Day 124-126

Day 124- Mirror Lake to Snoqualmie to Tent Site

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We woke up late, at about 5am, I was the second to last to get rolling, and I was on trail by about 530. I set off and quickly did the short climb to get up and over the ridge line that surrounded the lake. The sun light was starting to make things brighter, so I was able to increase my hiking speed. In this section on the short descent I started to get good views of the Highway that Snoqualmie pass is a part of, but the trail started to get kind of weird. It was a mix of hydro line access roads and overgrown trails. It was pretty wet to hike this morning as the overgrown sections had a tonne of dew on it. After passing a few people still in their tents, I finally got into cell range of the pass, and was able to call my baby brother to talk wedding stuff, and get life updates. I descended down the ski hill, and hit the small town of Snoqualmie pass. I headed straight to the coffee shop and found Einstein there. We drank coffee, used wifi, and talked. Eventually Darwin showed up and we kept hanging. I decided on a whim to text Tang, and see where she was these days, as she was back on trail after her broken foot had healed up. After about 20 minutes she texts me that shes in Snoqualmie Pass…..no fucking way!. I go outside to see if I see her and shes sitting on the sidewalk right outside the coffee shop!!!! It was so amazing to run into her again. I hadn’t seen her since Bishop in California. Well we spent a few hours with her catching up, and doing re-supply. Einstein set off around noon, and Darwin and I didn’t leave until after 1pm….which turned out to suck.

We headed up the long long climb, and gained the ridge line, and then we did the up downs that we are learning is normal in WA. This section was very very loose rock, and was mentally and physically very draining. We talked about all kinds of shit to keep ourselves moving. We looked ahead and figured that we would chance it on a tent site for 1 tent, and hope we could fit. Well we rolled into that tent site mentally so tired, and low and behold, Einstein was there. So we managed to set up 3 tents in a 1 tent site site, new record! I set up on a gigantic rock just because D said I couldn’t with a free standing tent. Well I sure showed him! I ate and passed the eff out. Daily Milage- 26.9m

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Day 125- Tent Site to Deception Lake

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We woke up real early, packed up, and were rolling before 5am. It was a super cool short descent into the valley, before climbing up, then back down, then back up, ect. Washington was definitely showing off how much climbing there is here. Early in the morning we had our first really cold river ford, with frozen feet we hung out for a few mintues to warm up. After this we split up like normal, but always found each other for meals. I found Einstein eating near a river, so I figured I would stop and eat a bit early, but I was hungry so fuck it. I ate, D caught up, and after I ate I rolled on. There was a long slow climb up out of this valley we had been in most of the morning, with a few really steep sections. I passed a few pack donkeys, which was a first for me, before getting to a gigantic alpine lake that had a bunch of section hikers at it. It was hard to keep hiking past this, as it looked so nice! But such is trail life, you cant stop and camp at every lake. I did the long hike up and over the tall ridgeline, then descending down the far side. This is when we ran into a very wide convoluted river. I was able to stay dry by literally rock climbing up onto some boulders then jumping between boulders to stay above the water. On the far side I sat down and took a 15 minute break to eat and drink water. I helped a few groups of hikers find their way over the river, then I headed on. There was a nice gentle hike up the hill, before getting into a pretty cool section hiking on the side of a valley with lots of up and down. It was starting to drop in temperature and the clouds rolled in, I started to hike faster so I could just get my tent set up incase it rained. I passed a couple of section hikers, and eventually made it to the lake. I found a Tentsite....with about a thousand mosquitos. Einstein showed up as I was getting set up, Then we headed to go swim in the lake. It was a quick dip and wash as the water was cold, and the bugs were out. Back in the tent D rolled in and set up. We ate in our tents, listened to Darwin narrate his day to the camera, and made morning plans. We closed up our tents as it looked like we would get wet. Daily mileage-35.3m

Day 126- Deception Lake to Stevens Pass

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We woke up at 4 as we do. I crushed some food, and packed up. Einstein was already gone and Darwin and I set off. It was wet, and this was the very first day I chose to hike in my rain jacket outside of the Sierra's. We did a short climb up, then way down into a valley. The whole time we were in the clouds, so we were fairly moist.  We finally caught Einstein and hiked with him a bit. I eventually got ahead of the guys, and hiked alone all the way up and over the ski hill at Stevens Pass. I rolled into the ski lodge and they were just opening up. So I went up to the bar and got a beer and food. About an hour later the guys found me. They had been eating corn dogs on the first floor because they didn't know about the bar. Then we found Theresa(Savage) who had gotten ahead of us. I met her in Bend and had last seen her in Cascade Locks. We caught up, and the guys set off to Leavenworth. I had to hitch hike to Skykomish alone to get my resupply and then back to Leavenworth to find the hotel D had booked. I found him. We showered. Dried and cleaned gear. Did laundry. Ate a bunch of Oreos and drank beer. While I showered Darwin managed to eat a whole package of Oreos and a litre of milk and then passed the fuck out. LMFAO, what a goof. So I watched some Netflix, drank more beer, did both of our laundry, drank more beer, and dried/cleaned my gear.

Daily Milage-17.6

 

Day 117-123

Day 117- Cascade Locks to Trout Creek

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We woke up at around 6, which means we didn't really leave our beds until 630. Snuggles brewed up some coffee, and we ate some muffins. Darwin and I slowly packed up, and were rolling by 8. We cruised the bridge again, got some pictures, and started climbing. About an hour and a half in we passed Nuts, who was just destroying an entire blackberry bush. We pushed past and kept working away on the climb. After 10 miles we passed the top and started to descend. I kind of quickly pulled away from Darwin and after another 6 miles I decided to finally eat. After a half hour Darwin caught up and passed me looking for water. I caught up to him and we found Hummer chilling at an amazing river so we hung out and I swam a bit. I eventually headed out to get the last climb done. Once up and over the climb I found ACB and Suavé hanging out by the river. So I decided to eat because I didn't think I had eaten enough. I crushed summer dinner a candy. Darwin rolled by and headed off to find camping. Which turned out to be like 400ft down trail. So we set up and went to sleep after talking for a while. Daily milage-29.7m

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 118- Trout Creek to Bear Lake

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4 am came fucking fast. I slept through the whole night for the very first time on trail. So that was dope. Darwin rolled out ahead of me so I set off hiking alone. After about 6 miles I was surprised to still not have seen him, but I stopped for water, and immediately saw Darwin coming down the hill because he realised there was no water for 12 miles. Up the hill I quickly distanced myself from him but I stopped 6 miles up the hill with a good view of Mt Hood to eat. I decided that I needed to eat more than the day prior because of how shitty I felt. Eventually Darwin rolled up and we are together. After a bit I set off before him and hiked the last few miles of the climb. I found cell service and used the time to make some post trail arrangements. It's so damned surreal to be making concrete plans for the end of trail. It's been so so long, and how things are real. Either way I kept hiking while I texted and called my mom, because I spent trust myself to not roll my ankle or walk off a cliff, which I've done one of before whole texting and walking. Once that was wrapped up I picked up the pace and started to listen to GOT on audiobook. I grabbed water and a nice cold Spring, and moved the last 2 miles to a little campsite with picnic tables and a pit toilet. I ate there with a SOBO until Darwin showed up. Eventually ACB rolled in too. After an hour and a half, and one Darwin nap later, the two of us headed out. We were both really feeling it today. Heavy legs and heavy minds. Being in trail this long wears you down. If anyone things that this is fun, there wrong. When you go on a weekend camping trip and you have fun the whole time, this isn't like that for 4 months. Like 80% of the time you're tired, you hurt, and you would rather do anything else. We're both experiencing that wall marathoners hit near kilometre 40. So we hiked together to talk about whatever. Darwin told me about his podcast he was listening too, and about famous authors, I talked about the ramifications of not voting, and the complex issues with the US healthcare system. Suddenly we had crushed 7.5 miles, so we went for a swim, ate some snacks, and moved on. Our plan was to hit Bear Lake and make the call on camping. Once there we decided to be at camp by 5 and not push it today. We hung out in our tents due to the thousands of mosquitos, and talked for a few hours while eating. Eventually passing out by 9. Daily Milage-32m

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 Day 119- Bear Lake to Killen Creek

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We woke up and very quickly broke camp, and got the heck outta there due to the zillion mosquitos around us. We hiked fast as they were still swarming us. Shortly though as the forest thinned and the light started to come up, the bugs also went away. We passed by a few roads, and trail heads, and we stopped near one of them to have a quick snack. We had gone a tad over 10 miles, so we were perfectly on pace. After this we did the long descent into the Trout Lake road crossing where we'd planned to meet snuggles. We got there and no snuggles, or cell reception. So we made a decision to head to the next road, which was over a mile away. We rolled into that spot, and found snuggles Ina parking lot waiting for us. She made us sandwiches and we drank some cold beer. We packed up the food she was carrying for us, and we hung out for a while. Suddenly I noticed it had been more than an hour. So I decided to head out. It was a long long climb up out of this valley to get to the side of Mt Adams, and a lot of it in very exposed burn sections. It was amazing though the views this afforded. I passed by a lot of SOBOs, and eventually came to the first real river crossing since the Sierra's. So I forded that sucker, and did the last 4 miles to Killen Creek. I found some tent space, and then Darwin rolled in. We had dinner with 2 SOBOs and was in bed by 8. Daily Milage-36.1m

 

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Day 120- Killen Creek to Goat Rocks Tentsite

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As is tradition, we were up at 4am, and were rolling by around 5, as full on laziness is starting to set in. I wished myself a happy birthday, I am not getting closer and closer to being actually old. I am well on the wrong side of 30, but fuck it, time to keep walking. We set off, hiking together for a while. but my shin splint was in full on anger at me so I moved a bit slower than D. I was starting to look at how far we had gone, and was trying to decide on where I wanted to camp, when surprise! D was chilling on a log in a tent site, so I stopped and ate with him. The bugs were annoying, but still not bad compared to Oregon. We ate, I ate a bunch of my candy too as I was feeling sorry for myself with the pain, and we moved on. We were passing lots of SOBOs, and we passed Ran(pronounced Ron), the guy I hitched into Bend with, which was super cool to see him. I got ahead of D on a long ascent here, and started to get some great views, after a few hours, I was alone, and hungry AF, so I found a log and stopped to eat. Here Ran and his crew passed me and D kept going to get to the next water source so he could eat. I packed up quickly and moved on to lunch with them. we hung out and had a good chat for a while, which is when i realized that we had one climb up to a pass, and that's when we truly entered Goat Rocks....we had been in the wilderness area for about a dozen miles, but truly into the scenic parts. This was pretty exciting. I was still in pain, so i headed off ahead of D with plans to stop at a tent site in Goat Rocks. I climbed without pain, so i set off and kept a good fast pace, but largely I was hiking with Space Jam and Ran. We got up to the pass and holy shit....it was actually amazing. The view was just stupendous. This is also when we realized that it was Saturday....so it was going to be busy here. This is a popular weekend trip. We passed a tonne of people, I yelled at one coupe to not leave their bag of dog shit on the trail(literally a bag a their dogs shit, who packs it up into a bag, then leaves it there....), and i ended up hiking away from those two guys when they decided to chill and hang out in the meadows. It was periodically raining during this part, but just spitting, so I didn't get the most pictures because of packing and unpacking my stuff depending on weather, my camera is moisture resistant, but i am untrustworthy of lens/camera mating without an o-ring. I got up to the top of the climbing, and started the snow crossings to get to the Knifes Edge, this section was starting to get hella cool. I finished the snow, and gained the ridge-line. I crossed it, and climbed up the far side, as I crested the top, I saw 3 simultaneous lightning strikes.  So i started to move with a whole lot more urgency. I got my ass off the top of that alpine area(hint, you get struck by lightening in these situations). Quickly getting to the area D and I planned on camping, I found some tent spots in a copse of trees, and hung out with the guy that was also there with his rad Huskies. Darwin never showed up, so I figured I would find him eventually. I had some whiskey for my birthday courtesy of the dog guy. we watched a few forest fires get started by lightning, and eventually the storm cell blew out. I was asleep by like 9, because that's how old guys party. Daily mileage-35.2

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Day 121- Goat rocks to Whites pass to Tentsite near Ranier

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I was up at 4, and rolling by 0445, I saw someone up ahead of me, and quickly caught and passed him, it was Racer X, who i knew was near me and may be why Darwin moved on, as the two of them had some beef. I did the little bit of climbing that was needed to get up to the only pass for the day, and sat there to have some coffee and watch the sun coming up while I talked to a section hiker. He regaled me of his story of having a tree explode near his campsite from a lightning strike. I eventually headed out, did the long ridge-walk, and finally got to the top of the ski hill. I passed by a bunch of trail runners, and headed down the hill. I talked to a forest firefighter who told me there was a fire started just east of me, but I should be fine. I got cell service, and called my mommy as I wasn't able to talk to them on my birthday. I eventually got to the highway, and did the road walk to Whites Pass gas station(that has a restaurant, and accepts hikers packages. I had a belated birthday beer, then I had 5 more. While I was in line to buy some snacks,  I heard my name, I turned around and a random girl was like "hey, do you remember me?", I didn't, and turns out she was one of the teachers that gave ACB and I a ride into Yosemite. It was so cool to run into her and her husband, also, she had an ACE bandage I could use as a compression sleeve for my shin splint, so that was amazingly serendipitous. Darwin bought me some pizza, and all the guys there sang for me. We charged up our shit, ate a lot, drank not enough water, had a shower, and suddenly we had been there for 4 hours. So we packed up, and rolled out. We got onto the trail, and I quickly was filling up the bottom of my water bottle pocket with garbage.....fucking day hikers. Darwin and I stopped for some water a couple miles in, and the bugs were not fun. So i didn't wait for him to filter, and I headed off. I caught and passed a bunch of section and weekend hikers, and was making pretty good time. D and I had planned on a campsite that looked decent on Guthooks, and I got there in the waning hours of the day, and of course it was occupied. I kept going, and eventually found a spot that was ok, but had a lot of skeeters. After about 30 minutes D showed up, and was a little grumpy, ok a lot grumpy. Turns out a lot of the SOBOs that we were passing all wanted to stop and chat, and the spot we were going to go to that was a mile back, was where he wanted to stop. So we ate food in our tents as is the new tradition, and chatted for a while. We went to bed, after I wandered around trying to get a good picture of the mountains around us. Daily mileage-32.5

Day 122 Tentsite to cabin

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4am came as jarringly early as it usually does. We slowly got packed up, and started rolling. About 10 minutes into the hike, I turned around and was floored by the view, the sunrise was fucking amazing. Oh boy was I in for a treat if I thought that this was my good view for the day. Minutes later we entered the shortest stint in a National Park on the whole trail. Mt Rainier National Park we skirt a corner of it for a little over 5 miles. Shortly after entering it we got our first really good view of Rainier....shit I want to climb that. It was a slower day as every corner the sunrise on the mountain got better, and D and I kept stopping to shoot it. We eventually got some miles down, and stopped for second breakfast around about our normal of 10 miles in. The bugs were annoying, some biting flies were around here, but we ate, and headed off. Stopping shortly after at the highway pass to use their toilets, before climbing up and over a pass. We ran into a couple section hikers that knew Darwin, as is normal, so we talked for a bit. Then headed off. After about 2 hours of hiking we got a good view of a ski hill, and got dope ass cell service. Darwin stopped for a bit to order shoes, so i continued on, and made a quick call home. Soon we started to get into some really burnt sections, and Darwin had caught up to me here. We talked for a while about vlogging and the future of the garage gear industry(garage gear companies are synonymous with small companies, aka they work out of their garages). we had plans to stop at a cabin I saw ahead, that would be a decent day for us, but everyone we passed said they were going there. Darwin and I got separated but no biggie. I got to the cabin, and found the party. There was more than a dozen people there. mostly SOBOs, a huge group that was hiking together. Also found a couple Canadians, so that was dope. D rolled in a few minutes after me, and after a few starstruck looks, people normalized and we had a great chat with this group. We hung out for a few hours with them, and had a good stretch and massaged my legs. Finally we headed off the sleepy land at the late hour of 9 o'clock. Daily mileage-35

