an ounce or two at most.  No biggie, I should be there any moment now and then I can drink my fill.  Shouldn’t I? Oh swee…

PCT Day 12: Windmills

Day 12 5-30-2015  Sleep 200-330 Miles 536.7 – 575
            It was still hot when I woke up and the sun was not even rising yet.  I got up to Tyler Horse canyon and got water.  I hiked until about 1100 but I was slowing a ton, as it was hot, there was not a square foot of shade and I was carrying a lot of extra weight in the form of water.  I finally found a few trees near a ridge that seemed breezy.  Without too much extra work I was able to make a spot in the shade with my legs up.  Sweet, I will just nap until it starts cooling off.  I was tired, I should sleep no problem.  Then the ants crawl all over you and the flies land on you.  It is over 100 degrees, do I climb in my mummy sack and hide from the insects and sweat it out?  Or do I try to stay cool and not let the little buggers bug me?  Didn’t really matter I realized trying both.  I was going to be miserable and not get any sleep.  But it is rest, I tell myself.  So half comatose, I lay there until 1600.  Realizing it is n…

PCT Day 11: Funky Town

Day 11 5-29-2015  Sleep 2200-400
Miles 494-536.7
Today was all about strategy.  I was coming into the low elevation desert crossing before returning back up into the mountains.  The plan was to get to Hikertown mile 518, get my resupply box, nap for a bit then tackle the flat hot aquaduct portion at night.  Well things went to plan, sort of.  I got my hustle on and got the 24 miles to Hikertown done by about 1130.  It was already brutally hot and I was glad to reach the oasis of Hikertown. Kind of a funky place, I dig it.  It was like a fake western town as you might see at an amusement park for kids.  Different little buildings named “town store” “post office” “jail”  each was about the size of a bed room and about half of them were exactly that.  I posted up at one off by myself.  I opened my resupply box and repacked my pack.  Then I napped in the shade the best I could.  When my alarm went off at 1800, I felt rested and ready to tackle the aquaduct.  I looked at the thermometer tu…

PCT Day 10: Aqua Dulce, where?

Day 10   5-28-2015    Sleep 2000-200 Miles 447-494
            Woke up to a sweet cold morning.  I moved swiftly getting through the town of Agua Dulce and got off the road before too many cars.  Then it was hot, hot and more hot.  Big water carry, seeing as I couldn’t rely on any caches.  15 miles on a sun baked south-southwest side of a low elevation ridge.  It was hot.  I thought all my sauna’ing would have helped me with this or maybe it is really just that hot.  I am trying to run a long but the whole time my eyes wonder to Bouquet Resevoir below.  If only I could sprout wings and glide down, I would just face plant into the cool blue.  Although, I guess if I magically became able to fly I would probably do something cooler…maybe not though, it was hot.  I got to the GreenValley fire station around 1330 and drank my fill of water.  I decided before the trip, if it got too hot during the day to hike (i.e. I am losing power, losing focus, losing my mind, or dangerous) that I would t…

PCT Day 9: Effin A and the KOA

Day 9 5-27-2015 Sleep 2200-400 Miles 401-447
The morning was cool, with some trapped cold air in little canyons on the way.  But that sun came up and it was quickly hot once more.  I am really glad I did all that heat training before getting on the trail.  I would crank the sauna, stretch as I usually do, but just see how long I could stay in there at 170degrees and 10% humidity, brutal.  I passed the 420 mile mark.  Of course it was the nicest mile marker with decorations of a plant/flower of some kind.  When I say mile mark: people are able to tell where they are via an app on the phone.  Often there is a “500” written with rocks or something like that.  It is not the highway; there are not green signs every mile of the trail.  This 420 mile mark reeked of marijuana.  There was not a rolled up joint for every hiker to celebrate there completion of 420 miles.  Although, that is a thought for some trail magic…just saying.  No instead the smell is radiating from a plant called “Poodle D…

PCT Day 8: California Soul; music is a rockin'

