Tuesday, August 21, 2018

More on the End of the Trail

Sat 8/4 (contd.)

  • Pain in my back is pretty sharp when I stand up after dinner, get in the tent, put on / take off the pack, bending over, etc. can be painful
  • Once I am hiking the back rarely barks at me.  When I stop to talk to another hiker, the first step or two hurt
  • I keep Ibuprofen in my pocket.  I haven't taken any yet but it is close just in case
  • It is 215 miles or another 10 days to Cascade Locks.  I am trying not think of the distance but just keep putting in the miles each day
  • I have two different bail-out options in mind


Sun 8/5
  • Hiked from Stormy Lake mile 1932.8 to Sisters Mirror Lake 1956.5 = 23.7 miles
  • I med a SOBO (Southbound) who met Garrett.  His name is Soul_______(I only remember 1st half of his name).  He said Pathfinder was doing BIG miles but stopped to talk. And that he got sick at Hyatt Lake, and went on to say what a nice guy he is. 

10 by 10
  • Many hikers try to do 10 miles by 10:00 am.  I've done 10 x 10 several times because the hiking is fairly easy.  I had 11 miles by 10:00 am today
  • Garrett via Becky gave me a third bail out option depending on how my back is doing. 
  • Realistically, I am in shape for 15 miles, and perhaps 18 miles. Because my timeline here is tight, the plan calls for a cool 20 miles each day.  I've been doing 22-24 miles--two reasons: 1.  To keep me on schedule: to buy the possibility of an easy day should I need one.  Doing 20-24 miles has a drawback--at the end of the day, I am totally spent.  I set up tent, get water, cook dinner, and eat.  Then I just want to lie down and do nothing.  My energy for the blog or anything else is gone.  I hurt all over.  I don't want to tend to my feet.  I just want to lie down and let sleep overwhelm me. 
Mon 8/6  - Tying in my Steps & Completing the Pacific Crest Trail
  • Hiked from Mirror Lake mile 1956.5 to McKenzie Pass mile 1981.3 + 1/2 mile to and from Lava Camp Lake each way = 24.8 + 1 = 25.8
For 25 years or so I've talked about hiking the PCT.  Starting in 2000, Harold and I began hiking Washington and northern Oregon PCT in sections.  In 2016 I completed the last 35 miles of Washington.  Last year I hiked 1700 miles of the PCT from the Mexican border to Ashland, OR.  Fires and closed trail ended my hike some 300 miles short of  McKenzie Pass.

"Maybe, just maybe today will be the day," I'm thinking.  It would take a big day but I was hopeful.  

A few miles into the day I could see Rock Mesa (a lava field).  The map indicated that I needed to cross several lava fields.  The map was spot on.  Lava fields are nothing but a pile of rock.  With each step the lava rock moved, shifted, rolled.  Each step took concentration and a prediction of what would happen to the rocks when I stepped on them.  I had to be deliberate and use my hiking poles to maintain balance.

I had some great views of two of the Three Sisters (volcanic mtns.)

In the afternoon I came to Sister Spring.  You could see where the water bubbled up and watch small gravels move.  The water was wonderful.  Three other hikers were there and had no problem sharing the water.  I told them what was in store for me at McKenzie Pass.  A young woman looked up from her phone, "That's only 10 miles from here.  You'll make it today."

A few miles later I entered the restricted Obsidian Area.  A special permit was required to camp there.  In the next two miles I saw more obsidian rock than I thought possible.  This would have been a sacred area for the Native Americans.  I imagined obsidian rock from Oregon making its way across the continent one trade at a time.

The McKenzie Pass area is a lave field and there is no water.  So, 1 1/2 miles from McKenzie Pass, I turned onto Lava Camp Lake Trail and headed for the lake.  Tonight was to be another "dry camp" and I needed more water to get me through the night and for next morning's hike.

Back on the PCT I entered my last lava field of the day.  One thing about it, the PCT doesn't believe in "easy".  The last mile and a half was a gnarly, jumbled mess of lava rock.  Finally, I hit the pavement.  I walked across the road and found where the trail continued northbound.  Hiking on lava can be much like walking on marbles.

About 300 yards up the pavement and I made it to McKenzie Pass.  It was just before 5 pm.  The hikers I met at Sisters Spring asked, "how does it feel?  You just finished the PCT."  

I was satisfied.  Looking north I knew there was an unbroken line of footprints leading some 650 miles to Canada.  Some of the steps had been taken 18 years earlier.  Looking south there was an unbroken line of footprints, almost 2000 miles of them,  leading to Mexico.  

Fours years ago I had a complete rupture of the quadriceps tendon in my left leg.  The surgeon said hiking the PCT would be "iffy".  Well, "iffy" and I did 2000 miles the last two years.  My hike of the PCT was now complete and I was very satisfied.

The other hikers had told Tony about me.  When he came down from the observatory, Tony asked, "where's the guy who just finished the PCT?"  The hikers points to your truly.  Tony said follow me.   There was a Tecate Beer, chips, blueberries and gorp.  Any beverage you do not have to carry, treat or filter is wonderful.

I could have gone to Bend with Tony right then but I wanted to spend the night at McKenzie Pass.  I also had a decision to make.  Continue hiking northbound or  get off the trail.

After Tony takes the other hikers to Bend, I am filtering water behind the toilet (the only shade at McKenzie Pass).  A guy comes up and talks.  He get real excited about what I've done and says he'll cook a hamburger for me.  His name is Gup, a mountain biker.  When I get to where burgers are cooking, Gup has a third guy with him named Sam.  We're talking when out of the blue, Sam asks me, "How certain are you about going to heaven?"

I said, "100% certain. Do you want to know what I believe?"  They said, "yes," so I recited the Apostles Creed.  I think they were flabbergasted.  I told them about hiking for the kids at Camp Korey.  Sam gave me $40 for the Camp.  Now, I was flabbergasted.

