5.29.2013

5/29 day 33

Hiked 26 miles, during which I walked along open, piped, and paved over sections of the LA aqueduct. Saw little rodent tracks left when the aqueduct pavement was wet. Camped at pct mile 530.

5/28 day 32

Hiked 18 miles to pct mile 504. Have been setting up my tarp every night. This was my first night cowboy camping or, as Belgian Red calls it, cowboy sleeping.

5.27.2013

5/27 day 31

As we close in on mile 500, my trail name, K-PAX, has overtaken my real name. Apparently I look like Kevin Spacey in the movie K-PAX when I wear my sunglasses. Will have to rent it after the PCT.

Hiked 18 miles to pct mile 486. Listened to Monk play his didgeridoo, which is collapsable and fits on his backpack.

5/26 day 30

Stopping to pet these two beautiful horses on the way out of Agua Dulce caused us to miss our turnoff for the trail and continue down the street to a fenced yard filled with barking, angry dogs. Except that the dogs weren't fenced in, and ran from the driveway and up the street, chasing us for a good quarter mile. We were happy to be back on trail with the rattlesnakes, and hiked 14 miles to pct mile 468.

5.26.2013

5/25 day 29

Zero day at the Saufley's. Shaved beard. Slept in horse trailer.

5.25.2013

5/24 day 28

Snacked on yucca flowers during the 10 mile hike to the Saufley's, pct mile 454. Wanted to camp in the cave pictured below, but was too early and continued hiking. By the Saufley's scale, I've lost 10 lbs.

5.24.2013

5/23 day 27

Hiked 14 miles to pct mile 444, where a bunch of hikers stopped at the Acton KOA for showers, laundry, and ice cream. Was good to meet new hikers and see others that I'd lost track of.

5.22.2013

5/22 day 26

Slept well in a secluded little field filled with yellow flowers. Packed up and hiked 18 miles to pct mile 430.

5.21.2013

5/21 day 25

Lallygagging around camp before hitting the trail this morning, Belgian Red and I had a good conversation with a couple of guys walking their dogs. These guys spontaneously became our own private  trail angels, giving us apples, string cheese, almonds, lollipops, among other goodies. All the early risers missed.out.

Hiked 16 miles to pct mile 412.

5/20 day 24

Had a fun and leisurely day hiking with Belgian Red. Very interesting woman, and we have the same birthday. Hiked 12 miles to pct mile 396.

5/19 day 23

Hiked 24 miles to pct mile 384. Had a nice break at the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center. Met Chrissy, founder/owner of Dirty Girl Gaiters, on Mount Baden Powell. She was dressed head-to-toe in Dirty Girl print fabric. I was wearing my Giardia print gaiters, of course. After hiking to the peak (9399 ft), I continued along the pct.

5.18.2013

5/18 day 22

Today, hiked through a drainage pipe, over railroad tracks, across San Andreas Fault, by a horned lizard and dead tarantula, and around the largest rattlesnake I've seen yet--18 miles in all to pct mile 360.

5.17.2013

5/17 day 21

Hiked 25 miles to pct mile 342. Was a lot of fun hiking with Hitch today, getting to know her.

5.16.2013

5/16 day 20

Hiked 22 miles to pct mile 317. Midday, at about mile 306, I followed a trail to a couple of tiny private beaches along the creek. The first was occupied by a rattlesnake, which wasn't very active, as it was digesting whatever unlucky creature was.causing the bulge in its midsection. I chose to go to the next little beach, where I rinsed my shirt, socks and hair, and then stretched out on the sand for a bit. A bout a mile farther down the pct were some natural hot springs.

5/15 day 19

Hiked 20 miles, by Big Bear Lake, to pct me 295.

I've mentioned the burgers and pizza that I've eaten in trail towns, but I haven't told you what I eat on the trail. Mid-morning, I eat instant oatmeal mixed with water, which I no longer bother heating up. Then I snack on granola bars, protein bars, or cliff bars during the day. In the evening, I heat water for ramen noodles or couscous. I also pop a multivitamin every few days.

5.14.2013

5/14 day 18

Hiked 3 miles to pct mile 275, then started walking down Van Dusen Road into Big Bear. Within a half mile, a guy driving an old military vehicle gave me a lift into town.

Met my friend Derek for burgers and beer, and more beer. And he even ran me to the grocery store, where I resupplied for the hike to Wrightwood.

5/13 day 17

One of the strangest things about a thru-hike is how you meet, become separated from, and reunite with other hikers. People hike at different speeds, become sidelined by blisters and.knee pain, or simply take an extra day off trail to visit friends. You might lose track of the people you started hiking with and then see them reappear on the trail a week or two later.

Hiked 25 miles to pct mile 272. Will resupply in Big Bear tomorrow.

5.13.2013

5/12 day 16

Hiked 20 miles to pct mile 247. Nice to have so much flowing water the past couple of days. Did a little wash-and-wear with my shirt: dunked it, wrung it out, and put it on to keep me cool.

ironic bear encounter

Pretty ironic to see a movie stunt bear caged up right along the pct. He's probably working today, and I'll be shitting in the woods.

5/11 day 15

Hiked 18 miles through the mesa wind farm and whitewater to pct mile 227. Found a sweet little place to camp around 7 pm.

5.11.2013

5/9 & 10 day 13 & 14

Hiked 8 miles to route 10, pct mile 209, where my friend Ray picked me up and brought me into Cabazon. The last 3 miles to route 10 is slow going, as you're pushing your way head on into a wind corridor over soft sand. But you might find coolers of water, beer, and soda under the highway when you finally make it there. Thanks for the cold Sunkist, Lake2Lake.

Cabazon isn't a great town for a nero and a zero day unless you have friends there. Was great to see everyone, and Ray and Stasia grilled a delicious carne asada for dinner and fried perfect eggs for breakfast the next morning.

Was also a great feeling to resupply, clean up, and soak my feet in an epsom salt bath. My feet are a little swollen and bruised but not blistered, so I consider myself lucky.

5.09.2013

5/8 day 12

A beautiful.day to hike the mostly snowless Fuller Ridge. I.can see.how it would be hard going in deep snow and give props to those who've had to do that in previous years.  Hiked 22 miles to pct mile 201.