Day 12 Mt San Jacinto

 hiking up to the summit

hiking up to the summit

So this will be a short one, as it has one of the craziest, best experiences so far. Martin, Myriam, and I planned to head up to the peak from Idyllwild, and camp at the summit. But a crazy storm fixed that, so into the emergency shelter, and with it came Tanner, Hummer, and 4 others. Totalling 9 people in a shelter for 4. It was cozy. But adequately warm for the 70mph winds outside in the storm. 

 breakfast pizza... because pizza

breakfast pizza... because pizza

 Classic summit photo

Classic summit photo

 

This shelter is just below the peak, so we noticed the clouds thinning around sun set, so Tanner, hummer, and I went up to the summit where we witnessed one of the best sunsets I've ever seen. I am honestly still blown away by it. The storm was going on around us, but we were above it. The clouds suddenly parted and we got to see the Sun set from 10 600ft. Then immediately the clouds rolled back in. To quote Hummer...it was a John Muirical.  

 Hummer watching the sun set

Hummer watching the sun set

 

We quickly ran back to the cabin to heat up and get to sleep. Hiker midnight is 9pm and it was approaching. We decided to get a late start the next day to mitigate the cold.  

 Hummer smiling, not knowing about the cold about to hit us

Hummer smiling, not knowing about the cold about to hit us

Trail days 6-11

I have realized I am terrible at keeping up to date on this blog, so I will try to catch you all up over a few posts to keep things organized...ish. 

 

 Carmen's Place

Carmen's Place

So I last left you with me sitting in a town called Julian. At a trail angels old restaurant named Carmen's. She lets hikers crash there and drink her beer while she moves away from town. 

 

Myriam and I accompanied Digger, Garbage Disposal, Sniper, and Coyote back down to scissors crossing that afternoon under the assumption that getting a hitch in the early hours of the morning may be tuff. So off we went, got a hitch from a thru hikers wife, and proceeded to set up camp under the bridge like the little hiker troll's we were. 

 hit 100 miles

hit 100 miles

The next day we woke up and only Myriam and I were left. So off we went. Climbing high up into the hills, which got us to the gate 3 water cache at around noon. Where we found Tang, Nat Geo, and Nimble Leopard. We hung out for a bit too dry our feet before heading forward to stop for lunch. We found some shade about an hour up trail and hid from the sun for a few hours before proceeding. At the next water we found some trail magic from some eclectic people in the way of free beer. It was cold and delicious. At this point only Myriam and I wanted to head on to the famous eagle rock. Getting there intime to watch the sun set. Then cowboy camping at the base. Milage for the day was 29.1 miles(46.5 km)

 Missed my alarm, and had the moon flood my shot, but it worked out ok

Missed my alarm, and had the moon flood my shot, but it worked out ok

 Morning after camping at the base of eagle rock

Morning after camping at the base of eagle rock

Day 7 saw us saunter into Warner springs. We grabbed food at the golf course. Did some mailing, got resupply, showered and washed our clothes (as amazing as you imagine) and headed out of town to catch back up to Tang, Nat Geo, and Nimble Leopard and camped with them. Milage for the day was a nero, at 6 miles (10km)

 its hot out here

its hot out here

Day 8 we were the first ones out of camp and went on walking. Climbing up out of Warner go is some awesome views, I ended up on my own hiking for a couple hours before getting to Mike's place. A random guys mountain retreat he lets hikers crash at and get water. It truely is a hiker vortex, as I met marbles who had been there for a couple zeros in a row. We didn't wait for the pizza that came out at exactly 420...we headed on, doing another couple miles. Milage for the day, 19.5 miles(32 km).

 The famous Paradise Valley Cafe

The famous Paradise Valley Cafe

Day 9 we got rolling around 5, and now the moon has definitely gotten less intense and is the first morning we really needed headlamps to hike. We push hard and do 13 miles by 930 at a water cache. We eat, top up water and head out. Today was fast, I got to mile 20.5 by noon. Myriam coming in 30 minutes later. Joined by 3 guys we have leapfrogged a few times we road walk the mile to Paradise Valley Cafe for the fabled burger. A milkshake and burger and fries later, we head back to trail. Tanner, hummer, and Wolf head out but we decided to air out our feet first. Then pushed on for about 12 miles, rolling into camp at 32 miles for the day (51km). 

 Watching the sun rise after doing 7 miles before it. 