WHAT A WONDERFUL DAY!!  I completed the last steps of the PCT.  There was free food and drink.  I was asked what I believe and I was given money for Camp Korey.

My choices for the night -- pavement, lava rock, or the concrete pad behind the toilet.  I slept on the concrete pad.
Tues 8/7
  • This morning when I started, I'm thinking, "I don't remember this."
  • It took awhile to remember that years earlier we started at a trailhead that was west of McKenzie Pass.  Officially, I completed the PCT this morning (8/7) .
  • Made it to Big Lake Youth Camp.  I spent the last 4 miles to the camp walking behind a gal--McGuyver.  She seems pretty resourceful
  • Big Lake Youth Camp is Seventh Day Adventist, and really set up nicely for PCT hikers.The A-framed hut has refrigerator stocked with pasta dishes.  Just you know, there was not one bite of the pasta dishes by the time I left.  The middle room is where you picked up your re-supply box and did laundry.  At the very back were two bathrooms with showers.  At 1 pm they served a nice lunch of burritos.  I loved the fresh veggies.
  • Unless my back is bad overnight, I intend to push on another 100 miles to Timberline Lodge--5 more trail days.  It is easy to catch a bus to Portland from Timberline. 
  • Hiked from McKenzie Pass 1981.5 to Santiam Pass Trailhead 1998, plus one mile each way to Big Lake Youth Camp each way.  19 miles total
  • I specifically went to the trailhead because of picnic tables - a pace to sit.  I cowboy camped (no tent) next to a picnic table which was near the toilet.

Wed 8/8 Day 14
  • Last night my back really growled at me.  It was very sore and stiff.  Looks like I'm going home.  I am bummed about not making it to Timberline Lodge or to Cascade Locks to finish Oregon.
  • I did hike north another 1 1/5 miles to take a photo of the 2000-mile mark.  Now I can say I hiked 2000 mile the last two years
The Hitch to Bend
  • Santiam Pass is on Hwy. 20 and gets much more traffic than at McKenzie Pass
  • It took half an hour to get a ride.  Car after car did not stop.  I kept saying, "it only takes one"
  • Jim was the one who stopped.  Jim makes carbon-fiber bicycles, each for big dollars  Jim is very active - mountain bikes, road bikes, hikes, climbs.  He was the perfect ride for me.  I wish I had gotten his contact information
  • Jim took me to Bend and dropped me off about 8:30 am where the Central Oregon Breeze bus departs for Portland, right next to Burger King
  • Turns out the bus for the day left at 7 am.  So, I caught the local bus to the bus station.  Had to wait until noon for the ticket agent
  • Met a young woman hiker from Australia.  Her trail name - Bean Dip.  She is a really nice girl.  She said the hostel was pretty cheap
  • At noon the ticket agent told me that the next bus for Portland would not get there until 10:30 pm.  Much too late for an early riser like me
  • I called the Central Oregon Breeze and reserved a seat for 7 am the next morning
  • By now it is almost 1:00 pm, I am getting desperately hungry and desperately want a motel room near where I catch the bus in the morning.  Becky is working with me  and giving suggestions.  She found motels near the bus station and near Burger King (where I would catch the bus next morning)
  • Have you ever seen the Snickers commercials where very hungry people turn into a bear?  That was me!  My hiker hunger had kicked in.  I could not make sense of how to get back to Burger King and whether there was a motel nearby.
  • The third time I asked the ticket agent about getting back to Burger King he said, "You need bus #4.  You catch it on this side of the street"
  • I was out the door in a flash.  I verified I was on the correct bus feeling happy.
  • A male hiker was on the bus.  He just had a haircut and shave.  He showed me before and after photos.
  • I got off the bus at my stop.  Across the street was Burger King.  I turned around I saw a motel, one of Becky's suggestion - Sugarloaf Mountain Motel
  • I had a sinking spell when the clerk told me how much the room was going to cost.  Convenience won out, I checked in.  From there it would be a snap to make it to the bus stop by 6:45 am
  • The clerk told me that Applebees was down the street.  It was just after 2 PM and I almost skipped down the street.  After lime chicken, a salad, a dark porter and lots of ice water, Kevin (Wayfair) had returned and the bear was gone.
  • I had had a shower at the youth camp and only hiked 9 miles afterward.  I COULD NOT BELIEVE HOW MUCH DIRT CAME OFF THIS OLD HIKER!!
  • Showered, well fed, hiking shirt hand washed and set outside to dry, bus ticket secured.  I was set!
  • At the airport the next morning I would need to purchase a ticket to Spokane
Thurs.  8/9

  • This would have been Mom's birthday
  • Bus ride to Portland airport was easy as pie.  Getting a ticket to Spokane was....frustrating.  To Mom's credit I did not blow a gasket
  • Alaska Airlines has routes to Spokane
  • It took some asking but I made it to the correct line.  The line crawled slowly but I made it to the front of the line.  When it was my turn the agent handed me a paper that had their reservations phone number. Maybe I should have cried "party foul" or "I'm going to another airline"
  • I dialed the number and received, not a person, but a "voice".  Voice said to say things like "reservations".  Seems like every time I wanted to speak, the "voice" interrupted.  After 3 tries I am darn near screaming "reservations" into my cell phone
  • I finally get a real person and reservation made
  • Now to check in via the kiosk.  I just made the reservation, but reservation line and kiosk were not on speaking turns.  
  • Same with 2nd kiosk
  • At the 3rd kiosk a very nice, middle aged Alaska clerk came to my aid.  I think she knows the look of frustration.  
  • We had to go to a 4th kiosk to get checked in.  I think it took time before computer and kiosk apologized and got back on speaking terms 
  • She took me to the correct line and went to get a heavy-duty plastic bag for my pack
  • I was whisked through security pretty quickly.  I may have had the Clint Eastwood look - "Go ahead and make my day!"