Day 8  5-26-2015  Sleep 2200-400 Miles 354-401

The sunrise this morning was amazing above a valley inversion.  The trail was nice pine needley dirt engulfed in huge pine trees.  I felt like I was in heaven.  When “California Soul” came on my shuffle, I turned it loud and got proud with my Cali soul.  I miss Cali.  I reminisced about living in the bay area a few years ago as the trail continued a long the ridge all day right next to the Angeles Crest highway.  I took a break in one of the parking lots as the trail crossed the road and was about to head up a big climb.  I dried my feet good and got to chat with a few other hikers.  When it was time to move again, I felt refreshed.  I was powering up the climb.  I could look up and see a beautiful Sun Dog or 22° halo.There is a song by Lord Huron called “In the Wind”  and there is a ski edit titled “Sun Dog”(Sun Dog Video if you got a minute) that uses the song, that we (My skimo partner) and I highly enjoy.We often sing the words as we a…

PCT Day 7: California Love, we keep it rocking

Day 7  5-25-2015   Sleep 2215-415 Miles 302-354
As the sun rose, I realized how absolutely beautiful the canyon I was in really was. The trail was cut into the side of the canyon the whole way, nothing more than a two foot ledge.It was rolling downhill and once again I was cruising.When I crossed Deep creek for the last time at the bottom, I stood right in the creek to soak my feet while I cameled up.I knew it was going to be a long hot section in the sun and it was already feeling hot at nine or so in the morning.Boy was I right.I kept trucking but I felt like I was totally out of it.I was glad my pack weighed next to nilch.This was the first test of my nutrition training and man was it paying off.I packed enough food from Paradise CafĂ© to barely make it to Cajon canyon.If I felt like I wasn’t going to make it, I would suck up the four miles and get a resupply in BigBearLake.Well as I rolled by Big Bear, I decided with confidence that yes indeed I would go for it and I would surely mak…

PCT Day 6: The River

Day 6  5-24-15  Sleep 2145-400 Miles 251.5-302

I was right: slept amazing.  I didn’t want to get up in the morning, because I was sleeping so well, but also because it was so cold.  But Canada on my mind.  I was up and moving fast to stay warm.  I moved well for the first ten hours of the day, the music was hitting the spot, the trail easy, the views beautiful; I was flowing, in the river.  My philosophy on life; The River; go with the flow and it is all downhill.  You can eddy out when you want, portage if you need, or just send that waterfall when you feel like it (I thought I was reading a hiking trip report, not philosophical babblings)   It was getting hot in the afternoon and I was exposed in the sun the entire way.  When I stopped to get water and dry out my feet, I lost all momentum.  My feet were pretty wet and so I spent the little extra time making sure they were dry.  I continued slowly running on this apparently never ending descent.  All I wanted to do was walk and looked…

PCT Day 5: Uphill Battle

Day 5  5-23  Sleep 2145-530 Miles 204.8-251.5

Well I slept in, not on purpose.  I had only been using my watch for an alarm, as to save my phone battery.  I must have hit the button to stop the alarm without knowing or did not hear it because of the wind.  Either way I woke up at 530 instead of 400, whoops.  Well I am sure that the hot section I have to hike through today will be even more fun now, seeing as how I will be there more like 1200 then 1030.  Anyhow, I was cruising and it felt good.  After a while though, I couldn’t help but feel like every step was uphill and I was just crawling along.  Well, it was!  I climbed about 7,000 net vertical feet.  I therefore had no reason to get upset about how much walking I did for the day.  Finally, I reached a place with a view.  And what a view.  I could not tell, but I assumed there was a lake down on the horizon and thus the reason the fog-cloud had pooled in that valley.  Gorgeous!  If I could, I would have set up camp there and watch …

PCT Day 4: Mt San Jacinto

Day 4  5-22-2015  Sleep 2200-317 Miles 159.7-204.8
Woke up to rain drops dripping on my head.  It was 3:17am, 43 minutes before my alarm.  I figured I might as well get up, get going and finish the road walk section before too many cars were out.  It was windy with the rain kind of spitting, which made for a cold morning.  I was on the Hurkey Creek section when I clipped a low hanging branch.  It grabbed my rain jacket (must have just been a funny angle) and I heard a loud rip.  Looking down, I let out a slight curse, but kept moving.  I had a foot long gash in the torso section of my jacket.  When the rain let up for a bit, I took the jacket off and taped it with duct tape.  It didn’t really hold and I could tell was not going to be a long term fix.  The next thing I did was check my phone for cell service.  Bingo, searched outfitters and found “Nomad Ventures” in Idyllwild only 1.9 miles off the trail.  At the store I was also able to pick up a thermal top and some wool socks.  I did…