Watching the sun rise after doing 7 miles before it. 

Day 10 we did a tonne of climbing, had a really cold breakfast due to the high winds, and finished the newly opened section up to Spitler peak. The last few miles were hard. The new trail is poorly established, and very steep. We caught up to Pace Car, Groover, Camo, and Squeeks, we rested up and ate before descending down to the road walk around the fire closure and into Idyllwild. We grabbed a cabin for two days with the promise of free laundry. In town we caught up to Martin who I hadn't seen since day 2. Miles for today ~18miles.

Day11.... Finally a zero. We slept in until 7. Did some shopping at the Outfitters for people to switch out gear, I got the supplies to fix the screen in my tent and glue for my shoes. Got food and got to bed early. Before getting back on trail in the morning.  

Week of Firsts

 At the Southern Terminus

At the Southern Terminus

So I just rolled into Julian, CA courtesy of a very nice lady named Diana(who only spoke Spanish) who picked us up on the side of the road. That was the first hitch I've ever done, and didn't lose a kidney, so that's a plus. 

 

 Now only 2649 left

Now only 2649 left

I started my hike on Saturday the 31st with a Danish guy named Martin, and we did a 20 mile day into Lake Morena. Where we caught up with a bunch of people from S&F's we met when they left the day before us. I had made a classic mistake that you see new endurance athletes make, consumed too few calories. A big burger and fries helped that, but my knees were a tad sore.  

 trying to keep up to this Danish beast of a hiker

trying to keep up to this Danish beast of a hiker

 How to fix a low calorie day

How to fix a low calorie day

 I suppose I will listen to this sign...also first sign without bullet holes in it

I suppose I will listen to this sign...also first sign without bullet holes in it

 Day two we got a late start, took 2 hours to break camp and cook and get going. I decided to let Martin go and hike with Weezer for a short 12 mile day to help my knees settle. We had a great day, and ended up at a campground where a nice lady let us sleep on her spot so we didn't have to pay. That day got real hot in the afternoon as we hiked until about 3. 

 how to eat enough calories

how to eat enough calories

 We decided on day 3 to do a really early start, so we were on trail by 0545 hiking by moonlight. It was just incredible to watch the sun rise on trail. We got into Mt Laguna at around 10, and had breakfast at the local cafe. Then took a shower and lounged for a few hours before resupplying and heading on. We hiked through some pretty intense wind before finding a camp site in some random woods about 6 miles past My Laguna. Which was nice as there was water there. 

 We did another early start on Tuesday, pushing 11 miles to the first(and last water for the day). We filled up, and ate some food. I headed off on my own from there. Getting to a nice treed area beside a dry stream bed for a 3 hour siesta. Once we woke up we pushed on, and had some gorgeous views and weather for the rest of the hike. Which was big for the two girls, as it turned out to be their first 20 mile day, which was actually 22.1miles. or nearly a full marathon, they crushed it. That night I cowboy camped to make room for one tent on the ledge we camped at. We had a great night of amazing stars and listening to the coyotes hunt down in the valley floor. 

Then we hit the trail early, and got a hitch into town. Its been a whirlwind first 5 days on trail. Meeting some of the nicest, most amazing people. Seeing amazing views. And having the most fun, strange, and funny conversations. 

 So we're going to stay in town all day today, and hopefully get a hitch super early out to the trail to get a start on the long climb back out of the valley. 

PCT: T-Minus 1 Day

 Scout and Frodo's

Scout and Frodo's

So here I sit, at Scout and Frodo's getting ready to start. I've been here for a little over 26 hours, 26 hours of meeting new people, singing along to Scout's guitar jamming, fussing over gear, panicking over gear, buying and sending food, and planning out the first few days. Then panicking over gear choices. 

 My tent for 2 nights

My tent for 2 nights

The people here are incredible, the volunteers at Scout and Frodo's are so giving and nice. There's Dot, Grey Wolf, and Numbers (all trail names of course). The hikers here are all very warm and welcoming, and from all over, I have a German, a Dane, and a Quebecer in my tent. 

 The backyard at Scout and Frodo's

The backyard at Scout and Frodo's

So all that's left to do now is to hang out and and enjoy my last night before becoming legitimate hiker trash. I'll try to post more comprehensive posts later on, depending on cell coverage.  

 

 Last chance on wifi to get all the songs and books downloaded

Last chance on wifi to get all the songs and books downloaded