  • Flight to Spokane was uneventful.  On the drive home we needed to make several Abby stops.  This was a long time for a dog to be in a car.
  • I am still a little bummed about not making it to at least Timberline Lodge.  5 more days is all it would have taken
  • But I am ecstatic about tying-in my steps and completing the PCT. 
  • Just so you know the PCT is a trail worth repeating

Monday, August 13, 2018

More Adventures with Wayfair

Mon Jul 30

  • Hiked from burn-out campsite to Hwy 62
    • To Mazama and back 
    • Hwy 62 to Dutton Creek/Rim Village Trail  16.1 miles
  • Theme for Southern Oregon:  
    • Hot Days - so, I am not eating much
    • Minimal Water - so, I must carry lots of water
    • Smoke
       
    • Not much scenic value
    • My pack is always heavy
  • Tomorrow 2.4 miles to Rim Village
    • The next 26 miles--there is NO water
    • Way too many mosquitoes to cowboy camp
    • The plan for Rim Village--quick breakfast, camel up & load up with water, get on the trail
    • A girl from Australia or New Zealand traveling Southbound I met on the trail about a mile from camp.  Went on and on about the smoke, lack of water, and hot days.  "There's no joy in this," she said.  "It's hard making 20 miles in the smoke and heat.  Take plenty of water. Be careful"
    • Girl named Dragon camped next to me
Tues 7/31
  • Left camp by 5:00 am  The trail to Rim Village was mostly uphill
  • At Rim Village
    • Cameled up on water
    • Had my hot meal--shredded Mexican beef, refried beans, Spanish rice
    • Filled up every water bottle, brushed my teeth.  Took only 45 minutes to get back on the trail
  • South portion of Rim Trail is very steep.  Because of thick smoke, views of Crater Lake were almost non-existent 
  • Frustrated by the trail and lack of views, the 2nd or 3rd time the trail came down to the road, I got on the highway for a road-walk instead of staying on the Rim Trail.  
  • Turned out the north portion of the Rim Trail is flatter but I had no idea.  I was not the only road walker
  • I caught the trail again at the intersection of Rim Road and highway
  • Natalie, a girl from Switzerland.  We've been leap-frogging.  I took her photo, she took mine
  • Everyone is tired of smoke, hot days, and big water carries
  • I had a shower yesterday but you couldn't tell it now.  The trail is dust.  My lower legs and feet are filthy dirty 
Wed 8/1
  • Not as smoky.  Still hot but not as hot
  • 8-9 miles to Thielson Creek.  The sound of a creek-- has to be one of the greatest sounds in the universe 
  • 52 year old hiker Yo-Se-Ki (stands for Yosemite, Sequoia, Kings Canyon National Parks)  He had a hip replacement last year.  Not the fastest hiker, but he hikes long hours, and puts in more miles than the faster, young bucks
  • Made it to Maiden Lake Trail Junction.  Dropped pack, walked 3/4 to the lake.  Cleaned up, filled two bottles with water and walked back. 

  • Taking a break at the trail junction when Lily and Kiki walked up.  They ditched Wander a day or so ago. 
  • Hiked on to mile 1866--found a place to bivvy for the evening.  Not the best site as it was on a slope, but it was the best available site and I made it work 
  • Today 21 miles with pack and 1.5 miles without pack
  • Revelation--at mile 1860 outlined in the trail out of fir cones 3000k.  All along I thought I was walking miles, then I find out I've been walking kilometers from the start.  Holy Kamoley, when did this happen?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  • I'm a little dehydrated.  Nothing you can do about this when you're in one water carry after another--20 miles, 26 miles, 13 miles, 16 miles, 18 miles. I hope these are the last big water carries. 
Thurs 8/2
  • As I travel north, the smoke lessens
  • Left camp at 5:10 am. Great water cache at Windigo Pass on a gravel Forest Service road.  Even had Gatorade and a charging station with a solar charger
  • At mile 1881 campsite at Summit Lake.  Cooked my hot meal.  Left there at 3:30 pm, hoping to crank another three miles. 
  • Between mile 21 & 22 for the day, I caught a tree stub and landed on my nose.  The way I landed I was certain it was broken--but it wasn't.  Now is the time to tell you the real concern from the fall, was my back.  On day 1 (July 25), carrying a beast of a pack with three days of food and more than five liters of water.  I strained my back (muscle on right side in mid-back.  I'd been nursing it along pretty well.  After getting to camp and setting up tent, I lay down for a bit.  Very hard to get up.  Bending over, twisting, turning all very painful. 
  • Tomorrow I have sixteen miles to Shelter Cove for my next resupply box
  • I believe in the power of overnight rest.  My back won't be anywhere 100% but I think I can hike to Shelter Cove. There's also 1500 vertical feet of climb for the first four miles. 
Fri 8/3
  • Hiked from mile 1890 to mile 1909 and three miles to and from Shelter Cove--22 miles
  • I love Diamond Peak!  Reminded me of places in Washington State and the High Sierras.  Even more important I had cell coverage.  For the first time in days I was able to talk with Becky.  Also got to speak with Garrett.  He is having to work for every mile.
  • I made it to Shelter Cove by 1:00 pm and left around 3:00 pm. I hiked back to the PCT and on another 4 miles to Rosary Lake (campsite between middle and upper Rosary Lake)
Joy Has Returned
  • After days of smoke-filled skies, very hot temperatures, zero visibility, big water carries, and heavy pack--Joy Returned!!
  • I saw stars last night!
  • Diamond Peak Wilderness is a real gem
  • Back My back did well during the day.  At the end of the day, the back stiffened up on me, really sore doing a lot of simple moves at camp.  
  • Kiki and Lily beat me to Shelter Cove.  Those two gals can move
  • Will (real name) from Ashland, OR, and I have hit it off.  We've met at Mazama, Summit Lake, and Shelter Cove.  Because of my back toward the end of the day, I cannot lift my pack and get it on.  I have to sit on a stump with the pack behind me, put on the shoulder straps and snap hip belt.  It is cheating or the lazy man's way but is where I am now.  
  • Just so you know, Fish Lake Resort and Shelter Cove Resort do not have outgoing mail so a lot of the posts for this trip may come at once
  • I am at mile 1909.5, I believe Cascade Locks is 2147.  Decision made: I'm not going beyond Cascade Locks.  I am pushing as hard as I can to get home on or before August 15
  • Re-supply box was in Shelter Cove.  So far, all three of my resupply boxes were there when I arrived.  Thanks Becky!!
  • A lot of today's blog was done by headlamp at 3:45 am.  After hiking all day, I am too pooped to do much more than set up camp, eat, and crash. 
  • Including miles to and from Resorts, 200 miles in 10 days
Sat 8/4
 
