2005 PCT Journals:

journals_link

photos_link

movies_link

Pic a

Pic b

Pic c

 Entry: 6 of a total 165 Date:April 22, 2005 Friday
 GPS:33 04.064N 116 29.926W 3413ftMiles:13.30mi

Ah, the Pacific Crest Trail: Mexico to Canada by the most indirect route possible! Sure it looks direct enough on a map, but on foot you begin to realize how insane the people who built this trail must have been. I mean, does the trail really need to switchback all the way up a hill just to turn suddenly and plummet to the valley floor? Yes, I know that it is a collection of previously established trails, and that those trails were about beauty not directness... Yet after a long day it is sometimes hard to remember that.

However, the word of the day was "wildflowers"! We saw so many different types of flowers, deadly nightshade, violet geraniums, white and blue babies breath, Indian paintbrush and clumps of flowers that looked like yellow anomies. The trail was rough, but at least the surroundings were filled with color and beauty.


Toaster & Goodfoot

 


Pic a

Pic b

Pic c

 Entry: 7 of a total 165 Date:April 23, 2005 Saturday
 GPS:33 08.434N 116 30.464W 3416ftMiles:13.50mi

The landscape changed on us several times, and each was so sudden that we almost missed it. The first was just before we camped last night, when all the wildflowers disappeared and everything turned to desert. Sticky, prickly, sharp desert! There were many small cacti including an abundance of blooming prickly pear. There were also clumps of agaves, each sending out a massive central flower stalk. None of them are in bloom yet, but some are already over 15 feet tall. Seems like a lot of work for the little, two-foot tall plants.

The second change was just after crossing the highway at Scissors Crossing. Now entering the San Felipe hills, there were still cactus, but two new types had been introduced. First came many of the round, squat barrel cactus, each with a crown of yellow flowers. Later were the tall ocotillos that looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss Book. The book says that they only have leaves for a few days after each rain. These, were not only covered in green leave, but were also topped with crimson tube shaped flowers.


Toaster & Goodfoot

 


Pic a

Pic b

 Entry: 8 of a total 165 Date:April 24, 2005 Sunday
 GPS:33 12.897N 116 35.293W 3585ftMiles:14.40mi

This was one of the most frustrating sections of the trail yet, as it wasted miles cornering in and out of every minor nook and cranny of the San Felipe Hills. Even the guidebook agreed. At least the weather was on our side. At the end of the day we met a section hiker who had failed to complete this section at the same time last year due to a temp of 110! Today however, was like walking back in Portland. It was a chilly, overcast day and we even had to put on our rain gear in the late afternoon.

It is also worth mentioning that Sam got her trail name a few days ago. Every thru-hiker we met kept asking why we didn’t have trail names yet and as Sam was fixing her single, consistently blistering foot during dinner, I dubbed her with my titanium spoon. Here forth, she shall be known as the ‘Goodfoot’. This name fits her on many other levels as well, some of which may be explained at a later time. As for myself, I have been using the name ‘Toaster’ on the PCT message boards for several months and will probably stick with it for now.


Toaster & Goodfoot

 


Pic a

Pic b

 Entry: 9 of a total 165 Date:April 25, 2005 Monday
 GPS:33 17.000N 116 38.005W 3153ftMiles:10.30mi

After walking our longest day yet, we arrived last night at barrel springs just before dark. This marks over 100 miles of the trail completed (Only 2550 to go). We are now also, only 10 miles from Warner Springs where we need to pick up or drop box and probably get a hot shower and some cold beer.


Toaster & Goodfoot

 


Pic a

Pic b

Pic c

 Entry: 10 of a total 165 Date:April 26, 2005 Tuesday
 GPS:33 17.000N 116 38.005W 3153ftMiles:0.00mi

Ah, a zero day. Nothing to see here, please move along... Actually, it was a very productive day. We sorted our drop box supplies, re-supplied first aid at the mini mart and even washed our clothes (they really needed it). We also had the chance to speak with some other PCT hikers about the trail ahead. The first person we met, was Marge "The Old Gal". Well in her 80’s-90’s (sorry for telling everyone, Marge), she is currently section hiking the entire trail solo. She told us that a few years ago, she was stranded in the San Jacinto wilderness for 3 days after breaking her leg. We later heard other wild stories about Marge from a second hiker named Berkley.

The trail ahead is starting to freak us out a bit. Everyone is saying that it may still be snowing in the San Jacintos, our next destination. We found this log on the PCTA website earlier today: "As of 4/22/05, the trail is still mostly snowbound from Red Tahquitz Peak to Fuller Ridge in the San Jacinto Range (maps B9/B10) Snow depth ranges from 4 to 10 feet depending on location. An ice axe is highly recommended. When I hiked over the Desert Divide on Wednesday (4/20) and Thursday (4/21), there were steep patches of snow starting on the north side of Apache Peak, and Antsell Rock. The area between Red Tahquitz and Saddle Junction was completely snowbound, so good map & compass skills are essential. After Saddle Junction, there were snow bound areas, especially at higher elevations like the junction with Wellmans Cienaga Trail & on all north-facing slopes. I decided to bomb off down the Deer Springs trail (which is in good shape) to Idyllwild, rather than attempt Fuller Ridge."

We expected high snow and icy slopes in the high Sierras, but by that point we will have the equipment for such conditions. We did not expect to have to need ice axes, and boot so soon. I can’t believe that at one point we were questioning if we needed them at all! Yet, we have decided not to let the current conditions slow us down. Everything may be different when we arrive in around a week. And if not we have found several places on the trail where we could bail out. The first is in about 43 miles at the crossing of the Pines-to-Palms highway, the second would be the same trail to Idyllwild as the hiker took above at around 70 miles.

On a less dramatic note, Sam contacted MountianSmith about her pack today. A few days ago we had noticed that one of the main support straps was starting to fray. It was not something that we could fix and in this condition the pack would not last to Canada. Our other pack is still in perfect condition, so this looked to us like a simple defect. MountianSmith customer service department agreed, and will immediately be sending a whole new pack to meet us in Palm Springs. What a cool company!


Toaster & Goodfoot

 


Last This Page Contains 51.5 of Over 2400 Total Miles Covered.
There are 155 more log(s) still ahead ...
Jump to journal:
Next
 


WebSite Design and Development by Gabriel 'Toaster' Mcgovern