Day 123- Cabin to mirror Lake

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We woke up at the same time as normal, god dammed 4 am. Its starting to get tiring, being awake and hiking before there is even natural light. We are back to hiking with headlamps in the early part of our day, so that's super duper. We hiked a couple miles before we stopped to grab water from a spring, and that is the last time I saw Darwin for the rest of the day. Turns out he got stopped by the group of dudes at the spring and they cooked him up some coffee. I hiked on, and eventually stopped at around the 9 mile mark  because I had a pretty decent view. I ate, had some coffee, and rolled on. It was starting to get pretty warm, and once I was around the 18 mile mark it got pretty hot. We entered into an old burn area, and the sun was just pumping. There was a spring at about 24 miles for the day, so I planned to stop there. I ran into a bunch of SOBOs, and FINALLY met Einstein. Darwin has been getting told that he needs to meet him for some reason. Neither of us knew who this dude was, but we kept getting told we had to meet him. So I was stoked to meet another NOBO, as there was very few around now that we were so far ahead of the bubble. I had a quick chat with him and he headed off, leaving me alone at the spring. I waited for like 45 minutes for Darwin, but he never showed up. So i headed off. After a couple miles I ran into something I hadn't had in a while....TRAIL MAGIC!!!!! I had a beer, and a banana, and 2 sodas. It was so glorious, I was actually craving a cold beer all day. After that I headed off, and kept hiking on my own after waiting for 40 minutes for Darwin. I was hoping he was ok, as he was complaining about his feet. So i just kept walking, and every camp site that I wanted to go to was just ok, and every SOBO I talked to spoke so highly of Mirror Lake. So off I went to see if the rumors were true. I got to camp, and found Einstein there. I dropped my bag and jumped in for a swim. It was so amazing, cool, not cold. and I found a dope ass rock I could sit on that ended up being neck deep, so i could soak my body in the cool water. I got out, set up, and cooked up some food. Darwin finally rolled in, and was in a pretty grumpy mood. So i left him alone for a bit to chill out. He swam, and ate, and I finally waddled over to ask how he is, he was just hurting and was bummed. We made plans for the next day and hit the hay. Daily mileage- 37.3m

 

 

Life Update

Spoiler alert, I have finished the PCT. So now I suspect you are asking yourself, "but Brandon, you haven't posted a single blog post about the entire state of Washington!" Yes I know, I had grand plans to be done, and to have been crushing the edits on my photos while I hit the gym all the time and eat healthy as fuck once I got home.

Well, the thing about life is it never goes the way you want it to. You plan to be strong, you plan to be fucking amazing, and life comes in and is like, nope, not this time.  I finished, and got my packages in BC(thanks mommy), and found that my laptop was damaged in shipping. I was staying at my sister's friend from school, and I found I had incredible stress over things like trying to make plans. Thankfully Kelly was amazing and just let me tag along with her plans so I could leave her apartment and not have to make decisions. The simplest things were hard for me, as I had spent the last 4 months not making decisions on what I was going to do with my day, I knew that every day I would walk. 

On my last day in Vancouver, I got my laptop repaired. Suddenly I could connect to the world, and I figured I would go to the camp I was going to volunteer at and crush all my shit. Well once I got there it was a little busy, but in being perfectly honest, I had a lot of time to myself where I could have written blog posts, sorted and cataloged pictures, edited pictures, and posted for everyone who followed me to see the end to this part of my journey. but as things go, I started to feel that post trail depression that I was warned by Darwin about. I found myself absolutely apathetic to doing this. I would just lay there and watch youtube, or Netflix on all my free time. I had not a single iota of motivation. 

Jump forward a week and here I am sitting in Grounded(coffee shop), I have been driving everywhere to visit all the people here who wanted to visit. I saw Rachel and Lina, which made me so much happier. Yet I still have not found the motivation to write, to edit, to even apply for a job. I emailed off a resume and got a call from the manager to set up an interview and it was hard to actually dial the number to call back. I know everyone has their own battles in life, and motivation to do things post trail is definitely my newest battle. Though like many challenges I life, the hardest step is the first one, so I am spending my long weekend trying to actually start the process, sending off dozens of job applications, I'm currently pulling the thousands of images off my SD card, and after this I am going to try and find a way to remember what happened every day in Washington. 

But, because I still feel overwhelmed by the support of so many people on my trip, while I am waiting for my images to be transferred to my laptop, I fixed up one of my favorite pictures. So here is Hummer on the summit of Mt San Jacinto during a crazy cold storm. 

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Day 111-116

Day 111-Detroit Lake to Tentsite

 The backside of Three Finger Jack

The backside of Three Finger Jack

 Hiking in the late afternoon sun

Hiking in the late afternoon sun

I woke up, ate breakfast, drank lots of coffee, packed up, and waited for people to get going. By noon we finally were rolling. We got to the trailhead, took some pictures and off I went. It was a long hike in very exposed terrain due to the fire burn area. I had lunch fairly early because my feet were hurting. The run I went for the day before was deceiving because they felt fine then. After lunch I set off and caught the guys, I took a break with them because my feet were getting worse. And I took off my shoes to realise that I had my first 2 blisters of the hike. That's what I get for trying new shoes. So I hiked with the guys for a couple hours. Having dinner on a ridge with them, before setting off to hike to camp. I ended up stopping at a tent site with about 4 other tents already there and set up in the dark. My feet hurt so much I had to stop earlier, the guys kept going. I spent about 30 minutes dealing with my 6 blisters and trying to dress them, as I have had no blister issues I got rid of all my stuff for it. After that I crashed hard. Daily milage-22m

Day 112- Tentsite to Warm Spring River

 My lunch date here is Indy, we drank a couple beers and spent a long ass time talking

My lunch date here is Indy, we drank a couple beers and spent a long ass time talking

I woke up at 5, and was rolling by 530, no one else was even moving yet. I rolled by the guys quickly as they were only 4 miles away. I grabbed water, and kept moving. It got a little weird hiking through this area because it was a burned out area from last year. So that means hopping logs, and walking in soft sand and ash. This area lasted for a couple miles with some solid climbing, until it suddenly got into this nice flat meadow. So I stopped to eat, and air out my poor poor feet. After about 30 minutes I decided to head out, with one small change. I decided to hike in my sandals to give my feet a break. This worked great for a while, until I got up and over the pass, and had to hike in the snow. So my now wet and muddy feet were siding in my sandals. The first Lake I got to I washed off my feet and changed back to these horrid shoes. I also realised that it had slowed my pace down to less that 2 miles an hour. That was something I couldn't have. So off I limped. I had a long gradual descent for about 10 miles with some decent views of Mt Hood. I rolled into Ollalie Lake, where the was a small store. I got some candy and beer, obviously, and say on a picnic table to cook my lunch with another thru hiker. I hadn't met him before but apparently he had been about 2 days ahead of me since Campo. We chilled for a long ass time, like an hour and a half. I decided to set off, as it was now 3pm. I quickly did the first climb before it flattened out, once there I tried to make up time for my long lunch. I eventually realized I had cell service, so I tried to make arrangements for new shoes, without luck, and ended up having a could talk with my dad. I ate dinner in a random ass spot on trail so I could keep talking to my dad and not lose service. I eventually wrapped that up and rolled on. I had 5 more miles to go. I did that 5 miles in a little over an hour and found what I thought was the good spots. They were all shitty and on angles. I eventually heard some laughing from across the river. So I headed over there, and found a dope ass spot. The people there let me steal some space. So I set up and went to bed immediately. Daily Milage-42m

Day 113-Warm Spring River to Timberline Lodge

 The end of a lot of climbing rewarded you with great views

The end of a lot of climbing rewarded you with great views

 Little Crater Lake

Little Crater Lake

I decided to sleep in because of my big day. So once 6 rolls around I'm completely awake. So I pack up and get rolling. I climbed for a while before finally descending down to a road crossing. Just prior to the road crossing I saw a sign on a trail junction that there was trail magic at the horse camp. Should I go?? Off course I went, it's trail magic. I ended up getting a few sandwiches, some soda, a foot bath and bandages for my blisters, oh and cookies. After about 2 hours there I headed off to try and get up Little Crater Lake for lunch. To get there I walked beside an amazing lake, it was tough to not swim. But I had plans to keep. So I had lunch at crater lake, and headed off. This was now the start of a lot of climbing. I had to climb all the way up to Mt Hood. I ended up talking to my mom for a while, then my brother. Then I remembered I had been given these nut butter packets, essentially a giant gel, but flavored nut butter. So I crushed that and started the last 5 miles. I did the first 4 miles really fast, then I hit the beach sand. It was hard and slow going, but I eventually posted through it. I rolled into the Lodge at a little after 630, and on my way in I met this nice guy who bought me some beer. Then I had pizza. Then more beer. I eventually went out to the tentsite hidden in some trees at around 11, a bit drunk, set up my tent and went to sleep.  Daily milage-32m

Day 114 Timberline Lodge to Tentsite

 Ramona Falls

Ramona Falls

I got woken up by a trail runner at 6, so I watched some Netflix, then packed up and went inside to use their WiFi and charge stuff. Inside I grabbed a coffee and waited for the breakfast buffet to start. Once open I ate, a lot. Then I hung out until the lunch buffet, and ate lunch there. Eventually I decided I had to get out of there, so I rolled out with Darwin and Racer X. We hiked together and passed literally a thousand day hikers until we were finally far enough away to be rid of them. After about 10 miles I pulled over and did an extra mile to check out some waterfalls. I pushed hard and caught the guys half way up a shockingly steep climb. We grabbed water and headed off, hiking the last 2 miles to our Tentsite. Once all set up, salty rolled in, and set up near me. We ate and went to sleep. Daily milage-15m

Day 115-Tentsite to Cascade Locks

 The results of a douchebag who starts a forest fire

The results of a douchebag who starts a forest fire

 Hikertrash burger at the Ale House

Hikertrash burger at the Ale House

 The YouTube famous Darwin

The YouTube famous Darwin

4 am came reallll fast. So I went back to sleep of course. I woke back up at  about 425, and quickly ate something and packed up. Darwin and X had also left so I headed out. I made quick work of the couple mile descent then stopped to grab some water at the first little stream. That's when the two guys caught me, I had managed to pass them and not realize it. We hiked together for another 6 miles before Darwin and I took a quick break. After about 10 minutes we headed off. For another 10 or so miles we hiked and talked before we ran into X at a lake where we had lunch. X rolled out alone, we left about 15 minutes later. We climbed up out of the of the lake and went back to hiking on the ridge. We hiked for a while in the burned out area from last year's Eagle Creek fire, which was pretty depressing to see the damage from a kid shooting off fireworks during a fire ban. Either way we eventually rounded this corner and BAM, there it was, the Columbus River. So much emotion knowing I've almost made it to my last state. After a few minutes we kept going, starting the long long descent. It was really not that long but it felt like it. We just kept hiking and ft y use Emmott we popped out in town. So we walked across the bridge to see the Washington State line, then headed to the Ale House. We got our burgers, I met Jules the owner, drank a few beers, and felt amazing. Here's where the story for flipped upside down. X and Darwin booked a hotel together, I was gonna camp in the park for$5. X announced that he booked his own hotel room and it was fine because I could stay with Darwin. I felt awkward as fuck, so I said sure.... So my cheap stay suddenly cost me$120 for the hotel. It was really shitty of X but I didn't want to screw Darwin. So we headed to our room, and I met snuggles (Darwin's wife). She had cold beer in the fridge for us. So we showered and drank some beer, eventually getting to sleep at the amazingly late hour of 10. Daily milage-35m

Day 116-Cascade Locks

 Nuts proving he can fit his fist in his mouth

Nuts proving he can fit his fist in his mouth

We woke up , slowly got moving. Grabbed breakfast at the local restaurant, and headed into Hood River to get groceries. It was hard to plan out an entire state worth of resupply, but I did it. We got back to the hotel, a d Darwin and I got some salmon from the fish house, and sat down in the hotel watching TV and ate and had some beer. Then we figured out our boxes, and mailed all of our food off. Luckily for us Snuggles was going to meet us in 3 days with our first resupply so that saved $13 on shipping. We went to dinner at the local brewery, and eventually got back to the hotel and to bed.  

Day 100-110

Day 100-Ashland to South Brown MTN Shelter

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 Trail Angels who gave us a ride around the fire

Trail Angels who gave us a ride around the fire

 the sun cutting through the trees 

the sun cutting through the trees 

 We woke up at around 7, ate breakfast at the hotel, packed up, and met the trail angel that would drive us around the fire closure. Once there we got our pictures, and set off. I eventually set off alone as was planned. I had been having a lot of feelings of exclusion from the group, so I thought some time alone would be great. ACB also said she wanted to hike alone as well as she had not done that once since starting the PCT. So off I went, I caught up to some people I knew and had lunch at around the 12 mile mark, and then set off. I maintained a good pace at around 4 miles an hour trying to push myself hard physically so I didn't need to think about my feelings or the shit I had going on. At around mile 24 for the day I ran into Smooches. I started to talk to her a bit, and eventually sat down to rest. We talked about the shit going on for a while, then eventually the talk turned to normal shit. Then I decided to not do the 40+miles I had planned and camp with her and some section hikers at a cabin a few miles up. I took her suggestion to hike slow, and try to meditate or shovasana while I hiked. It turned out to be the best 3 miles of the section so far. He way the sun was cutting through the trees, and sounds of the birds, it had me feeling very relaxed. At the cabin. I met all the section hikers, and we hung out, ate dinner, and talked until dark. Eventually smooches and I talked for about 30 minutes from our tents before heading to bed. Daily milage-27.8m

Day 101- South Brown MTN Shelter to Tentsite

I woke up frozen, absolutely frozen, it was cold yes, but my experiment to ship my sleeping bag ahead and use just a sleeping bag liner seemed to have failed. But I chose to not pack up and hike fast, rather to cook breakfast, and coffee, and read the magazine I was sent by Nadine(plus her commentary on the articles). Eventually I set off last of the group, eventually passing everyone from camp. About 5 miles in I got cell service, and used that time to update my mom and sister on my shit going on, and I talked to some people who surprised me that they helped me out so much. Through this I decided that being amongst friends was a good thing. So I hiked onto the first water at 10 miles in. There I found out the guys were a few hours away and I waited there for them for 4 hours. Eventually ACB came up, and said how much she enjoyed being alone, we talked for a bit, but I eventually set off to hike with the guys, and we hiked up the long climb to eventually find mosquito hell. The bugs are out now and it seems that we're stuck with them. We grabbed water at the last spring for a while, and headed off. We hiked through worsening bugs, and kept going past our aimed for tentsites because of this. Eventually we found a spot in the middle of a climb up to a ridge that was windy and thankfully, bug free. So we squeezed 3 tents into a 2 tent site that already had a 3 person tent in it. The guy came out to pee and said it was cool we were there, so we ate in our tents as it wasn't completely bug free, and wondered where nuts was as he had fallen behind. Daily milage-28.7