  • Hiked from 1909.5 to Storm Lake 1932.8 = 23.3 miles
  • Trail Magic:  The Leeson's (Harold, Karen, and Jeff) from Eugene, OR, provided hot dogs, beer, coke (the drink, not the drug), grapes, cookies, and chips
  • Their son, Jeff, also called "Ducky" (trail name) hiked the PCT in 2016 and the Appalachian Trail this year.  Ducky does not remember meeting Garrett/Pathfinder
  • Cleaned up my legs and feet. Unbeknownst to me, big toe on the right foot has had a huge blister.  I cut away all dangling skin and added two layers of New Skin



Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Kevin's Progress

Kevin called from Big Lake Youth Camp, and while it wasn't a through hike, he has completed all the steps on the PCT.  Without further ado, here are the annals of Kevin's hike.

The last couple of weeks were a blur

  • 5 trips to take Garrett his resupply
    • Friday, 7/13 with Becky to White Pass 
    • Monday, 7/16 Becky went to Snoqualmie Pass 
    • Tuesday, 7/17 to Stevens Pass--did not get back home until 10:00 pm
    • Friday 7/20 rode the Lady of the Lake to Stehekin.  Had to put Garrett's resupply box in a "Hiker Box." It was well-labeled for Garrett Guinn "Pathfinder.  
    • Monday 7/23 to Hart's Pass to pick up Garrett at the northern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. 
    • Tuesday 7/24 getting packed up, wrapping up tasks at work, chores
  • Challenging Tasks
    • Garrett just completed PCT in spite of numerous situations
      • post-holing in soft snow in the Sierras, grueling work
      • had to replace shoes.  The shoes he bought in South Lake Tahoe were great in the store--horrible for hiking.  Feet took a beating
      • hit a "blue period"
      • Food poisoning from bad pizza at Hyatt Lake Resort in S Oregon.  This cost him at least five days
      • Resupply box I left in Stehekin, very well marked, was stolen by Southbound Hikers--there is a lot more I could say about this.  Garrett had to hike another 111 miles on shoes that were shot.  The new shoes were in the well-marked box.  Feet suffered again. 
    • Leanna--on July 16 she started a very intense, one-year nursing program that will give her a four-year nursing degree. She is an excellent student works hard, and is very intentional about getting on top of assignments the day they are assigned.  This will test her will to stay on track  with the fast pace, like a sprinting for a full marathon
    • Becky--sending resupply boxes for not one, but two long distance hikers.  Now she has to keep up with watering the lawn during the heat wave AND getting a lawn service to mow grass once a week. 
    • Kevin--buttoned up my work project on ecological sites, trips to deliver resupply packages to Garrett and catch bus to Ashland to begin my own hike. Weather for Ashland for the next ten days--hot (97-101).  Likely my hike through Oregon will be with lots of company--mosquitoes.  We're not friends as the little beggars consider me fresh meat. 
  • Decisions to Make
    • I have a chain of unbroken steps from Mexico to Ashland
    • In previous  years, I hiked all of the PCT in Washington and the northern third of Oregon
    • To keep continuous steps, I need to start at Callahan's Resort near Ashland. 
    • Two problems 
      • First 16 miles of PCT north of Callahan's are closed due to a fire that is still burning.  A road walk is in my near future.
      • I have talked with a man from Mountain Adventure.  He knows the area and the situation quite well.  The area at Callahans is filled with smoke.
    • My choices--we'll see what I decide tomorrow
      • Secure continuous steps, but suffer from heat and smoke for 17 mile road walk via old highway 99 and highway 66.
      • Walk east from Ashland on highway 66 to Green Spring Summit for 17 miles.  Heat for sure, smoke is problematic. 
Tuesday 7/25
Hitching a ride in Ashland
  • Took 20 minutes to get a ride
  • I kept telling myself, "It only takes one.  Smile, look nonthreatening."
  • Ollie, a Forest Service employee gave me a ride from Ashland to Callahans, south of Ashland.  Ollie has spent work time on the PCT but never on the PCT for recreation. 
Road Walk
  • The smoke was not that bad today
  • Near Callahans there was a few hundred feet of road construction
  • The six miles on Old 99 was downhill, pretty shady and not all that hot
  • 34 miles on hwy 66 and 2 miles on Buckhorn Road were not that bad
  • The 4 miles on Tyler Creek Road were hard--it was very hot 96*+, quite steep, and minimal shade. 
  • The last mile back on hwy 66 was better than Tyler Creek Road
  • At Green Springs Summit, I connected back to the PCT
Italian Group of 5
  • Top of Green Springs Summit--one Italian who is in a group of 5 forgot his wallet at Callahans.  Before I left Green Springs Summit, a man brought the Italian's wallet
  • There are some good people willing to help
Thurs 7/26 Day 2
  • Yesterday 18.3 in mid-90s heat, road walk in the sun--was brutally hot
  • I did it but I paid the price.  I kept pushing to complete the roadwalk because water was unknown.  I really rationed water because I had no idea when I'd hit water 
  • So I was right on the edge of major dehydration and lack of electrolytes.  Like a tightly drawn string.  The string unraveled a bit, but didn't break.  I got lucky.  Three hikers died from heat exhaustion last year on the PCT
  • I started this morning from mile 1735 at 5:30 Just after noon I made it to Grizzly Creek (mile 1748.7). 
  • Now that I am on the PCT, I intend to manage water stops and hiking mostly when it is cooler.  I cannot hike like a thru-hiker until I have 250-300 under my belt.  Yes I did 1800 miles last year, but that doesn't count in 2018
  • Hikers I've met today: Matthew at 2 different bridges and spring, faith-healer, Daryl and Dawson--Father-son team trying to hike Oregon
  • Hiked from 1375.2-1752.7 Not as hot as yesterday, low 90s
    • Pine cones 12" long--Digger Pine?
    • Folks camping with me at Piped Spring
      • Jason from Virginia
      • Group of 3:  Kiki, Lilly from New Zealand (section hikers), Wander--a thru-hiker
    • Little do they know I'll be the alarm clock
    Friday 7/27
    • camped junction of PCT and Fish Lake Trail--2 miles one way
    • Hiking back up from Fish Lake saved me 45 minutes to an hour
    Saturday 7/28
    • The section to Crater Lake National Park has minimal water.  
    • Here's where water is: 
      • 1771--creek-right at start where I don't need it
      • 1782.4--Christi's Spring
      • 1798.5 Creek
      • 1818.4  Mazama at Crater Lake
    • Two choices
      • Hike water to water
        • Day 1 11 miles to Christi's Spring
        • Day 2  16 miles to Creek
        • Day 3 26 miles to Mazama
      • Hike to water--camel up, cook hot meal, hike on to campsite (my choice)
        • Today: left camp 1770.7 at 5:00 am--mostly doable without headlamp
        • Christi's Spring 1782.4 before 10:00 am.  Cooked hot meal
        • Left Spring at 11:00 am.  Hiked on to 1790.2 (195 miles) 2:20
    • Lots of blow down, especially late when I was tired.  The last two miles were hard for this old cowboy.  Actually there is plenty of daylight to hike another 5-10 miles. My get up and go done gone and went
    • Mosquitoes from 7:00 to Christi's Spring at 10:00 am I had to hike with head net and I put bug dope on my legs
    • Matthew and I play leap frog.  He camps a little further up the trail than I do.  I start earlier and pass by his camp.  As I get tired and slow down, he passes me. 
    • Met Shepherd, a female thru-hiker.  She had to come off trail for two weeks to take care of someone.  Was not able to do anything physical and is struggling to regain where she was before. 
    Perspective
    • Perspective depends on where you are standing
    • Day hikers typically do 5-10 miles a day
    • Backpackers may do 8-12 miles a day but they are carrying gear, food, water, so it is harder. 
    • Thru-hikers start between 15-20 miles a day and build up to mid 20 anyway.  (I can assure you 20 miles is a BIG day)
    • Garrett and other hardcore types do 30-40+ miles a day.  Garrett says, "What would I do with the with the extra time if I only did 20 miles?"
    • I get what he's saying.  I completed 19.5 today before 2:30.  I have a lot of time to kill
    • I am trying not to compare myself with this year's thru-hikers.  They have 1400-1700 miles under their belt.  I only have 77 miles, so I cannot expect to hike as many miles as they do, nor as fast.
    • I am competitive, believe me.  If I had 1700 miles under my belt and this year's group of thru-hikers would be saying, "How can we ditch the Old Guy? No matter what we do he catches us or gets ahead." 
    • I have been working on memorizing The Apostles Creed.  About have it nailed.
    Sun 7/29  Left camp 5:42 mile 1790.2    Elevation 6600 ft which is pretty high for Oregon
    • The trail took me to 7200 feet
    • Last water this section -- creek at 1798.5 got there about 9:30 am
    • At the 1798.5 creek, met a young man from the Netherlands named Sassafras
    • Met a man in his 50s with his father who is 76 They carry no weight as Jack, the donkey, carries everything. Jack is quite friendly, he did not balk when I rubbed his forehead.
    • Camped at 1806.4 campsite, pre-selected yesterday.  16 mile day.  The campsite is in the middle of a burn area.  Some trees survived so there is some shade. 
    Mon 7/30
    • I am at Mazama Village on my sixth day
    • I have crossed the 100 mile barrier for this trip and am over 1800 mile mark for last year and this year. 
    • Fish Lake would not take outgoing mail, so this is my first post
    • My journey started with a brutal roadwalk because the PCT was closed for 16 miles starting at Callahan's Resort.  The 17 miles was tough because I didn't know where, or if, I would find water.  And it was hot, 98* on roads with minimal shade
    • Turns out the PCT reopened just before I started the roadwalk.  That would have been lovely, but I had no idea.
    • Smoke from the variable -- heavy in the morning.  Most afternoons, smoke dissipates and it is not too bad
    • Just after 2:00 pm the smoke starts getting thicker
    Thankful, Grateful, and Blessed
    • God has blessed me -- wonderful wife, great son and daughter, 40-year career with USDA, friend, church family, and I could go on and on
    • Serious leg injury 4 years ago and here I am 1800 miles from Mexico  via hiking. Not supposed to happen with my injury
    • I am honored to hike for those who can't -- kids at Camp Korey, etc
    • and I get to walk with God each day.  
    Signing off to make some footprints. 


    Friday, July 27, 2018

    He's Back on the Trail

    It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me.  Last week, we went to White Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, Stevens Pass, and Kevin took a trip to Stehekin all to drop off resupply packages for Garrett/Pathfinder.  Then Monday, Kevin went to Harts Pass to pick up Pathfinder at the end of the PCT.  Tuesday, Kevin took a bus to Ashland, OR, to pick up where he left off last year.  Tuesday night, Pathfinder took the train to Whitefish, MT, to start the CDT portion of his trek. 