Day 102- Tentsite to Mazama Village

Omce again, I woke up frozen as heck. So I brewed up coffee, and slowly ate while reading my magazine. We very slowly got packed and nuts came up to us around 730, and we were moving by 745. After a few miles we took a break because it was bug free, and we had a great view. After eating and very slowly getting going we continued to hike along the ridge, and shortly we got split up with Hummer and I out front, and Nuts and Suavé behind. Hummer and I talked about a lot of emotional and life issues, and he helped me work my way through some stuff, and was incredibly supportive of this. After a while we stopped for water and the other two rolled up, we filled up on water and headed off. 3 hours of political discussions later and we finally found some shade, and not too many bugs to eat lunch. After lunch we hiked for another few miles before getting into a super burnt out area from just a few years ago. Eventually we started to get swarmed by mosquitos so I set off alone to hike fast and hopefully not get eaten.i ended up running for 4 miles to avoid the bugs, and quickly got to Mazama Village in Crater Lake National Park. I drank beer, and ate food while I waited for the boys to show up and we could do laundry. We got laundry done, showered, hung out with some new friends, and eventually went to sleep. Daily milage-28.9m

Day 103-Mazama Village to Field tent site

 Crater Lake

Crater Lake

I woke up as the sun was rising, so I got up, went to the bathroom, walked to the one place in the park I could get cell service, and then packed up and moved to the store. We charged our stuff, got our now dry laundry, ate, and waited for Suavé's box of food to arrive. And waited, and waited. Eventually at around noon he found out it wouldn't arrive until 4, so he convinced the store clerk to ship it to his house and just bought food so we could head out. We headed off on the mess of alternat trails, and the steep climb up to the rim village, but we got there around 2, and decided to eat looking over crater lake. As we were packing up, ACB and camel rolled in. I eventually got a chance to talk to ACB about things when everyone else went to get water. I got a lot off my chest, and so did she. After talking I hiked pretty hard to catch up to nuts who had left 10 minutes earlier, and once with him he let me vent all my shit to him. We ended up talking about it all for atleast an hour. Which then turned into talking about all kinds of random shit, and suddenly 3 hours later we were at the water cache, where we met a pretty cool photographer from Washington who gave us tonnes of advice about the trail up north, and waited for Hummer and Suavé. Once they got water I was relieved to find that they wanted to continue, as I still wanted to hike more miles. So off we went. Nuts and I continued talking about all kinds of stuff, eventually only 3 miles further I looked over and saw a huge pumice stone and grass field, and it was breezey so the bugs were gone, and we all decided to camp there. It was a lot shorter than we planned, but it felt right. At that moment I felt relaxed, and happy, and exactly where I needed to be at this moment. We ate and waited an incredible sunset. Before the bugs came back, and we retreated to our tents. We talked for almost another hour, and eventually went to sleep. My sleep was interrupted by my cold situation when my blanket would move off me and I would wake up, which then I would lay awake thinking about things going on, fortunately I have Netflix shows downloaded as I could distract myself and go back to sleep for a few hours. Overall it was the first sleep I wasn't completely frozen since I sent ahead my sleeping bag. Daily Milage-15m

Day 104-  mile 1841.9

We woke up and I made coffee in my tent, and watched the sun rise. After a while I broke my camp, and headed off, with the rest of the guys still asleep or chilling. After about 5 miles I caught up to ACB. I decided that the way things were left the day before wasn't good. So we talked a bit, it got a little heated, and eventually she headed off to hike more and I ate breakfast. I wasn't feeling great, so I figured hiking fast would help. So I learned I can average 4.6m/hr uphill if I try hard. After just shy of an hour, I rolled up on ACB eating. So I sat down to try and sort shit out with us. Eventually we ended up chatting about random things. And then we started hiking, and talking. Soon we got to an amazing lookout, and we decided to hang out there. We talked and talked and hung out. And found out if you live in Quebec you can't get Spotify....hahah, language laws screw them over. Eventually Snowman showed up, a dude from Vancouver we met in Crater Lake. So it was 3 Canadians hanging out. Soon after Suavé, Hummer, and Nuts came up. They hung out for a while, and decided to camp there. It was a short day, but such an amazing spot to camp. We all were in bed by 8, and watched the sun set on the valley. Daily Milage-19m

Day 105- Tentsite to Diamond View Lake

We woke up at 5, did the normal routine of snack, pack up, and eat. i headed out first, and hiked pretty fast because I decided to listen to an album called A Moment Apart by ODESZA. I highly recommend it, but listen to it loud and with headphones. I passed to people quickly, and before I knew it I had hiked the 2 miles to water. I walked down the spring, grabbed water, and went back to the trail to eat breakfast. By then everyone had caught up. We ate, and then hiked the 6 miles to the next water, I hiked with Hummer and ACB, and we talked about science for the 2 hours, so something I could contribute a little to. Once at the water the group seperated. Suavé, ACB, and I went on an alternative trail called the Oregon Skyline Trail, the rest going on the PCT. We hiked for about an hour before we got to a lake so we had lunch sitting beside the lake. After about 40 minutes we packed up and set off. The trail here was very hot and dusty. So I let a gap open between Suavé and I so I did you have to eat so much dust. After another 2 hours we came upon a national park that was on a huge lake. So we went into the park campground, found the beach, and swam for an hour, and ate, and hung out. It was almost 5 so we figured we should head out. We hiked the last 6 miles for the day, ending at Diamond View Lake. Where we washed up in the lake, but quickly got into our tents due to the mosquitos. They weren't terrible, but bad enough. Daily milage- 30m

Day 106-Diamond View Lake to Charlton Lake

 Diamond View Lake

Diamond View Lake

We were up and eating by 5, and we broke camp in record time because the mosquitos were really bad. Off we hiked, with ACB setting a blazing fast pace to get away from the bugs. We got to Shelter Cove by 0715, which was perfect, as we could get great breakfast burritos and coffee. We hung out, charged our electronics, and ate lots. Slowly people started flowing into the campground. We drank some beer. Got our resupply packages, and were waiting for all the guys to get there to decide on hiking further. Eventually lunch came so I ate more food, and after that I ended up finally getting to talk to Camel about things. It was good to talk to him instead of letting any residual anger fester. Though in talking to him it seems that ACB was less forthcoming in her apology to me than I expected. Which has made it hard to be fully trusting in her. So after that, I packed up, and headed off to the lake we planned on hiking to with Suavé. We got a hitch back to the PCT saving a few miles of hiking on the road.  Suavé and I crushed 17 miles in one stretch with no breaks. Once at the lake we swam, ate, and were asleep by 730. Daily Milage-26m

Day 107- Charlton Lake to Hwy 20/Sentient Pass

We woke up at 5, ate some food, broke camp,and headed off. After about 8 miles we hit a lake and stopped to eat. The bugs were pretty bad so we started a fire, and ate some food. Suavé let me kno here his ankle was feeling great, and instead of the 33 miles we planned, he wanted to do 40. So we decided to look at campsites at lunch time. Off we set, we planned another 13 miles until lunch, to try to get around 20 before we ate. We stopped at Barbell Lake, I swam, and cooked. Eventually Suavé rolled into camp and we ate, and chilled with an Israeli hiker named Rambler. Suave at this point said he didn't want to do 40, but rather 50. So we looked at camp spots, and decided on a nice looking spring at 51. Then we started to hear thunder, and packed up quickly and rolled out. After a short while we got rained on for about 30 minutes. This caused two things to happen , one it got hella humid, and two, the mosquitos got craaaazy bad. So I hiked as fast as I could, and for the first time used my headnet I had been carrying for a few hundred miles. Shockingly, it helped, a lot. So I hiked to the bottom of the climb out of Elk Lake, where I was able to call my mom quickly. Once at the top we stopped for a 30 minute dinner break. Suavé decided at this point he wanted to get home earlier. And to do that we would have e to do something very ambitious, especially as we had taken some big breaks already. So we kept hiking, eventually getting into sisters wilderness. Which turned into some of the most beautiful hiking I've done so far. The meadows and the views of the 3 sisters, all of it combined to some incredible views. Suavé and I kept on rolling, passing lots of hikers in their camps, and they all gave us tonnes of support for our plan for the day. Then the sun started to set....and Holy shit. It was just insane....words can't describe it. After waiting for the sunset to finish, and snapping a few pictures, we headed off. Once we hit the 50 mile mark we stopped and had a second dinner. I had to force Suavé to eat, and we set off again. At about midnight we hit 52 miles. Daily milage-52m

Day 108- continued hiking

We kept hiking along, seeing the glow from Bend off in the distance, eventually stopping at about 1 am to grab water from a lake and have a quick snack. By 230 we hit Hwy 242 and took a 30 minute break sitting on the road. We had to mentally prepare for the lava field coming ahead. So by 3, we set off. We hit some lava, then a nice dirt section. Then we really got into the lava, we did 3 miles of climbing on loose lava rock, it wasn't all that easy. We slowed right down, and I fell once on the rock, but we eventually made it out of it. We were in a burned out section and had to now deal with a lot of fallen trees. We had a quick break at the top of the last climb, and ate some food. At about 430 we set off for the last push to get maximum miles before the 24hr point. We had a long downhill to go, and we tried to quicker our pace. As we hit exactly the 24hr mark, we checked our milage, we had hit 70.6 miles, so we stopped and took 5 minutes to rest. But because of this section we picked, we still had to get to the highway. So we had another 5 miles to go. So off I went, I talked to Rachel for an hour, then my dad, and shortly I was at the highway. 45 minutes later I got a hitch to Bend. Grabbed a bed in the hostel, and went to a pub for beer and food. By 530, I passed the eff out. 

 Day 109- Zero

I woke up, had breakfast, talked to hikers and climbers, ate more, had coffee, and finally made it to REI. I ran into Darwin, and was introduced to a dope ass trail angel named Austin. He paid for my purchase, and drove me 2 hours to get to suaves cabin. Once there we drank some beer, and ate lots of food. 

Day 110- Zero

I woke up, had coffee, talked to suaves parents for a few hours and waited for everyone to wake up.  Eventually we got to the boat, and spent the rest of the day on the boat swimming, wake surfing, and tubing. 

 Hummer running around in his hammer pants

Hummer running around in his hammer pants

Day 90-94

 Waiting for the guys to finish shopping

Waiting for the guys to finish shopping

Holy shit, 90 days on trail....well Hummer and I woke up early so we went to a cafe for coffee and some food. After a few hours I left the and headed to find ACB and Camel, and to do our resupply. We got groceries, packed them up, whent to see the new Jurasic World movie, went to the gear store for stuff we forgot, waited for Camel to finish at the library, ate food, and tried to hitch to the trail. We got a ride after not too long, and were quickly back on trail. We planned 10 miles, but it was late, after 7 I set up camp and got a fire started to keep the bugs at bay. We ate and went to sleep late. Daily milage-7m

Day 91- Tentsite to Deadfall Lakes

 Castle Crags from the PCT

Castle Crags from the PCT

 ACB and Camel post swim

ACB and Camel post swim

We woke up at 5, and very very slowly started to move. It was still quite dark in the forest, so it certainly didn't help matters. Finally we broke camp and still left by 6. The day started with a long hike up to the top of the mountains. We fairly quickly got great views of the back of castle crags, and got to see it for a couple miles. We finally got to the first water for the day around 9 miles in and had breakfast. Leaving breakfast I set off alone and hiked that way for the last bit of the climb and walked along the ridge at the top for a while. Eventually we got into a lake filled area, and had lunch at a trailhead overlooking a lake. We ate quickly and ACB and I set off, ACB letting me go ahead quickly. I was feeling a bit rushed as I had no water after lunch and was quite thirsty. I caught and passed a new face, and quickly arrived at the spring a few miles up the trail. There I talked to the new face, it was KP, he is a NOBO thru hiker who we had caught for the day, but he was talking about how he does big days. After a 20 minute break we set off, having 6 miles left for the day. It was an easy hike, rolling into the lake at exactly 1700. I found a great campsite, and swam, and rinsed my clothes. Then the rest showed up. KP came upto swim and decided to stay there. We all swam, and ate, and went to sleep. Daily milage-29.7m

Day 92- Deadfall Lakes to Tentsite

 Ben brought us pizza and beer!

Ben brought us pizza and beer!

We woke at 5, after a pleasantly windy night, finally we had a cool night so we weren't sweating in our sleep. We broke camp, and started hiking. We got to the trail head for the lakes in less than an hour. I made use of the cell service to answer some messages, and moved on. Hiking in what will become a very annoying route, turning South, and heading the opposite way we should be going. But alas, on we moved. We had breakfast 10 miles in at a small stream, and after that we hiked up to a ridgeline and hiked along it for a few miles. Eventually getting to a tentsite with some good sittin logs. We ate lunch and about 30 minutes later set off. quickly we climbed up, then descended down to the highway 3 pass and trailhead. We came up to like a hundred people there, turns out there is a summer camp that uses that parking lot. We meet Ben here, Hiedi's husband, and he surprised us with pizza and beer. So that we amazing. We hung out for a bit, and said bye to Hiedi (she's spending some days we her husband), before eventually heading off. We had 6 miles left for our planned tentsite. It was near a river, so we could rinse off in the water, and the extra beers from Ben that I packed out were cooled down in it aswell. We had dinner, and 2 Meals joined us, and went to sleep at around 8. Daily milage-29.7m

Day 93- Tentsite to Payne's Lake

 ACB hiking through a meadow before hiking back up to the top of the ridgeline

ACB hiking through a meadow before hiking back up to the top of the ridgeline

 This section has us up high a lot, so we get a lot of good views like this. 

This section has us up high a lot, so we get a lot of good views like this. 