    Kevin just called from Fish Lake and he's on track and doing well.  The only concern he's had is that the water sources are few and far between.

    Tonight I have to put together resupply boxes for both of my hikers. So I'll close this post down.  We can't thank you enough for your thoughts and prayers.  Kevin is continuing to raise money for Camp Korey  Go to the donate page here: https://campkorey.org/donate/, then scroll down to Gift Preferences, click the drop down box and find Kevin's PCT Journey.  Every dollar goes toward allowing a child to come to camp and be a kid instead of a patient. 

    Even though it is gauche to give yourself a trail name, I've gone ahead and done it.  So I'll sign off as

    Resupply Guru.

    Sunday, April 22, 2018

    The DownLow on Camp Korey

    Kevin and I made a date on Friday to go see Camp Korey and meet the people who make it go.  Wendy and Beth are incredible hosts who took a good amount of their afternoon to make us feel welcome.  Starting with this:
    Camp Korey has so many pictures on their website that I couldn't add anymore here.  What they do for the children they serve is to allow them to let their hair down and be kids instead of miniature adults keeping up with a schedule for their medications. This is not to say that they get to skip their medications, but instead, the medical staff keeps up with the schedule and brings the medications to the child.  

    Kevin is getting ready to finish up the PCT this summer, and this visit was just the inspiration to get back on his fundraising bandwagon.  This is a summary of what we saw at Camp Korey:  The cabins are spotless and the bunks boast real mattresses, each cabin has its own bathroom--this is not your ordinary camp accommodations, and all of them are wheelchair accessible.  The camp has two hundred acres of fully usable land, with its own orchard, vegetable garden; a small amphitheater which will be enlarged, a soccer field, a big dining hall, and a separate gathering place for celebrating whatever needs to be celebrated. Underneath the dining hall is the arts and crafts room.  Each camper makes wish flags. They hang from the ceiling in the dining hall.  One of the wishes that gave me a chuckle was from the child who wanted to be batman.  The most touching wish was the flag that said, "I hope everyone's wishes come true."  And that is our wish for every child who comes to Camp Korey--that their every wish comes true.   
    If you wish to donate to this cause: click this link

    Monday, March 5, 2018

    Power Nap


    Power Nap

    I have taken a lot of training hikes on Beazley Hill above town over the years.  Beazley Hill offers a variety of hikes, flat to steep, and from short 3-milers to 11 miles or longer.  On most hikes any breaks are kept to 5 minutes or less.  Work hard, get the hike done.   That’s been the case on every training hike until Saturday.

    I left the South Kiosk at 5:30 am Saturday morning and hiked up the steep face of the Middle Towers.  Then I made my way on the north side heading east just above the draw.  Several years ago at the barbed wire fence someone installed a wooden ramp so that mountain bikers and hikers can cross the fence easily.  The west approach has wood cleats for traction, but the east side is just steeply sloping boards.  The temperature Saturday morning was 29-31 degrees.  I was totally unaware that there was heavy frost/ice on the ramp. 

    My first step down the east side was a doozy – my left shoe slipped, and I was knocked unconscious when I landed hard on the wooden ramp.  The left side took the full impact – head, ribcage and shoulder.  When I woke up I was totally disoriented – I had no idea where I was nor where the car was parked.  After minutes with no activity my Garmin had stopped – it read 1 hour 10 minutes and 2.25 miles.  I stood up and resumed my hike trying to determine my orientation (location) and remember where the car was parked – at home or at one of the kiosks. 

    Trying to reconstruct the timeline, the best I can figure is that I had a 25-40 minute “power nap” on Beazley Hill.  Yes, I made it home.  Yes, I went to the walk-in clinic at Moses Lake and Becky drove.  What was supposed to be a 2-hour wait at the clinic was only 10 minutes.  The CT scan of my head showed nothing unusual and the x-ray of my ribs showed no cracks, but the possibility of one hairline fracture.  I am sore as the dickens and moving quite slowly, but none the worse for wear.  Coughing, sneezing, laughing are no fun.  The thing I like about pain is that it tells you where you hurt.  I hurt in multiple places, but this a temporary situation.

    In the meantime, I am doing some planning for the Continental Divide Trail (CDT).  The Pacific Crest is straight forward – single track, guidebook and maps easy to follow.  The CDT guidebook says to “Embrace the Brutality”, and it is certainly an entirely different animal, a beast.  My head is spinning from looking at maps for the first 45 miles – multiple route options, considerable cross-country hiking or road walking.  Nothing makes sense.  In addition to route finding issues, water in a huge concern.  Maybe there are water caches, maybe not.  Stock water may not be turned on.  And notes on the maps say to beware that prickly pear cactus is abundant on cross country travel anywhere. 

    I can only say I’m unsure when my body will allow me to resume training.  And I am uncertain where and when I will be back on one of the long-distance trails.  As with many natural resource management questions, the answer to my hiking future begins with, “it all depends”.

    Kevin Guinn
    3 March 2018

    Wednesday, February 28, 2018

    Donations Method Changed

    To support Camp Korey is a simpler, easier thing to do. Go to the Donate page, located here. Click on the drop down menu to find Kevin's name and then decide how much you want to donate. It's that simple.

    Saturday, February 17, 2018

    I'm Hijacking This Blog

    As Kevin is preparing for the Continental Divide Trail hike this summer, I am doing what I can to help him support Camp Korey.  Year before last, they bought a new facility and moved.  Last year they did a fair amount of construction jobs to bring the camp into a more usable format.  One of the things they need is new quilts for the bunks.  The requirements for these quilts are not many but what requirements there are, are specific to their needs.

    My sewing machine and I have been estranged from each other for a while.  I haven't been sewing much lately, but now that I have a purpose to sew, I can't get enough.

    The first quilt I made is a Disappearing Nine Patch--but the arrangement is not the traditional reconstruction.



    It was a lot of fun to make and is with the quilter right now.  

    The second quilt was the "Wish Quilt."  Every camper gets a flag to put a wish on.  I asked my Camp representative for a list of the wishes and wrote them on the plain blocks on the quilt. 

    They asked for quilts with lots of color, and this is the brightest fabric I had in my stash.  It was a lot of fun to work with and put together. 

    The third quilt I call Midnight Blues.  It may not be what the designer called it, but it works for me. 
    It is easily pieced with just strips and the moon was small strips cut with a Dresden Plate Wedge, and then pieced together. 

    The fourth quilt I just finished is an "Apache Tomahawk" My sister-in-law gave me a stack of fat quarters of a southwestern theme and they fit the needs of this quilt exactly.  Kevin was a bit upset, because he likes the fabrics and wants a quilt made from them.  I found enough similar fabrics that I can make him one.
    If I am working with blocks that finish out at 12.5", then I need 35 of them for the correct size quilt.  Once I finished the blocks, I put them in my WinCo randomizer so that I could pull them out and put them in the rows and columns for the finished quilt.  

    I am working on my fifth quilt--a monochromatic, with four more quilts planned out, two with a camping theme, one with a baseball theme, a snowball/ninepatch quilt, and a blue and yellow quilt with a pinwheel theme.  

    I will be posting more pictures as I finish  more quilts, and as Kevin begins to get ready for his trip, he will be posting as well. 

    For anyone interested in making quilts for Camp Korey, here are the requirements:

    • The size of the quilt should be 60 inches wide by 80 inches long.
    • Please feel free to be creative! We need patchwork quilts to decorate every twin-sized bed in our cabins.
    • Please make sure these quilts are machine washable and are not too heavy or warm.

    Ciao
    Becky

    Tuesday, January 2, 2018

    In Retrospect – Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail

    This post was written in October, it's my fault it took so long to get posted.  There are a lot unfinished projects in my life. I am finally getting around to this one.  Thanks for keeping up with us.  Becky


    It’s hard to believe that I have been off the trail and home 4 weeks.  One week after getting home I gave a report to our church.  What’s below is an attempt to process the trip and what I did this summer.

    Final Thoughts
    After coming off an 1800-mile hike, you could say I like hiking a lot.  On the trail I was served much more than I served others.  I am challenged to love God more, to serve others more, and let it reflect in every aspect of my life.  I want to adopt the hiking lifestyle – meet people where they are and take them with you as far as they will go.

    Fundraising for Camp Korey
    ·         I want to thank everyone who contributed to Camp Korey
    ·         I expect that we will have raised more than $4000.  Many thanks to all!!
    ·         Camp Korey is still a great cause.  There will always be time to contribute

    The Goal
    My goal was to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada, all 2,660 miles.  In three separate sections, I only hiked 1,716 miles of the PCT and a total of 1,828 trail miles.
    ·         Section 1: From May 12th to June 27th I hiked northbound (NOBO) from Mexico (PCT mile 0) to the junction with John Muir Trail (PCT mile 767).  Hiked 767 PCT miles.
    ·         Section 2: From July 20 to August 18 I hiked southbound (SOBO) from Ashland, OR (PCT mile 1716) to South Lake Tahoe (PCT mile 1102.  Hiked 614 PCT miles.
    ·         Section 3: From August 25 to September 16 I hiked NOBO from Lone Pine, CA (PCT mile 750) to South Lake Tahoe (PCT mile 1102 & back to PCT mile 1092). Hiked 362 PCT miles

    Why I Didn’t Complete the Thru-Hike and Why My Plan Kept Changing
    In 2016 Garrett completed a continuous-step thru-hike of the PCT.  One year later I failed in my attempt.
    ·         The conditions in 2017 were completely different than those in 2016.  In 2017 there were:
    o   Near record-setting snowfall in the Sierras.  Oregon and Washington also had heavy snowpack
    o   Due to stream flow in the Sierras 90% on more of NOBO thru-hiked bounced around all or part of the Sierras. 
    o   On June 27th Rock Creek was impassable at the PCT, so we had to detour around.  Rock Creek was a second-order stream.  As snow melted during the heatwave, streamflow fluctuated wildly from day to day or even within the same day.  Several streams north of Rock Creek were considered downright dangerous.  There were reports of people losing their pack, perhaps people had died attempting a stream crossing
    o   On June 28th I stood on top on Mt. Whitney, elevation 14,500 feet.  Looking north every slope and ridge was snow covered.  Northern California, Oregon and Washington were all snow bound.  In late June there was no place to go that wasn’t covered in snow
    o   Virtually everyone going into the Sierras at that time did so as part of a group.  Conditions in the Sierras called for multiple sets of eyes and heads to figure the best course of action at every stream crossing. 
    o   Most hikers I talked to who went in the Sierras in May or June said it was hard, very hard.   Navigation was difficult, the going was slow.  Folks who did this used their phone app almost continuously.  I was using paper maps

    ·         My decision to go home on July 3rd
    o   I am 63, hiking solo and did not feel comfortable going into the Sierras alone. 
    o   Also, I wanted to hike trail instead of hiking on snow. 
    o   Instead of meeting the challenges head-on, I wimped out, retreated to Lone Pine and went home via bus, plane and car. 
    o   The plan was to let the snow melt, get back on trail at McKenzie Pass, OR and to hike SOBO through northern Calif. and the Sierras, thus completing the PCT.  Not a thru-hike
    o   Many hikers I talked to thought this was a good decision.  I’m not so sure; hiking conditions were improving just as I went home.  I should have found a couple of hiking partners and went in

    ·         Second section-hike – plan changed from McKenzie Pass to Ashland
    o   The snow in central Oregon was not melting fast enough.  After three weeks at home, I caught a bus to Medford, OR on August 19.  On July 20th I got back on the trail at Ashland, OR to hike the 600 miles to South Lake Tahoe SOBO.
    o   After reaching SL Tahoe the plan was to go home again to hike Washington and Oregon, and to save the Sierras for a friend
    o    In my haste to meet Neal Jones, a long-time friend, in South Lake Tahoe, I missed a turn.  Instead of coming out at Echo Lake I came out to Falling Leaf Lake.  I secured an immediate ride to town but this would add an extra day of hiking to tie in steps later. 
    o   The time spent with Neal and Melanie was terrific, so it was totally worth it.