We all slept in a little bit, but we were finally on the move at about 630, I was the last one out of camp. I had some pretty serious lower back pain that left me hiking pretty slow. I caught up to the rest for breakfast just as they were packing up. I ate alone, and quickly continued on after eating some Tylenol to try and deal with the pain. Moving on I slowly caught up to everyone, passing them all on a long climb up to where we would eat. We caught up to 2 meals, and Nuts eating on an old Forest road. So we decided to ear with them. After about 40 minutes we set off doing the rest of the climb and slowly made our way along a long slow descent on the ridge, before doing a very exposed climb in an old fire burnt section. We hiked in the exposed sun for a few hours, before finally getting onto the east side of the mountains and into some shade. This continued for a few miles before getting to our planned stop at Payne's Lake. Once there we rinsed out our cloths, went for a swim, as the water was amazing. Then we ate, and hung out. 2 meals and Nuts chose to stay with us for the night. We set up camp and went to bed. Once in my tent I noticed I had a few small holes in my tent I think caused by some sap I had on my tent. So that blows....but I have patches to try and fix it up. Daily milage-27.9m

Day 94- Payne's Lake to Etna

 A nice Alpine glow in the early morning on Payne's Lake

A nice Alpine glow in the early morning on Payne's Lake

We woke up at around 530, packed up, and headed off by about 610. We quickly started to climb and all split apart. Once I got alone I did what I always do, listened to podcasts. The morning went by very fast, getting to the trailhead by 8. There I found 2 meals and Magic Beans, who had met some class of 2014 hikers who had some magic for us, and a ride to town. So we drank some beer and headed into town. We bought groceries, and headed to the coffee shop, then the brewery. Where I write this waiting for people's stuff to upload or download before we head back to the trail to hike in the evening. Daily milage (so far)-6m

Day 84-89

Day 84-Tent site to tent site

We woke up hesitantly at 430, as we had a hard time hitching and didn't get to camp until 9pm, and only did 3 miles after dinner. So we were tired, and didn't go far enough bad on our plan. So off we went at about 530, making quick work out of the climb to start our day. I ended up alone, and ate breakfast alone, I waited a bit, but no one caught up to me. I hiked on alone to the campground that was inside Lassen National Park. Once there I waited for a while at a picnic table and hung out until Camel and ACB showed up. We used the bathrooms here and filled water bottles and moved on. We hiked for a few more miles before hitting a fast moving Creek where we got in to clean our legs, and ate lunch. As we headed off Hummer and Hiedi caught up, and we all headed off with plans to get to a lake to go swimming. Once we got there we ran into a crew we met in the desert that had flip flopped, and ruffles, who was ahead of us until then. We spent an hour swimming and hanging out before we headed off. Past this lake is largely flat, like actually flat, like boring flat. We hiked through an old burn area, and had a tree fall right beside the tree inbetween ACB and I. Other than that the last section of the day was not too great, until we saw Mt Lassen, which looked really rad. We grabbed some water from the last stream, and moved to our campsite. We ate, did our individual stuff, set up camp, and crawled into our tents by 830pm. Daily milage-32.4m

Day 85- Tent site to Cache 22

I woke up at 5, and started getting ready for the day, that is until ACB demanded of me to go back to sleep. So I layed back down and suddenly it had been an hour. We all sorely started moving, oddly enough, ACB and I were the last to leave. We hiked the first 3 miles dry to the river to get water, then did the remaining 6 ish to the highway. Once there we did the road walk to Old Station, nothing much more than a gas station and a cafe. We got food, lots of water, used the WiFi, and eventually moved on. We managed 0.1 miles on trail before detouring again, this time to the Subway Caves. It's a cool geological attraction caused by lava. We stayed a while in the cold dark caves to avoid the heat. Eventually we stopped being lazy and moved on. Doing the climb up out of the valley floor to gain a ridge overlooking that same valley. We very quickly got our first views of Mt Shasta. Which was to exciting because it's the last mountain we run into in California. We got to the last water source in this stretch, so I did the .5 mile walk down the steep switchbacks, and popped into the river to clean my legs. With water, and after eating a bit, ACB, Camel, and I set off. With Hummer and Hiedi getting water still. We ran into the first PCTA log book in a long time, also some mega let down when I found a cooler, but it was emty. We got to the cache on road 22, so affectionately named Cache 22. We set up camp, cooked food, and went to bed. Daily milage-26.3m

Day 86 Cache 22 to Burney Falls State Park

We woke up at 430, hoping to avoid a lot of the heat. We walked along the same ridge for about 6 miles before dropping down to the floor to wind back and forth before finally crossing a nearly deserted road. We sat on the side of that road and ate breakfast, with Heidi opting to just walk on. After about 30 minutes we all packed up and moved on. I quickly caught Hiedi, and we chatted for a while about the complexity of the Canadian cell phone market. We picked up the pace and ended up at Burney Mountain Guest Ranch by 11. We got some water, signed up for lunch, showered and swam in the pool, and resupplyed. We ended up staying here until 6pm to avoid the heat. Eventually we headed off, ACB and I were by ourselves and we quickly did the 10 miles to Burney Falls State Park. A quick photo shoot, dinner on a picnic table, a conversation with a ranger, and we were in our tents by about 1030. Which would prove to be problematic. Daily milage-26m

Day 87- Burney Falls to Tent site

430 came very very quick. We all packed up, ate a quick bite, and headed out. Used the bathrooms one last time and by 510 we were on our way. The climb out of the park was reasonable, descending to our first water 5 miles away. ACB and Camel caught me there while I filled up on water. I had noticed I was getting dehydrated, so I'm trying to drink a litre of water on the spot everytime I fill up. Off we went, now having to do the real climbing. Nearly 4000ft over 12 miles. Nothing crazy, but continuous ascending. I stopped at the next water source another 5 away, and found there to be a nice breeze on the trail so we just say on trail to minimize the bugs. After around 30 I moved on alone and made pretty quick work out of the rest of the climb. Once up to it was a lot of ridge walking, and sometimes doing into a forest. The water we wanted to stop at for lunch was non existent. So ACB gave me the half litre to make soup, and we ate sitting on an old logging road. ACB and I stick together after lunch, grabbing water from an amazingly cold Spring, and stopping at a small Creek 0.4miles from our camp site. I bathed in the creek and ACB napped. We eventually moved up to our site and found it to be shitty and filled with bugs. We ate food, and quickly retired to bed. Everyone was really very tired, and being in bed by 8 was hopefully going to help.  Daily milage-28.4m

Day 88- Tent site to Tent site

We awoke at 430, and were on the trail by around 515. A quick climb started our day, but afforded us a great sunrise, and eventually views of Shasta. ACB caught up to me and we walked together for a bit until she stopped to pee. Which may be get excuse as I took over now as the spider web clearer, as she expressed his much better hiking after me was when we ate breakfast. Either way we ended up on another logging road for breakfast. I ran down the road to the to to grab us water, just adding an extra half mile to my day. We ate, found out we had cell service and surged the internet and downloaded new music/podcasts. After an hour, we finally were on trail. We had a bit of a plan, instead of stopping after another 10 miles (our new favorite meal interval), we would push past year the forest service campground 13 miles ahead. Getting there wasn't too hard due to the 10 mile descent, but it was getting hot. We rolled in at 115pm, and quickly I jumped into the river, and cleaned off, and did some sock washing. Now that I felt amazing, we ate, then layed out our tyvek and pads, and had a nap. A few hours later the rest rolled in. More river time, more clothes cleaning, and lots of stories later, it was 5 pm. Camel moved on to eat later, but the rest of us were hungry. So we ate dinner, then moved on to hone the remaining 6.5 miles. Waiting out the sun proved a good idea. As we got to camp to find a really nice flat spot, that was also overrun with mosquitos. So we quickly cleaned our legs and arms due to the vast amount of poison oak, and got into our tents. Not having to cook thurned out to be a godsend. We were mostly all asleep by 830. Daily milage-29.7m

Day 89-Tent site to My Shasta

We woke up at 4 to try and get a slightly earlier start on the day as we were mostly all out of food. ACB and Hiedi were the only ones awake with me, so we all set off. Due to the heavy tree coverage we needed headlamps to hike, but only for the first hour or so. We eventually got to the first good water for the day at a river that looked like it would be great to swim in, but being as how it was 6am, I only got water to drink. ACB caught me here and we discussed a breakfast spot, after making a decision I took off on my own. I came across a deer right on the trail shortly before our breakfast spot, but it eventually ran away once I was a few feet away. I got to our breakfast spot, simply a tentsite that was both at the top of the hill, and had good sitting logs. ACB and Hiedi came up and told me they saw a bear, in the exact spot I saw the deer, maybe it was hunting. We ate and moved on, having a long walk up top, then a longer descent. I hiked fast, feeling pretty good, and set a new record for speed for myself, doing 23 miles before noon. At the start of the road walk I came upon Nuts, which surprised me, and he told me about all his blister issues that slowed him down. We swam in the Sacramento River, and ACB and Hiedi found us and jumped in aswell. We eventually decided to try and hitch, nuts and Hiedi tried at the onramp, and ACB and I went up onto the interstate. After about 10 minutes ACB and I got us all a ride up to the town of Mt Shasta. We figured out a place to sleep and got some Mexican food. Then we checked out the gear shops, and got dinner. Getting to sleep behind one of the gear shops, lucky for ACB and I, we shared the space with a local homeless man who talked loudly to himself all night. We did eventually get to sleep, but not without some laughs. Daily milage-23.6m

Days 81-83 Belden to Chester

Day 81- Belden to Philbrook Lake

We got up at 430, had coffee and cereal, and Brenda the trail angel drove us back to the trail. We were on trail by 530 with a warning to watch the poison oak. We started the 12 mile hill, hoping to find Camel. There was a lot of poison oak around the trail for most of the climb, with large sections fairly overgrown. So we smashed through it, hoping for the best. We got to the campsite Camel slept at, as he left us a mark in the ground we knew where he was. Hiedi got cell reception and was able to message Camel, he was 2 miles past the turn we wanted to make, so he turned around and met up with us. We made a hard left turn to get off trail, found the dirt road after a couple hundred feet of bush whacking, and made our way to Zu's cabin. After some adventures, and met getting annoyed and hangry, we finally made it to the cabin. We were the only ones there so we hung out and ate on the deck. Eventually Zu showed up after her hike, and we played guitar, went swimming, ate lots of snack food and drank lots of wine spritzers. Eventually we borrowed the neighbors SUPs, ACB and I hung out paddling, Zu ripped around in a kayak, and Camel rocked a canoe. After a while we decided to go cook. After a great dinner of pesto ravioli, salad, brussel sprouts, and meat balls, ACB and I retired to bed as we were very fatigued. 

Day 82 Philbrook Lake to tent site.  

We woke up to Zu cooking breakfast. A few of us pitched in and we all ate by about 8. We had  coffee, and hung out a bit in the cabin. We slowly packed up, and her uncles decided to drive us to the trail. Saving us from the 4ish mile walk. We finally got going at about 1130. We quickly did the road walk and got back onto the PCT at the 1300 mile point, no mile marker was there, so we moved on. We hiked about 2 miles and stopped for lunch, it was a quick one as some black flies were saying my legs, and I fucking hate black flies. I inhaled my food, and left on my own. After almost 5 miles we came up to Cold Spring, a water source Zu told us to use. It was super cold and delicious. We all grabbed a few litres as the water for today was all off trail by at the least a third of a mile. And no one likes off PCT miles. So a water carry it was. The hike was pretty flat considering what we've been doing, lots of little up and downs. I caught up to ACB after a while and we walked and talked for the last 6 miles of the day, a lot of it on a ridgeline that gave us some good views, the scenery looking more like Ontario, hills covered in trees. We got to camp, set up, cleaned and ate. Then had a couple deer walk right into camp. We chased them off a few times but they are relentless. Comments on guthooks (our trail GPS app) talk about these deer from last year as eating all the salty things on your backpacks and poles. So we slept with all of our shit in our tents. Daily Milage-20m

Day 83 tent site to Chester

We woke up at around 5, or if you're ACB, 515, and slowly got going. I chased away a deer from Camels tent, and ate some cereal. Once packed up we got rolling at around 610. We did the 4 miles of climbing to start our day, and fairly quickly we were on our way downhill for the last 8 miles into town. This downhill was no ordinary downhill though, it contains a small, tiny little cement pole, that marks the middle of the fucking trail!!!!. We spent way way too long taking pictures and eating some snacks there before heading on. We casually did the downhill, and our pace slowed once we realised we had cell service, with most of us calling home to catch up. I had a nice little chat with my daddy. once we got to the road we ran into Denis, who we had met a few days before, and he had room for only 2 though, so while Hummer and Hiedi(CPR), were loading up, ACB did her best dance moves at the side of the road and got us a hitch from the first truck to see her sick ass moves. a nice lady who gives hikers rides a lot gave ACB, Camel, and I a ride. We immediately went to the Pizza Factory for the unlimited pizza buffet, as it was only $10, so that was amazing. We ate too much, hung out at the library, and ate some icecream after buying groceries. As I post this we are planning on eating dinner in town and heading out to the trail once it cools down in the evening to get another 10ish miles done for the day, as we have only done 13 so far. 

 

 

Day 77-80 Sierra City to Belden

Day 77-Sierra City to Summit Lake

We woke up at around 730 and slowly got up. I wandered down the road in search of coffee and found a nice little coffee shop. I grab a latte and headed back to find people. We made plans to head to a restaurant for breakfast, but first we used the wifi at the general store for a bit. We grabbed breakfast, and headed to the post office. I got my food box, ACB and Suavé got all their boxes, and we started figuring out our next leg. Hummer and Camel got the gutbuster burger for breakfast, and by then we were hanging out at the general store again after packing up. ACB was waiting for the post office to figure out how to do international shipping. Apparently they didn't know how to do that.... weird. Once she got that sorted, we slowly started trying to hitch, Camel got a ride, then hummer and Suavé, so that left Hiedi, ACB, and I. We never got a ride, so we walked the mile and a half to the trail and started to hike up. We had almost 3000ft to do. I caught up and passed everyone but Camel. I caught up to him at the top of the climb. He left just after I got up to where we took a break, and unfortunately too soon to let him know I thought I found a different way to the lake. The new PCT dropped into a valley, and climbed out the other side to the lake. The old pct route (still shown on my map) ran along the ridgeline above the valley. So we wouldn't have to climb out of it. During this route we got a few trail magic beer from a couple who just finished a hike, and some water as Suavé and I were a little low. Hummer was with us, and a girl we met that morning, magic beans. We hiked together as we didn't know where the rest had gotten to. We made quick work of the old PCT (now a MTB trail), and got to camp around 7 ish. The lake was pretty scummy, so we didn't swim. I grabbed water and we set up camp. The girls and Camel came into camp shortly after. We found out that they decided not to follow our arrows because they thought we were wrong. But they got there, so all was right. We had a fire, and talked and had a great time. Going to bed Suavé got a phone call from his family that meant he was going to have to get off trail for an emergency. ACB and I talked with him for a while, and we made the plan to figure things out in the am.  Daily milage-16m

Day 78 Summit Lake to tentsite

We woke up late, at around 6. Magic beans and Merino (two people from Sierra City) were gone. We cooked some food and talked options with Suavé. He eventually packed and left. We did the same, albeit in another direction. Now down to ACB, Hummer, Camel, Hiedi, and I, we all hiked essentially together. We went fairly quickly holding a good 3.4m/hr pace. We started so late that we didn't really stop until lunchtime. We grabbed water from a stream and moved on to find a flat spot to lunch.  We took our time here, almost an hour later we were moving. We had some climbing to do, and I managed to catch up and pass everyone but Hiedi. I caught up to her at the top of the last big climb, and hiked with her for a while. We eventually got to a point where she got cell reception (she has Verizon, so she usually has service), so she stopped to call her husband. I moved on. Shortly after I had to make a detour to the last water source for the day, a spring about 500ft off trail. I found magic beans there, and we caught up about Suavé and what our respective plans were. She was pushing further than we planned on. I got water, washed my legs in the spring, and moved on. I still hadn't seen anyone from my group, but I only had 2 miles left for the day. I got to camp, and I cleared out a couple good spots for everyone and slowly people rolled in. We all had a nice dinner, Hiedi cooked on the fire, and we eventually got to sleep. Daily milage-28m

Day 79-Tent site to Bucks Lake Road

We were woken up at 4am by rain, so ACB a d I scrambled to get our things out of the open, and closed up the tent. Hummer and Camel already had put their fly's on, and had apparently done around 130am. So once we had battened down the hatches, we went back to sleep. We didn't even get out of the tent until the rain stopped at about 7. And slowly started to pack. We got moving finally at around 830. Making quick work out of the descent. We got to the Feather River and stopped to eat because Hummer hadn't had breakfast and it was 1130. He and I dried all of our wet stuff. As due to not closing up the tent for 3 hours of rai , we had some accumulated water in the tent. So I dried my air mattress, quilt, tyvek, and tent. After a while we packed up and kept rolling. I hiked the 2 climbs here with ACB and Hiedi. Having good talks about all of the things. It had been really overcast all day, with periodic spitting on us. Once we were most of the way up the climb, it started to rain pretty hard on us. We decided to just keep hiking and push through it. We were already wet, so a rain jacket wouldn't do anything for us. We got to the top of the climb and passed above the clouds. Up top the girls got service, so we took a break so they could call home. I ate some food and waited for the guys to catch up. We were wet and cold and started thinking about getting a cabin at the lake near the trail up ahead, ultimately it was too steep a price to justify. So we moved on all together. Crossing a paved road, we ran into a guy named Denis, who gave us some apples and crackers. We listened to some of his fish stories, and moved on. We made plans for where to camp, and decided that we would head to the next road and see what we could see. Getting to the road, there was a pit toilet 100m down the road and a big dirt parking area. So due to it being 2030, we set up camp at the side of the highway. Cooking dinner it started to rain, and we quickly retired to our tents. While unpacking everything ACB realised she had done something wrong. When Hummer and I dried out our wet stuff, she didn't, she also found out her puffy jacket was wet from the rain during the day. For those that don't know, down insulation doest not work when wet, it clumps together and provides nearly no warmth. So ACB was wearing all her clothes and tried to stay warm. It rained for about 2 hours, after which I happened to wake up and opened the vestibule on my side to try and get air movement to dry us out. Ultimately it made nearly no difference. Daily milage-28m

Day 80- Bucks Lake Road to Belden

We woke up early and were rolling by 520, shockingly Hummer and Hiedi were ahead of ACB and I. We found out how lucky we were quickly, seeing how dense the clouds were about 100ft vertical below where we camped. We got some amazing views of the sun rise as we hiked up the ridge climb. Eventually getting into a decent spot beside a creek, I stopped to eat breakfast around 8am. ACB, Hiedi, and Hummer caught up and ate here. After about 30 I moved on with the girls, and Hummer stayed trying to dry his stuff. The girls and I did the 5 Mike descent into Belden Town, and grabbed beer and burgers at their restaurant. We hung out our gear to dry and eventually got a ride from a trail angel to the other business down the road that had a cheaper resupply. We did laundry there but it took forever. We were planning on being up the long climb already, to complicate matters Camel had stayed at the other restaurant, and we couldn't get ahold of him. So we called the trail angel and she said we could stay at her place. It turned out to be amazing. We had pancakes with plum rhubarb preserves on it, and fresh plums, and she baked us plum muffins. And cut up fresh watermelon for us. We got to sleep a little late, but we were in beds. 

Day 72-76 Tahoe to Sierra City

Day 72 

We all woke up around about 8ish. I had made banana chocolate chip pancakes for everyone. We drank lots of coffee and slowly started to clean up. Doing the laundry from our towels and sheets, and slowly started to pack. ACB and I got ZuZu to take our Sierra gear to mail it for us(as she has been dealing with IT band issues and is taking a week off hiking). Drank a bunch of left over beer, ate the left over food, and watched Netflix. Suddenly it was 4pm and our hosts were itching to go home. They said they would drive us to the trailhead, so off we went. We got unloaded, gave everyone hugs, and started to decide how far to actually hike. We decided to hike until we saw something. Well our laziness got the best of us and we only hiked a half mile, camping near the highway. Daily milage-0.5m

Day 73 Echo Lake to Middle Velma Lake

We were supposed to wake up at 5, so at 530 I loudly got moving, and cooked food. We were moving by 630, and I immediately tripped and ripped up my leg. Just road rash, but still annoying as heck. So I caught up to everyone, as they left me while I was tying my shoes. We used the bathroom at Echo Lake, and pushed on another 6 miles to get to Aloha Lake for second breakfast. Camel had left us as he forgot his camera somewhere and had to go find it. We ended up staying at the lake for almost 2 hours to dry all our gear from the overnight dew, and to cook the fish a nice couple gave us. Also Nuts showed up, and decided to hike with us again. Eventually we pushed on not eating lunch until the top of Dicks Pass, only eating because I pointed out it was 2pm, and ACB said she was starving. So we ate, and quickly moved on. ACB and I were falling behind, as my knee was starting to hurt a lot. And she was having some ankle issues. Once we caught the boys, and they were wanting to push another 10 miles, we said let's get to Velma Lake and see. Once we got here ACB and I called it quits for the day, and the boys jumped in the lake and pushed on. ACB and I had a great swim in the lake, rinsed and dried out our stuff, and ate. We packed up and were in bed by 7. With grand plans for a long day to catch up to the boys as they may have gone as far as 8 more miles. Daily milage-18.7m

Day 74 Middle Velma Lake to Squaw Valley ski hill

Waking up at 430 to be rolling by 5, inevitably led to us actually leaving by 510. We got moving quickly and made some fast progress. Catching up to the boys, and a surprise Hiedi at around 630. We hiked with the. For about an hour and a half before ACB and I stopped for breakfast. We ate quickly by a lake and headed off to catch up to the guys. We caught up to them at a small trailhead, and we found MC Camel, who had skipped up to us after finding his camera. We had a quick snack and kept hiking. We had a pretty big ascent up to a ridgeline, so we hiked on, trying to get it done fast. The climb went beside a gorgeous valley looking over Lake Tahoe, and made me want to swim. Especially as it was getting hot and sweaty. At the top of this climb, ACB, camel, and I stopped for lunch, no one else was hungry so they pushed on. We ate and packed, and were moving in 30 minutes, and we quickly ran into some snow. Fortunately not for very long. After getting up to the ridge and getting onto the west aspect, we had a nice snow free ridge walk for a few miles on the back side of a ski resort. afyer passing the resort we dropped into a valley, eventually getting to a nice Creek where everyone was chilling and eating. We filled up water, I had a snack. And we moved on having 5 miles of climbing left. We passed out first south bound PCT hikers(due to snow a lot of people chose not to do the Sierra's in order, and went north to Oregon and hiked south down to the Sierra's, also called a FlipFlop). We hiked on, and started to gain some altitude, seeing the back of the ski hills for a while as we snaked in behind them. I discovered a really interesting podcast on the American Disabilities Act, so the snow and mid wasn't quite as bad. Eventually we got back into a lot of snow. I caught ACB in the snow and we decided to head to our planned tent site hoping for the best as it was up in the ski hill. We had a lot of snow, but found enough dry spots for our tents. We ate dinner, found out we had cell reception so we updated home, and went to sleep tired as heck. ACB and I had done a 31 mile day to catch up to everyone. Also sad news, Suavé has chosen to hike on without us as he wants to get done sooner. So the original 4 of us that have been together since day 12, will now only be 3. Daily milage-31m(50km)

Day 75 Squaw Valley ski resort to White Rock Lake

ACB and I were both awake before the 430 alarm . We quietly packed up, and I spent some time watching the sun rise over Lake Tahoe. We were rolling by 515. We made quick work of the snow up top, and were soon on our way down onto the first valley, and started to climb up to Tinker Knob. The climb seperated ACB and I, but as I crested the top, o found Suavé on the phone up top. So I stopped just over the top and we had a quick talk about things, and then ACB came up. We all hiked together for a while, before having breakfast on the ridge, stopping mostly because ACB had to poop. After eating and talking about life choices, we got to getting the descent over with. I pulled away on the descent as I usually do, and eventually was quite away. During the descent I managed to get cell service, so I talked to my mom for awhile, and also got some trail magic from a guy named Dave. He was hiking before work and had beer and soda and ice in his bear can. So a nice 930am beer was had. I kept moving and hiked through some really nice terrain, through a ski resort, then up through some more desert feeling rocks. Eventually getting to the I-80, where we got to a rest stop that has vending machines, and power outlets. I found 2 meals here(or Major/Captain poopy pants), we hung out and talked and eventually ACB and Suavé showed up. While sitting here we had 4 different people give us food like bananas, peaches, apples, crackers, trail mix. It was a nice 2 hour lunch break but we had to move on. As we were leaving the rest of the crew showed up,they had stopped for lunch at another highway spot with a restaurant. So off we went. We had 2 decent hills to climb, and I got cell service again at one so I called my dad and had a good talk. We ran into some snow here, but nothing serious and we cruised over it. I got to the road crossing that we were going to follow to get to the lake. I got there well before anyone else. So I found a spot to camp, and went for a swim while I waited. I came back to ACB there, she looked destroyed. So I set up the tent, and she crawled in and passed out on her air mattress. I set up all out stuff, and cooked both of our dinners. And made her eat. Turns out that doing 31 miles, then 28 can get to you. The snow was starting to wear us all down. We got to be around 2030. With my alarm set for the usual 0430. 

Day 76 White Rock Lake to Sierra City

We woke up 10 minutes before my alarm and started packing up. Ate a bar, and was rolling by 0510,as is normal, because it's impossible to pack up and leave in 30 it sseems.So off we went, did the 1 mile road walk and hit the first hill, we made plans for a breakfast spot. Back on solid trails, we are hiking alone a lot again. Just make plans for a spot to stop. There was 2 actual climbs before breakfast, the hope that the real climbing for the day would be over by breakfast. I got to the prearranged spot and started to eat. 10 minutes later ACB showed up, so we talked and ate. We both had coffee, and were both were feeling good. As we packed up Suavé showed up, so the three of us hiked a bit together, and decided on a lunch spot. After that we split up and hiked the long downhill. I found a spot with a decent breeze to keep the mosquitos at bay, so we all ate there. It was nice to know we were so close to town, because you can eat all your food. I still have a lot left over as we went faster than planned. But I had like 2 lunches of food and snacks. We had only a descent left, so we moved on. This section was a little annoying as there was a lot of trail sections with lots of loose rocks on it. Suavé led the pace, and shortly we were at the last river we talked about swimming at. We got there and decided to not swim because we were so hungry. We started walking into town, but quickly got a hitch. They dropped us off at the general store and there we found 2 meals and Nuts. We ordered the gutbuster burger, and waited around. We used their WiFi and eventually got our food, after like half an hour. We got some beer, set up our tents at the church, and went swimming in the river. We all hung out at the church after, and drank some beer. Eventually heading to sleep. 

Day 63-71 Yosemite Valley to Tahoe

Day 63- Nero out of the Valley

We got our food from the post office, and met up with the guys, to get their plans. We made plans to meet them on trail and headed back to our campsite to pack up. We finally got moving and tried to hitch around 3. Getting a ride about 20 minutes later. We got dropped off right at the trailhead, and started moving on our 6mile hike as it was already 530 before we actually got hiking. We got to the campsite and couldn't find the guys, so we adventured to find them, and couldn't. So we headed to the pre-decided tentsite, and found the guys. They were behind us and slipped in after we left it. We had dinner, met ZuZu(hummers friend), and went to sleep. Daily milage-6m

Day  64-25 miles. Glen Aulin to Benson Lake

We slowly got out of our tents and packed up. ACB and I were ready and standing around so we got moving first. About 5 miles in we came into a nice open meadow so we stopped to eat and wait for the 2 guys and Zu. We eventually started moving and quickly started to gain some altitude. We went up and over a ridge, running into some snow, we descended down to a really nice valley meadow, but I decided to push on up the hill a ways, as we had a pass to do. The other four didn't, and lunged in the meadow, with suavé catching some fish with his bug net. I ate alone though and waited for them. We pushed on together up and over the pass with Zu blazing a fast path up to the pass. Over the pass was surprisingly snow free, I figured a good sign for our milage goal for the day, though as I would learn, I shouldn't get expectant. We descended a bit, and quickly went back up and into a new valley. This new valley was hella full of snow, and the trail had us staying high and to the left, in all the snow. I had gotten far ahead on my own, so I checked my topo map, and decided it would be better to blaze a trail down to the bottom of the valley. I ended up scrambling and downclimbing some class 4 climbs, and climbed through a waterfall, glisaded beside a river, and waded downs river for a ways. But I found the trail eventually. I sat and waited in a nice vista for about 20 minutes before pushing onto our lake alone. I followed the side trail to the lake, which as Zu said was the "Riviera of the Sierra". Well the trail went straight into the lake, as it was so full of spring run off it was about 15ft higher. I waded through the lake to the bit of beach I could find. Surrounded by lake on 3 sides and aswamp to my back, I found some dry tent spots, and a fire ring. So I decided to get to camp chores. I layed out all my shit to try and dry in the last 30 minutes of Sun, went for a quick swim, and started a fire and collected wood. I also decided to tie my orange handkerchief to my ice axe and leave it as a marker on the beach visible from the trail. Fortunately I did this as they saw it, and Howl'd once they got there. They came across happy to see me and a fire. We rocked some dinner, set up tents, Bill did billga(patent pending), and talked and joked. Made plans for the next day and went to sleep. Daily milage-25m

Day 65-25 miles- Benson Lake to Dorothy Lake

We woke up and slowly started to make food. We realized we were camped in a flood area, luckily it flooded only to within a couple feet of our tents, with a of us staying dry. We packed up, a d started to hike. The ford 100ft into the day was a terrible premonition. We moved on, quickly hiking up over the first pass. Th descent after was super manageable, and we pushed on, having second breakfast on the far side of a river that Zu waited until I was waist deep in the river to say there was a good log crossing. So wet and hungry, I ate in the sun. We moved on after about 30 minutes, having no more passes to do, but larger climbs than the pass we had just done. The first climb went easy enough, the descent and was a mix of snow, and significant water from the snow melt. With parts of the trail having mid shin deep water. We pushed up and over the second climb, stopping for "lunch" at a lake just over the other side. It was 3pm, we ate and swam, and didn't get going until 4. Suavé wanted to get to Dorothy Lake, which was at this point 12miles away. Which in good conditions would take 3-4 hours. The hiking was ok from here for a while. With a couple of pretty deep River crossings, ACB getting as deep as her "hunder boobs" on one. We all made it through, fortunately since leaving Mammoth it had been getting warmer. So even though the water is cold, the air is warm enough to tolerate it. After the last big River crossing the trail was nice for a little bit, and we made some fast miles, getting a couple miles down in under and hour. Then we made a wrong turn and ended up in the fucking Florida Everglades. The trail was largely flooded, and the only reason we didn't just go straight through most sections was to minimize the mud that would fill our shoes. So a new challenge had appeared, and we still had like 4 miles to go. So we just pushed on,as normal I ended up walking off the front, ad apparently long ass legs help you walk fast. Eventually we got into a bunch of snow, and I did my best to Follow the tracks of what appeared to be Hiedi, Nuts, and 2 Meals. Mostly it was good, but I definitely got into some really post holley spots. I started to worry if we would be able to camp at the lake we planned as it was at elevation. So I turned on the Jets and went fast to try and avoid the rest of the crew hiking backwards if they didn't have to. I created the last climb to the lake, and my heart sank, the lake was frozen and snow was everywhere. But off on the distance, I had a glimmer of hope, a little peninsula that didn't have snow. So I crushed the mile to it, and found it crazy dry, with some flattish tent sites, and a tonne of dry wood for a fire. So I started up a fire, as ACB and Suavé came in. Then Zu, and finally Hummer rolled up, he was not feeling so hot. Fortunately Suavé and I had a rocking fire going, so he plopped down infront of it, and we all ate. Making some plans to be a little more conservative with the miles the next day. Daily milage-25m

 Day 66- Dorothy Lake to Sonora Pass

We woke up around 5, but I was the first one to leave the tent around 520. It had definitely frozen overnight, so naturally I started a fire. We all ate breakfast, and started moving slowly. We all got going by around 7, and quickly got up and over Dorothy Pass. We didn't stop for pictures as this was an unassuming pass, just moved on to minimize any snow issues. We crossed a pretty deep river, then for some reason a mile later crossed it again. We started to get onto dry trails and were making good time. We stopped by a small river, not anything special, just because it was 10 and Zu and I were hungry. We ate second breakfast, and talked about milage for the coming days. We eventually moved on and for the first time in a while were all together. So naturally we played one of Zu's games. We eventually climbed back up and started to get into a bit of snow. After some map reading, we realized that the trail hit some serious snow, but if we turned 90° to the right and went straight up the 50° slope, we could avoid it. So naturally we did that. Topping out on the ridge we found dry rocks, and ate lunch. Beyond this we only had a few hours of a long ass ridge walk to do. I was getting antsy to get it done, so ACB and I headed out. The ridge was actually amazing, the views mostly I mean. ACB only yelled at me twice to appreciate the view and to stop taking pictures of it. We started to encounter periodic snow, and eventually dropped down onto the east side. We encountered a big snowfield here, and another one in the next valley. After climbing up out of this valley, we got back onto the ridge and made some quick miles. Before long we could see Sonora Pass, and had only to descend a sketchy, snowy, steep section. We did it as safe as we could with lots of glisading. Eventually we popped out on the highway, and found our way to the rest stop. Where we found MC Camel, who had been visiting family. He had some magic for us, so we moved up to the picnic tables and drank beer and ate Doritos. Eventually we got tents set up, a fire going and had dinner. We made plans for a 6ish start, and went to bed. 

Day 67- Sonora Pass to river tentsite

We woke up around 530 ish, Suavé got a fire going, and we ate some breakfast, and as normal we started late. By around 7 ish we rolled out of camp. We made some quick work of the hill, and got to the top of the first climb about an hour in. We snacked, and quickly moved onto the ridgewalk. Shortly after we crossed into the next valley we hit snow, lots of it. It was all iced up, so we made good time, putting on microspikes once it got steep. Eventually we got to the bottom of the valley, and promptly started to posthole. This continued for about 45 minutes before we found some dry spots and stopped for second breakfast. After about an hour we pushed on. We hiked for a little while longer, before I started to get really hungry. So ACB and I stopped for food. Everyone else pushed on. The two of us ate, packed up and started hiking again. We caught up to the rest of the guys in about 30 minutes, and waited for them to pack up. We hiked with them for a bit, but eventually ACB and I got well ahead of them. We started to get into some significant snow, and mud, a d swamps. The snow melt was making this challenging in a new way. ACB led us through a deep mid section on a "shortcut" and we eventually got into a small valley with a tonne of snow. I looked at the map and decided to try a short cut I hoped would get us out of the snow. We made a hard left turn, and got up onto a ridge, we were able to drop down the other side of the ridge and while it was steep, it was free of snow. We made our way back to the trail about a half mile down the hill, and followed it for a bit, before getting to the river we were going to camp at. In the melt the river had flooded and washed away the tent site. So we kind of made some spots and slept on an ok spot. We made plans for the next day and headed to sleep. 

Day 68- Tent site to Lilly Pad Lake

We woke up around 530, and slowly got moving. I quickly was off on my own as everyone stopped to get water, I was already full from the night before. I was looking forward to today because we had been told by some south bounders that last the next road crossing there was almost no snow at all. So we cruised down to this road and chose to eat breakfast there. We took way too long there and eventually got moving. I felt great at this point, so for some reason I started to run. So I fairly quickly got far ahead. At lunch time ish I found an ok spot to stop. So I ate and waited for everyone. As we were told there was almost no snow, so we were all moving fast. We packed up and moved on. We had some climbing to do, and got onto this fairly steep section, where there was a kind of scary snow pass due to the steepness. I was a little gun shy because I had already had 2 good falls in snow, and this place would have been actually dangerous to fall in. So I slowly made my way across, and then kept moving. After the descent off this hill we got into a section with a lot of lakes, and now the first time we were dealing with a lot of bugs. Now that we were getting into less snowy areas we are going to have to deal with it. I got to the planned lake and found Salty there and two section hikers. I claimed my tent spot and unpacked. Eventually everyone showed up, and we went for a quick swim and rinse. It was quick mostly because Hummer found a leech on his foot so we decided we were clean enough. We had dinner around the fire, and spent about 2 hours playing camp games before deciding it was late and heading to bed. 

Day 69- Lilly Pad Lake to **** lake

We woke up around 6, and I got a fire going and ate some food. Slowly everyone else got going. We packed up and were rolling by around 715. We had 2 decent climbs, but before this, Hiedi got a text from 2 Meals that there was trail magic at the road pass ahead. So we all blazed on. ACB, Suavé and I were together when we found Salty, and stopped him from eating lunch early because of the magic. We all did the last big climb together, and during it we got spread out. The descent was really nice once we got below the snow and started to run into day hikers. We got to he road pass, and found a visitor center there that handed out cold pop and lots of snacks and candy. So we used their picnic tables to eat lunch and have some cold soda. It was really enjoyable. We talked to salty and found out there was a nice lake not too far away. So after about 2 hours here, Zu got a hitch to town due to her IT Band issues, and we headed out. After a bit of snow, we got into some really gorgeous meadows. Eventually getting to the lake. It was a bit chilly so we decided not to try and swim, but we had a great fire because of salty. Had a great dinner, and made plans for the next day once we got to Tahoe.  

Day 70- We woke up and slowly got moving. Packed up, ate food and had a fire. We finally got hiking by about 7. We only had 8 miles to do so no rush. We hit a lot of snow on some steep descents. So we were definitely slowed by this. Eventually we got into a nice valley, and started moving quickly, partly because there were tonnes of mosquitos, partly because of dry trail. Suavé, ACB, Camel, and I were all together, and after about 3 hours we got to the trail head. We made our way to the highway and started trying to hitch. After about 20 minutes a trail angel named Jay happened to drive by, he only had room for 2, but he shuttled us into town. We had breakfast with him, and he gave us a ride to a grocery store. Once in town we got groceries, mailed food to Sierra City, had free pizza at a fancy pizza place, bought some new gear(well Camel did to replace his lost gear), and ultimately got annoyed at the hitching situation, so we Uber'd it to bills friend's cabin, where we found Zu. She had already cooked us dinner. So we had sweet potato tacos, and whiskey. We eventually got to bed, and had an amazing sleep. Daily milage-8m

Day 71- Tahoe City

We woke up to Suavé cooking us dinner. I made coffee, and we ate and hung out. Eventually we made our way to the grocery store, and a hear shop. I got new shorts as my Lululemon shorts were starting to come apart. We got back to the cabin, with much beer and tequila, and got into the jacuzzi, drank lots and hung out. Camel made us bacon wrapped stuffed chicken breast for lunch. And pizza for dinner. We made our way to be around 10 after a late night limbo sesh. Daily milage-0m

Day 72-Tahoe City to trailhead

I cooked pancakes for everyone. We dealt with our food, used the wifi, charged everything up, watched Netflix, drank beer, ate leftovers, and suddenly it was 4pm. We got a ride from Hummers friend, and her family to the trailhead. Once there we made plans for how far to hike. We settled on hiking until we felt like camping. It was 1730, and we finally were on trail. After 0.5miles, the decision was made that we had gone far enough. We set up camp, and ate dinner.  

 Rainbow caused by waterfall spray just outside of Yosemite Valley

Rainbow caused by waterfall spray just outside of Yosemite Valley

 Trucking along before Sonora Pass

Trucking along before Sonora Pass

Day 59-62

Day 59 zero in mammoth

The last stretch was particularly brutal on us. So we all decided to take the day off. We took our time buying food, and eating food. Watching copious amounts of Netflix and drinking beer. ACB and I made everyone poutine the best we could as we were craving it, and got ready to roll out the next day.  

Day 60 20mile to Lake

 Devils Postpile National Monument

Devils Postpile National Monument

 A crazy bright moonrise

A crazy bright moonrise

The morning we packed up, and I headed off on my own to get coffee and deal with the post office. I had a package from zpacks to repair my tent, and had to mail food ahead. We all ended up at the coffee shop, and planned out our day. While waiting for the bus we got a trail angel pick us up and take us back to the trail head. We finally were hiking by 1130. We made quick work of the 4 mile trail back to the pct, and noticed significant snow melting already with the heat we finally were getting. We chose to do an alternative trail to go by a National monument hummer really wanted to see call Devils Postpile.  We hiked on because of the bugs, and found a spot to eat a little further down the trail. We decided due to the pass we had to do the next day to try and get as close as possible to it. Hiking 20 miles starting at noon is not ideal, and once we got into some snow and slowed down it really made things worse. Eventually we got to the lake we planned on, and found there to be significant snow still. So we found Salty on some big rocks, and set up with him. By this time it had gotten dark and we had another early morning, so we immediately went to bed. Daily milage-20m

Day 61 hike to Yosemite

 The moon when we woke up

The moon when we woke up

 Descending down into the valley

Descending down into the valley

 MC Camel with Donohue Pass in the background

MC Camel with Donohue Pass in the background

We woke up, broke camp, and started to move. This pass we did was named Donohue Pass. At the very top of the pass is the Yosemite National Park border. We crossed the pass, and started to descend. Getting some fun glisades, I also learned not to glisade in shorts....I definitely got ice burn on my ass. We got down and came up to a river, my feet were so wet I just walked through the river. As I crossed it a Park Ranger came out from behind a tree, and she checked out PCT permits. I was warned that Yosemite would be where you get checked, and we were checked within 30 minutes of being inside the park. What are the chances. We ate some breakfast, and kept moving, quickly dropping down into a beautiful Valley where we followed a river for about 10 miles. We had lunch beside the river and made plans for the valley, and moved on. While hiking we got seperated, ACB and I waited at the road we planned to hitch at for 2 hours before deciding we needed to get down to the valley. We quickly got picked up by a big group going to the same campsite we were. So we got a ride all the way down to where we were going. Once down there they gave us a tonne of food as they decided they had packed too much. We ate, and made plans for the next day. 

 The beginning of Yosemite National Park

The beginning of Yosemite National Park

 A tired Suavé naps during lunch

A tired Suavé naps during lunch

Day62 zero in Yosemite

We woke up at 530, to get packed up and walk to camp 4 to try and get a spot. Camp 4 is the only drop in only site, so you need to be there early. We were the second to last pair to get a spot and we were there at 615. At 8 the line slowly started moving, and we also got ahold of the group we knew were in the valley (Pacecar, Groover, 2meals, seeker, and Nuts). We finally got our camp permit, and met up with the whole other crew. We went over to ElCap, and hiked up to it. 2meals and I were extremely sad we couldn't climb it. We got lunch, and beer, and ended up hanging out on a beach for a few hours drinking. We eventually made our way over to Half dome village and decided to get some pizza. While we were deciding on pizza, 2 meals met an employee who hiked the PCT last year. She demanded to buy us dinner, so we accepted...of course. We had a good talk with her, and then eventually ACB and I made our way back to camp 4 where we went to sleep. 

 

 El Capitan

El Capitan

 Waterfall in Yosemite

Waterfall in Yosemite

 The classiest hiker on the PCT

The classiest hiker on the PCT

 Waiting for the Yosemite Shuttle

Waiting for the Yosemite Shuttle

 Groover showing her best side

Groover showing her best side

 Yosemite Falls

Yosemite Falls

 Seeker acting a foo with Yosemite Falls in the background

Seeker acting a foo with Yosemite Falls in the background

 2 meals and Groover looking at ElCap

2 meals and Groover looking at ElCap

Bishop!

Day 48-Bishop

 Hostel Family dinner

Hostel Family dinner

I slept really poorly, and some shenanigans happened the night prior that had me in a poor mood. So at 6 am I grabbed a loaner bike from the hostel and headed to get groceries. I shopped almost all alone, and ended up meeting a nice lady infront of me a the checkout and had a good talk about the PCT with her and the girl working the till. I headed back to the hostel, grabbed Suavé and we went to get coffee. I came back with coffees for Hummer and Shy Bear, who were cooking amazing Huervos Rancheros for us. I figured it was a good trade. After that I started to work on some photos editing and tried to catch up on blogging, but the app was not working so great. Eventually ACB got out of bed at around noon, and we went for a bike ride to get her groceries, as I had forgotten a few things I needed to return. Getting back to the hostel we were still thinking about a double zero to rest more, and see the new Deadpool. Talking to Judd(the hostel manager) about bouldering in the areas and how to get out there, he offered up his van, 6 crash pads and some shoes. So it was decide, a double zero. In the afternoon we watched a movie on VHS!, then just hung around.  That night we had a huge hostel family dinner of pasta and garlic bread, a couple of beers, nothing too much after the night before, and headed to sleep by 10. 

Day 49- Bishop Bouldering! 

 ACB with a gun show

ACB with a gun show

I woke up fairly early, and headed to the cafe for coffee, and came back to grab some breakfast, got Judd's keys, loaded up the van, and we ran to the Outfitters to get rental shoes for those that needed them. Then we headed out to boulder, only ACB and I climb, and only I have bouldered outdoors. So we played around for a couple hours, heading back before it got too hot so we didn't get fried before heading back on trail. Back in town we dealt with food packing, drank beers, watched a movie, and ate dinner. We all headed to the theatre to see Deadpool 2, then went back to the hostel to sleep.  

 

Day 50- Bishop to Onion Valley trailhead

 Trying to get a hitch back to the trail

Trying to get a hitch back to the trail

Getting up early, we had some breakfast, packed the rest of our stuff up, and ACB and I left to try and get a hitch.  I eventually got us a hitch after about 30 minutes, and a really nice guy from SoCal drove us all the way to the trailhead(including the 15 mile road out of his way). We started our 6 mile climb up, but quickly got hungry so we stopped to eat. When we were packing up it started to snow and lightning. So we set up camp to wait it out. It Laster for a few hours so we napped and kept waiting. We ended up just staying out for the night knowing we would need to do a big day to make up for it. Daily milage-3m(5km)

Day 51- Kersage pass and Glen Pass-20m

We got up at 3am, cleaned as much snow and ice off the tent as we could and packed up. Then started the uphill slog to kearsage pass. Being cold and wet doesn't help the mood knowing your not even on trail yet. We got to the trail and couldn't find the guys where we planned to camp. So we started hiking along to the PCT figuring we would find them. At about 740 we found their camp site. They were just finishing up breakfast. So ACB and I kept hiking, and the guys packed up to follow us. We found some good footprints to follow and were fairly quickly over the first pass of this section. We did the descent following the foot steps, and at points it got a little dicey. Postholling on a 60° slope up to your waist and then falling over sucks. But we all made it down, eventually getting to some drier ground. We got to a ranger station and decide to eat food, and try to dry my tent that still was covered in ice. After a bit we pushed on, making decent time due to the dry-ish trail. After a few hours we got to a big River crossing with a bridge so we decided to eat a late lunch. It was sunny with some wind so perfect drying conditions. Tent and quilt and shoes all got mostly dry(dry tent is obvious, bit our sleeping bags(or quilt) are lined with down feathers, which don't provide warmth as well of wet, so drying them during the day is crucial to having a warm sleep). So we ate, packed up, and headed off for the last few miles. We followed a river uphill for the whole time, eventually getting to the tent site, where we ran into the people who made the tracks on the previous pass, salty and karma. We had a fire, dinner, lots of taking and laughing before finally devising to head to bed. 

Day 52- Pinchot Pass-8.5m

We woke up at around midnight to a crazy lightning snowstorm. Because Hummer forgot his rain fly in Bishop he made a hard dash for Suavé's tent. Once settled we all went back to sleep. Waking up at 3 was hard, ACB and I were ready far earlier than the others, so we headed off into the fog. We crossed a few rivers and got into some significant snow a few miles before the pass. So eventually everyone caught up. I was breaking trail for quite a while, so eventually ACB took over as we climbed a ridgeline up to the pass, with Suavé taking over as we got to the point of needing our axes. By this point a wind and snow storm had decided to grace us with its presence. By the time we got to the top of the pass, I couldn't feel from my elbows down. My hands were bricks. We found some shelter for the wind up top and MC Camel have us all some Fritos, then we headed down. The snow continued but became wet. We slogged through the wet snow down until we finally got below the snow line, only to get to our first dangerous River crossing, that had no real crossing. So we forded it. We went to a tent site right near there, set up tents, and got inside. None of us had eaten yet, so we cooked and got into dry clothes. It was a little after noon. The snow persisted so we eventually got our sleeping kit out, and got into sleeping bags. This was the first day I started to get leaks in my lightweight air mattress, very poor timing. We all napped for about 2 hours, getting woken up by Suavé who had started a fire. The snow has stopped and we were getting a little bit of Sun. So we all piled around the fire trying to dry all our shoes. Eventually the snow came back, so we retreated back to the safety of our tents. Trying to get sleep for the next day. 

Day 53-Mather Pass-21.3

 Me leading the way up Mather Pass

Me leading the way up Mather Pass

 Teamwork makes the dream work

Teamwork makes the dream work

 Team picture on top of Mather Pass

Team picture on top of Mather Pass

We did our new normal wake up call at 3am, with our goal to try and do Mather pass plus set up Muir pass for the next day. so off we went, Salty largely leadigthe charge through the slow elevation gain, but with lots of snow we were post holling in. He picked a good route through the trees and got us moving well. Eventually the snow firmed up and ACB took over setting trail. We grabbed water from the last exposed Creek, and kept moving. Time was as normal, of the essence. After a while I found myself at the lead breaking trail, I lead us to the base of the pass where we had a quick bite to eat, and made our game plan. With micro spikes on and ice axes in hand off we set. I kept breaking trail, getting up to the exposed trail about 1/3 up the pass quickly, but eventually was bogged down once we gained the open snow field. Due to the snow accumulation, we had no trail to follow at this point. I had to make a decision, as to climbers right was a significant rock field that we could have scrambled, and had a far lower avalanche risk, but I opted for the snow field as I didn't trust all 7 of the group to be able to scramble with bags on. The avalanche risk was higher than normal due to an ice layer, with new snow on it,that was getting heavy in the snow. But it seemed the best option. I plodded on, breaking trail and post holling in the softer ice spots all the way to the final push to the top. I found probably the only crevasse on the pass and dropped down to my head in the collapse, with the crevasse goiga couple feet deeper infront of me, it was atleast 10ft deep. Spy Bear was behind me, he asked if I was ok, and headed around the collapse to get to the top. I self rescued and got back in line to get over the pass. We got up, took our pictures, and headed down. We made it a few miles traversing over the snow before stopping for lunch. And decided on a camp site. Heading out shortly after as we had many miles to do, dropping into the low valley it was amazing to be able to hike fast again, as we had been in significant snow for about a weeks worth of hiking. ACB and I got to camp, set everything up for us, and of fucking course, it started to rain. So we retreated to the tent, cooked dinner in the tent, and went to sleep, after deciding to do the same start time. 

 Finding respite from the snow on rock islands

Finding respite from the snow on rock islands

Day 54- Muir

 This trip has really helped to make us appreciate small things, like hot chocolate and warm sun

This trip has really helped to make us appreciate small things, like hot chocolate and warm sun

Waking up at the new norml or 3, to hike by 4, ACB, Suavé and I headed off as the only ones ready. We did a lot of the climbing, getting up above a couple waterfalls, which were super cool in the early morning light. We suddenly were in snow about 3 miles from the top. Doing some route finding, salty and karma caught up. Salty picked a beautiful route for a while before figuring out the snow had iced up at this altitude and we started to move fast, as we had to because the sun as now up and Muir has a very slow descent, so we will be in snow for a long time. We pushed on, as fast as we could. Climbing up the final hill, I was crazy relieved to be there. Knowing we made good time. We got some pictures, took a 4 minute sit break, and headed on. Not knowing where the rest of our group was, but the clock was a tickin. So we walked what felt like a glacier field for over an hour, crushing almost 3 miles, still having a few more to get below the snow level. We moved as fast as we could, but eventually started post holling really bad. But we had to move on, not being able to really slow down as it would only get worse. I ended up alone out front, so I chose the route I wanted. It sort of worked out, eventually I noticed the snow was very shallow about 50ft away beside a lake. Risky as you could slip into the lake, but maybe faster. Luckily for me it worked out great. Probably cut off about 20 minutes of slogging in the snow. Eventually we got to a bunch of big rocks clear of snow, and the trail looked mostly clear ahead, so I made the call to lunch here, and set out all our shit to dry. We moved on down the trail for another hour before deciding on a tent site. It was beside a big meadow, and we spent the afternoon hanging out in the first sun of the stretch and drying gear. We had a fire with dinner and got to bed early with plans to not do a pass the next day.

 swimming after a few really hard days

swimming after a few really hard days

 MC Camel and I capturing the sunset

MC Camel and I capturing the sunset

 The results of some hard work. 

The results of some hard work. 

Day 55

 Some wilderness first aid by ACB, and Hummer was good to go...ish

Some wilderness first aid by ACB, and Hummer was good to go...ish

We got up with the sun at around 6, started a fire and slowly ate. Some of us (ACB) slept until 8. So we hung out, re-dried gear and slowly started to pack. We got started at around 1030 and I quickly got ahead of everyone, I waited for them by a bridge where I ate lunch. When they came up they told me Hummer had possibly dislocated his shoulder, ACB suspecting a sublaxion injury. It was in a sling, and the joint was intact, with ok ROM, so we headed off. We quickly got into a cool valley, and I was able to get a few good pictures. Afterwards we climbed up to the area we would camp a little short of the next pass. Classically, for this section, it rained on us for the last 2 miles. At the last river crossing before the tentsite, ACB full on fell in, drenching her bag and self. Fortunately she wasn't hurt, and Salty had already gotten to camp and had a fire started. The Rain broke and we got enough sun to mostly dry up. We had some dinner and headed to bed with a plan for tomorrow's attack. Daily milage-18m

 MC Camel loving life

MC Camel loving life

Day 56- Selden-

 The snow was getting to all of us

The snow was getting to all of us

 The first hard river crossing

The first hard river crossing

We woke up and packed and danced to some Spanish dance music... Weird start to the day, but what ever gets us moving. We got a quick start to try and get up and over the pass. we did a few sketchy river crossings, and quickly was into the icy snow. Microspikes on, and we quickly crushed this pass. A nice change of pace from what we're used to. We didn't hang around up top, we just kept moving down. And soon were into patchy snow conditions, and eventually wet/dry trails. We had now come up to the first real, and dangerous, river crossing. We picked the best spot, and pushed on. Going one or two at a time, we all made it across. Bible (a temporary group addition) speed and got submerged. Luckily the sun has just came out and he said he was going to hang out on a dry rock and dry out. After he assured us he was fine, we pushed on. Over the next few hours we had a couple serious river crossings, that we largely could find ways across. We had breakfast on a rock with some sun, but we need to eat. We pushed on getting a little seperated, I hiked with ACB, as we did the long hike up to our tent site. It was exposed, but we had intermittent sun, so we could dry things and get some food and sleep. Getting a early start to the sleep part of our life due to tomorrow's ambitious plans. Daily milage-18m

Day 56- Silver-28.

 Hiking in the clouds

Hiking in the clouds

 Our 5 star accommodations

Our 5 star accommodations

So in the morning we woke up, at 2am. As we need to start our walk by 3. We quickly crossed 2 rivers, one that was a little sketch. But shortly after we started to encounter snow. Or hearts dank as we started to posthole regularly. We slowed down to under a mile an hour and got all split up. After a while of this to our amazement, we were suddenly in the clouds and the temperature dropped already 10 degrees. Almost right after that we started to encounter some more solid snow, then we got to where the snow iced up. We made quick work of the rest of the climb in this cloud, getting as much distance as we could. After summiting the pass, celebration gummy bears, and pictures were taken, we started to descend. The snow was perfect for a bunch of long glisades(sliding down hill on your ass). We did 3 trail miles in like 20 minutes because of this, and started to get to patchy trail sections. For the next few miles we were in wet snow with patches of open trail. In the bottom of the valley we turned left off the official PCT route to take an alternate path. The official route goes back up for the next 19 miles, the alternate goes down, and we assumed that meant no snow. Turns out we were right. We had gorgeous weather, which was ideal to cross the rivers we did, as walking in a waist deep cold river sucks when the air is cold. We had lunch at a hot a about half way through the alternate, where we encountered or first weekend hikers in weeks. The we found out that even though karma was sure that the Red's meadow road was open, it was Infact closed. So we had a dilemma, as most of us had limited food. So we decided to give all the way to Reds, then do the 4 miles early in the morning to avoid going hungry. Well off we went, following a river down to the bridge crossing a few miles away. I learned to be careful jumping over fallen logs, as sometimes there's other logs up high. After headbutting a tree, and getting kinda bloody. I decided I didn't have a concussion, so I kept moving. We crossed that bridge then climbed up up up and got some amazing views along the trail. We finally, dragging ass, got to reds Meadows, feeling exhausted, and it started to rain. So we wandered around the resort and found some buildings with covered porches we sat at to wait to karma and decide what to do. When everyone started talking about cowboy camping on the porch, I set out to explore. The furthest cabin from us was low and behold, unlocked, so i poked my head in and found a kitchen and a couple beds. So I grabbed everyone, and we piled in. It very quickly turned into the best night in this section. A warm cabin, with beds, and we all ate dinner together at a table. Such simple things can change everything. Daily milage-28m

Day 57- mammoth

We woke up around 6, and quickly cleaned up, and replaced everything in the cabin, leaving by 7 to do the short hike to mammoth. We shortly we're at the trailhead and did the road walk to where the road closure ended to try and hitch to town. Some people didn't want to wait so they Uber'd, but Hummer got us a ride and we rolled into town to the hotel. Our room wasn't ready(it was only 9am) so we convinced the front desk girl to let us eat breakfast at the continental breakfast. We ate a tonne, and once our room was clean we moved in and showered. Daily milage-4m


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Day 33-39 mile 566-702

Day 33- Tehachapi to tent site beside road

Due to ACB and Suavé needing gear you can't purchase in Tehachapi, and no retail car being available on our zero, they headed to LA with Groover, PaceCar, and Foxtrot. So Hummer, Tang, and I hung out in the hotel room and waited. I edited photos, worked on this blog, took an hour long bath, stretched, and watched some Netflix. As you can notice, I forgot that part that includes water....I should have been hydrating. Finally the gang got back at around 1. Tags had left around 9, not wanting to wait. At 240 there was a bus to the trail. So we waited, turned out it was what 350. So we waited longer. Once finally there we signed the trail register, and started climbing. Getting around 7 miles in we joined a dirt road and hiked it for the final 3 miles to our tent site. We set up, ate, and promptly passed out. Daily milage 9.8m(15.6km)

Day 34  tent site to Robin Bird Spring 25.6m

We woke up a little late and slowly started moving. I got on trail finally by 7. Continuing with the road walk, finally getting back into a tail about 4 miles into the day. We hit a spring at 7 miles for the day, where we ate some breakfast, got water from the alge filled trough, and planned out the rest of the day. Because of the slow start in the morning we need to decide about camping, as the next water wasn't for 18 more miles. But the allure of camping at a water source was too much so we decided to do that. The advantage to camping at a water source of you're wondering, is that you don't need to carry water to cook with, as I'm averaging 1L of water per meal, that's an extra 2.2lbs I need to carry if we dry camp. So we set off, doing a nice walk in some shade asking a huge ridge walk before getting back into another wind farm. Those fans never blow the wind when you want them! We stopped in the shade of a nice big tree for lunch at around 1300, after we all ate our fill, we all had an hour ish nap. Waking up to Tang packing to set off. We all begrudgingly decided we would keep moving, so we packed up our lunch and headed off. Due to this section being both on an easement on private property, and having some steep climbs, the climbing in the afternoon heat was a little brutal. There may have been 2 switch backs in like 1000ft of climbing. We pushed on, finally passing the 600 mile mark where Suavé and I waited for ACB to get a picture, then did the dirt road walk up the hill to the junction to Robin Bird Spring. Finding about 20 people there, we found a space for tents, drank a tonne of water, ate and passed out hard. Daily Milage- 25.6m(40.96km)

Day 35 Robin Bird Spring to Tent site

So we slept in until 6 again, and still took our time getting moving in the morning, not moving until a touch after 7. Tang had already left, so the four of us rolled out. I quickly set a quicker pace than the rest. Now that my shin splint on my left leg was feeling better, I was able to hold a quicker pace. We quickly got into a really nice gentle descent through a pine forest, it was cool and the trail was nice. I caught up to Tang a few miles before we planned to stop for breakfast and she had staked out some good rocks beside a river. So we ate there. Took too long, and finally rolled out with the water we needed to get to the water cache. So this stretch we were entering is the first big waterless stretch. There is 42 miles inbetween water sources. Luckily some amazing trail angels stock some water caches. So we knew there was 2 in the dry stretch so we crushed miles. We got to the first cache that was 10 miles in, found some shade under a Joshua tree and had lunch. We watched a ralley race go by on the road and chilled. Some clouds rolled in so we didn't stay too long after we ate. Choosing to get miles done instead. We got to our tent site about 6 miles before the next cache, set up, fought the thousand ants, ate, farted, Tang farted a lot, and went to sleep to the sounds of ACB snoring like CRAZY! Daily milage-22.3m(35.68km)

Day 36 Tent site to Walker Pass

ACB decided for us we were doing an early start, so we were on trail by 0510. The start of the day had us descending for 3 miles, and the sun rising over the Mojave was pretty rad, looking like Morodor. We got to the next cache at Mile 630, where there was well over 200 gallons of water, just a crazy cache. We had a snack, and started the 4 mile climb up 2000ft. We stopped just past the peak with a great view of the snow capped Sierra's. That's where we hung out, cooked some breakfast, and talked about the Sierra's. We eventually moved on, doing some up and some down, before hitting a 4 mile, hot ass road walk. I did the 1/4mile extra road walk to get to a spring, to let me carry less water. That's where we had lunch, met a local couple out in their jeep who gave us some trail magic and we decided that since it was a weekend we should rush to Walker Pass(a spot that gets lots of trail magic). It was a long 4 mile descent into the pass. When we showed up we were informed by Nancy(who I camped with second night, and gave me a ride from Julian, and who's husband was hiking the trail) that there is beer in her cooler aandthe other campsite was cooking hotdogs for us. So let me jump in here...since around about mile 100 I have been craving hot dogs....of all the food in the world...hot dogs. So here at Mile 651, I got all the free beer I could drink, and more hotdogs than I could fathom. We hung out drinking and socializing with everyone until around 830, I decided to hit the hay as we had another early day. And my pack wasn't any lighter with not eating my own food. Daily milage-27m(43.2km)

Day 37- Walker Pass to saddle tent site.  

ACB and I rolled out at 515 as usual because no one else wakes up on time. Doing one of the best ascents we've done thus far, constantly going up but not too steep. Quickly gaining over 2000ft, stopping at the peak to have some breakfast. It turned out I picked a terrible spot, in the sun, and the wind went away so it got pretty warm. We ate and decided to roll out. I had some cell service so I called my mommy and talked with her while I hiked until I lost service. We then pushed on, hiking down, then up another short accent before once again, descending. At the bottom we came across the Spanish Needle Creek. Which we crossed a few times in the noon time heat, before picking a spot to hide in the shade and ate lunch. We ended up spending 2 hours there, and talked about our camp site for the night. Hummer and Suavé wanted to push another 11 miles to Chimney Creek, which would put us near 30 miles for the day. We decided to hike on and figure it out as we went. So we began the 6 mile climb up, getting to the last camp site on the ridge at around 5, ACB caught up to me and we decided to eat there, before setting off down the hill to catch the other two. We ate, planned out the next day, and packed up. We noticed someone camping there was having a fire, we were certainly jealous of that. So we headed off, and about 50ft down the trail we heard a whistle, and there was Hummer and Suavé sitting by a fire. So we quickly abandoned plans to push on, and hung around the fire, camping up high. It ended up being great up high, nice breeze and warm. Quickly passing out as normal. Daily milage- 25.2m(40.32km)

Day 39-Saddle tent site to Kennedy Meadows

We set off at 5 ish as is normal, and headed off on the 4 mile descent to water. Grabbed water and a snack and ACB caught up and we headed off on the last climb of the desert together. I quickly caught a couple groups of people, including Pacecar and Groover. The ascent took about 2 hours, with the last bit in an old burned section. Near the end of the climb I found some shade and Suavé, ACB, and I had some breakfast. Starting to lose our shade, we headed off shortly after to do the last little climb before descending to the river that would be our next water. During this decent we got a good look at the snow covered Sierra's... So soon. On the descent I pulled ahead of the other two, grabbed some water at the small stream, and headed off for what sounded like a real river. I got there and sweet Jesus, it was at least 15 feet wide. I dropped my bag, took off my shoes and went for a swim. I ate lunch while waiting for the rest of the crew to show up. Suavé and ACB showed up around 30 minutes later and we hung out there for around about an hour. We decided to head on and do the last 4 miles into KM. Getting to the general store was so surreal, it's considered to be such a huge thing to do the first 700 miles, so we celebrated by having some beer and burgers with some other hikes we had just met. We eventually headed down to Grumpy Bears, a restaurant that's a few miles down the road that lets hikers camp for free and generally be dirt bags on their property. So we had dinner there, lots of beer. Groover brought out some rum we all helped them to finish, and got to sleep around midnight, actually midnight, not hiker midnight (9pm). Daily milage-26m(41.6km)

Day 28-32 Miles 454-566

Day 28-Hiker heaven to Casa de Luna

So ACB, Tanner, Tags, and I got up at 5am to kick off the 24 mile push to Casa De Luna.  Tags let before we were ready, and Hummer and Tang were still sleeping, so Tanner, ACB, and I did the 1 mile road walk back to the "trail". Which was another 3 miles on road until you got back to a trail. We passed a hand full of people still sleeping in their tents, trying to do miles before the sun got hot. Catching Tags at 10 miles in, we had breakfast at a very slow spring infested by honey bees. They were harmless and none tried to sting me, they just landed on me and went about their business. Pushing forward we planned to stop for lunch at a random bench on trail, but find this really cool little grove in a trees that had room for everyone, and it was only 6 miles to the road. We had a nap after lunch and then Tang and Hummer caught up. Once we got to the road we found that there was a trail angel giving out pop and candy and giving rides to Casa de Luna (avoiding a few miles on the road). Nancy Pants have us all a ride. Once at Casa de Luna, we changed into our Hawaiian shirts, got tent a in their back woods, and helped prepare the taco salad dinner. Daily milage-24m(38.4km)

Day 29-Casa de Luna to Sawmill Campground

We woke up after a night of drinking of socializing with the other hikers, to a breakfast of pancakes, fruit, and coffee. After we had our fill, we got a ride with a trail angel(forget his name) back to the trail head and began the climb out of the valley. We climbed the long hike up the hill, staying on the same slope the whole way which was getting annoying as it was starting to hurt my ankle. But off we went. Hiking from spring to spring. Stopping for meals when we were hungry and trying to get some respite from the sun. Aswell as avoiding the poison oak. Hiking on on the afternoon we ran into Cruise, PaceCar, and Groover. Eventually getting to the chosen tent site, a BLM campground called Sawmill Campground. There was about 9 of is camping there in total, making for a fun night of talking, eating, and being asleep by 8pm.  Daily milage-20m(32km)

Day 30-Sawmill to Hiker town/weeville market

We woke up and it was misting weirdly on us.i got up to go pee and realized we were in the clouds. We very slowly broke camp and started moving, for the first time in awhile I was the last one to leave camp. I hiked alone for a while, eventually catching Suavé and ACB at the 500 mile sign, which due to trail changes, is actually mile 502. I got my pictures, ate some candy, and headed on. I eventually got near the bottom of the descent and was dry on water, so I went to a source that was a bit of a detour and ended up with a lot of alge in my filter. I ate brunch with Tang here, and headed off. About 2 miles later we came upon some trail magic by Cruise Control, the mother of Cruise(who I had hiked with on and off some days). So we had some beer, fresh baked cookies, and chips and salsa. We eventually headed on to do the last bunch of miles to get to hiker town. The hike was fairly uneventful and kind of annoying how the route went due to private property issues. It took us about 9 miles to go around 2 miles if it was a straight-line. Either way, we got it done, and rolled out onto the highway and ran into Pacecar and Groover, who had just secured a ride to Weeville Market, a convenience store that lets hikers camp for free on there side lawn. So we ate some burgers for dinner there, and drank some beer, and hung out until we were tired. The owner of the store promised us he would be there at 6am to drive us to the trail so we could get an early start on the LA Aquaduct section. It had gotten fairly windy, so we figured it would be cold enough to do a day hike on the aquaduct. Daily milage-19.4m(31km)

Day 31-Hiker town to Tylerhorse Canyon-24miles

After waking up, packing up, eating a breakfast burrito, and getting a ride at around 6 am we started the infamous LA Aquaduct section. Its notorious for being hot, and windy, and no water. We lucked out again due to the colder temps, hovering around 15 degrees Celsius. So we crushed the whole day as fast as we could. Once we got to the flat paved portion of the aquaduct, I started to get a pretty good left shin splint, so I ended up walking alone for a while. We had lunch with PaceCar and Groover in a little shaded section near a bridge. Due to the high winds we pushed on after not too long of a break, and started gaining some altitude slowly. After about an hour it got pretty steep, and ACB and I caught and passed Pacecar and Groover. We eventually got to our intended campsite, and set up camp. The wind got worse and worse. I moved my tent afew times, and eventually the wind shattered the metal clip that holds my vestibule doors closed. So I went out in the cold, tied it down, and tried to get to sleep. I had to reset the pegs a few times before eventually getting them to stay. 

Day 32- to Tehachapi- 25 miles

We got up early-ish, getting going by around 6. We broke camp, and headed off. As per usual ACB and I were off first. We did the long long climb up out of the valley, stopping around 5 miles to get water and eat. Suavé caught up to us here, and ate with us. We headed off and hiked until we hit a random trail magic spot. Because it was cold we didn't really take any water here, but I did get some cookies which was awesome. This is when the long slow descent started, and due to my shin splint being pretty painful on descending, this is when everyone took off on me. Foxtrot and Tags were well ahead of us here, and once we got back into the windfarms I eventually had lunch with ACB, Tang, and Hummer. They all left before me and I slowly waddled off down the hill. Once we got to the bottom of the descent, he had a long slow hike up through a massive wind farm. I ended up catching up to ACB and we hiked the rest together. We passed Pacecar and Groover on the steep descent down to the final road, and met some day hikers that gave us a pear....it was sooo good. We started the road walk to get to the highway overpass and a random car pulled over and picked us up on the way there. We jammed the 3 of us in, grabbed Tang on the overpass, and headed into town. Foxtrot and Tags were at the pizza place, so we headed there. Got beer and pizza, and figured out accommodations. Due to my military history of got us a sweet deal on a hotel room, with a hot tub. So we drank beer, wine, ate food, and swam in the pool and hot tub.

Day 33-zero

Today we did post office, resupply, got some calf sleeves for my shin splint, watched ACB show us how to hitch by showing off her ass, and drank beer. At night we went and saw the new Avengers movie, and got a good sleep in.  

Days 17-22

 The end of my hat

The end of my hat

Day 17- We decided not to take a zero in Big Bear, and got a ride out to the trail after breakfast. We set off at around 11am, and it was cold and windy. We quickly passed a Korean guy peeing pretty much on trail, it's becoming clear that people are becoming less and less modest about bodily functions. Just like farting, it's become very funny. So off we set, and we crushed a quick 10 miles before catching up to Camo and Squeeks for lunch. They told us we had just missed Darwin, who is kind of YouTube famous. I finished up lunch before everyone else, so I left alone to get to our camp site. It was getting colder, and far more windy. We were on a ridgeline overlooking Big Bear Lake, so not ideal conditions. I felt good so I did the remaining 9.8 miles at a 4mile/hour pace. Getting to the camp site I ran into Darwin, and had a good talk with him about thru hiking culture, and how toxic the online community can be. But also about how amazing, and genuine the actual people you meet can be. We parted ways as we decided to search for a sheltered camp site. No luck from either of us we decided to make our own spots in a dry river bed. It was while searching for a campsite I found out that my treasured sun hat died a terrible death, I had only the brim left, as the top had been blown away in the wind. 10 minutes later Tags came down trail with the top. So I of course wore it...and then Darwin saw me and bestowed upon me my trail name...FEZ, like the Indian Hat. So we set up camp and settled in for a cold night. Days milage-19.8m(31.7km)

 The reason for my trail name

The reason for my trail name

 300 miles!

300 miles!

Day 18- so we woke up to frozen tents. Tags said it snowed on us overnight for a few minutes. Tanner said his thermometer showed 18 degrees, or -7.8 degrees in a rational unit of measurement. We took our time, and waited for the sun to come up so we wouldn't have to put away wet tents. Finally we got rolling at around 9. Tags left before us, so the four of us walked and talked for the morning, having a long conversation about the US healthcare system and how to fix it. Hiker trash solving the world's problems. After lunch we all seperated, passing the 300 mile marker. We rolled into Deep Creek Hot Springs. A natural hot spring. Where we camped for the night. We hung out for a few hours in the hot springs and the river(no pictures because it's clothing optional, and some people opted). Tried slackline across water(I have lost that skill for sure). It was a great end to the day. Went to bed clean and relaxed. Daily mileage-22m(35.2km)

 the famous Rainbow Bridge

the famous Rainbow Bridge

Day 19- We rolled out of camp early, at around 545, hiking in the shade due to being in a valley. Hiking 8 miles before breakfast. Then rolled on and met two guys who did the PCT last year(and I incidentally follow them on IG) who gave us trail magic and had a good talk about life with them. Before pushing onto the long exposed hill climbs in the growing heat. Today was the first time I rolled my bad ankle. I was pushing the pace hard, and the trail collapsed under my footstep, probably from a snake hole. I caused an inversion sprain, which is the same injury mechanism of my previous bad ones. So after a few minutes I decided I could walk on it. Fortunately I was listening to the Spotify playlist made by my mommy, and F**king Problems by Drake(thanks Nadine!) came on. So I had a good laugh by myself, and pushed on. We finally got to the ridge above Silverwood Lake, and respite from the heat. We had lunch there before pushing around to the far side of the lake to the closed campground we can camp at. Walking up the road to the campground we met a group of older couples who were there for their friends 90th birthday. So we sung him happy birthday and they gave us cake. It was amazing. And we got some apples. Camp was great. Flat, grassy, bathrooms, water in a tap, and electrical outlets. Daily milage- 21.6m(34.6km)

 ACB and Tanner hiking down into the valley where the San Andreas Fault runs through

ACB and Tanner hiking down into the valley where the San Andreas Fault runs through

 Important enough to be on an official trail sign!

Important enough to be on an official trail sign!

 Tanner crushing his McDonald's he carried out

Tanner crushing his McDonald's he carried out

Day 20- we got a slow start for the day, with our goal of McDonald's for breakfast which was 12.4 miles. I had to stop and eat some food half way as I was definitely gonna bonk otherwise as we never had breakfast. At McDonald's Tanner and Tags ate around 4000 calories each. The rest of us were more conservative.we got a Lyft to REI. I grabbed new shoes as I had a bunch of holes and my heels were compacted causing some pain. We got back to McDonald's and pushed on. Going about 5.5 more miles before ACB(Myriam) said she was camping there. I was happy because the heel pain in my right foot and the rolled ankle plus the new shoes was a rough walk. So we camped in the flat valley as the next campsite was 10 miles away and would have been a late, hard walk. Happy to let my feet rest, even though it was a short day, I passed the eff out at a water cache. Daily milage- 17.8m(28.4km)

 Hummer crushing early morning miles as we ascend 7000ft

Hummer crushing early morning miles as we ascend 7000ft

 Hummer scoping out a camp site in the valley

Hummer scoping out a camp site in the valley

 Fire damaged sections

Fire damaged sections

Day 21- We got going as the day light was just starting, trying to get past the exposed section before it got hot, we climbed over 7000ft in 10 miles. Where we stopped for lunch. I was convinced I had lost my spot device. As I couldn't find it. So I tried to let home know this at a random spot I finally had service. It was a lot of hiking on what was starting to feel like Plantar Fasciitis(PF), but the hills hurt less, so I pushed on. Lots of hiking through burnt sections of old fires. Which is kind of crazy, and there was lots of poodle dog bushes(like poison ivy, but far worse). Once we stopped climbing and had to descend to Wrightwood I slowed way down. Going down we hiked down a ski hill which was kind of crazy to see. Once we finally got to the highway, Tags had found us a ride to town. So we headed to the hardware store to get some of the guys packages. Then went for pizza and beer. We found a place to stay at some people's house, it was a little weird, ok a lot weird, but the people were nice. It was nice to sleep inside on a bed with how sore my foot was. Daily mileage-22m(35.2km)

 Suddenly a wild ski lift appears

Suddenly a wild ski lift appears

 Tanner trying to fix his crazy oily hair

Tanner trying to fix his crazy oily hair

Day 22- We zeroed in town. Taking time to recover and resupply. Watched a bunch of Netflix, drank beer, stretched, and got a free BBQ from the place we stayed at. Daily mileage-0m(0km)