    ·         Third section-hike – plan changed quickly
    o   A change in circumstances opened all options including the Sierras.  So, I returned to Reno and to Lone Pine, CA to hike the Sierras. 
    o   The next 3 weeks (August 25 – September 16) were amazing.  The hiking was hard, but the high Sierras rewarded me with stunning landscapes. 
    o   I had the pleasure of hiking and camping with a man from Hamburg, Germany.
    o   My last afternoon was to hike 10 miles to tie in my steps to where I had missed a turn on August 18th.  This ensured a chain of unbroken from Mexico to Ashland, OR.  The next morning, I returned to Echo Lake.
    o    My hike ended at Echo Lake (SL Tahoe) due to fires and trail closures in Oregon.
    o   September 17 rode the Airporter to Reno airport and flew to Spokane
    o   I only need to hike 266 miles from Ashland, OR to McKenzie Pass, OR (PCT mile 1716 to PCT mile 1982) and to complete the PCT in its entirety.

    ·         For most people it takes 120 to 150 hiking days to complete a 2600-mile thru-hike
    o   My original plan (May 12 – September 29) was 141 days.  Enough time but left little room for zero days
    o   It takes most hikers 120-140 days to complete a PCT thru-hike
    o   I gave away way too many days
    §  June 28 – July 19 =   22 days
    §  August 19 – 24 =         6 days
    §  These 28 days sealed the deal.  There would be no thru-hike for Kevin.
    §  I took zero days in Big Bear City, Lone Pine and Mojave
    §  Issues with re-supply boxes cost two days in Seiad Valley, and a half day at Vermillion Resort. 
    §  Climbing Mt. Whitney was another zero day
    §  I needed an extra day (to tie in steps due to missing a turn on August 18
    §  In all I gave away more than a month of hiking.  Sure death for a thru-hike.  YIKES!!!!!
    §  Most hikers that hiked both Mexican and Canadian borders have one or more gaps in their trip.  Truth be told – very few will have completed a continuous-steps thru-hike in 2017
    §  704 hikers in 2016 registered that they completed the PCT.  So far in 2017 only 9 hikers have registered completion.

    Trip Summary
    ·         PCT miles                                                                                              1716 miles
    ·         Non-PCT trail miles
    o San Jacinto Peak                                                                       10 miles
    o Mt. Whitney                                                                              15 miles
    o Kearsarge Pass (both ways)                                                  15 miles
    o Wrong turn getting to South Lake Tahoe                        10 miles
    o Horseshoe Meadow to Cottonwood Pass 4x                 18 miles
    68 miles
    ·         PCT miles done more than once
    o Mile 750 to mile 767 3x                                                    34 extra miles
    o Mile 1102 to 1092 2x to tie in steps                                 10 extra miles
    44 extra miles
    ·         Total trail miles hiked:  1716 + 68 + 44 = 1,828 miles
    ·         With 100 hiking days I only averaged 18.3 miles per day (includes town days where I only hiked part of the day)

    2017 was an Epic Year for the Pacific Crest Trail
    ·         Epic year for snow (near record snow in the Sierras)
    ·         Epic year for high stream flow
    ·         Record setting heat (a week where temperatures ranged from 107 to 112 degrees)
    ·         Epic year for fatalities
    o   2 drowned attempting stream crossings
    o   3 died from heat exhaustion
    o   A 6th person has been missing so long he is assumed dead

    The PCT is a trail of extremes
    ·         The trail took me through a variety of landscapes – desert shrub, forests, subalpine, granitic alpine, and both lotic systems (springs, creeks, streams, rivers) and lentic systems (ponds, lakes, marshes).
    ·         I crossed Interstate-10 at 1,000 feet of elevation and climbed over passes as high as 13,100 feet.
    ·         Climbs and descents of 2,000 feet or more are commonplace on the PCT.  In one stretch there was an 8,000-foot descent (from 9,000 feet to 1,000 feet)

    Hiking the PCT you are filthy dirty, you stink to high heaven, and dog-tired at the end of the day.  Why put yourself through all this?
    ·         Life on the trail is simplified to a few essentials – stay on the right trail, find good water, eat, sleep, talk with other hikers.
    ·         Becky reminded me of my only obligation each time we talked – “Kevin, you stay safe”
    ·         Meeting people from all over the world
    ·         Amazing landscapes
    ·         Since I did most of my hiking solo, I was asked, “Do you get lonely?”  My answer: “Each day I get to walk with God”

    Did the trip meet my expectations?  Absolutely
    ·   I met people from all over the world
    ·   A life-time worth of experiences in a few months
    ·   Amazing Trail Hosts / Trail Angels
    ·   I hiked in or past a wide variety of landscapes – desert, forest, subalpine, alpine, streams, lakes, granite

    Fact: God Blessed Me and Protected Me the Entire Trip
    ·         There are too many incidents to chalk this up to luck or coincidences
    ·         On Day 1: I received a bracelet from a young woman named Sun-Up.  The bracelet has a paraphrase of Joshua 1:9 – “Be strong.  Be courageous.  Be fearless.  You are never alone.”  I wore the bracelet every day I hiked
    ·         Just past Deep Creek Hot Springs, I am dizzy and short of breath on any uphill.  A young couple (Captain Planet and Flask) helped me hitch a ride to town so I could see a doctor.  Evelyn took me to Hesperia, CA urgent care, to the ER, and after being released, to her home where she did my laundry.  Next day she took me back to the trail
    ·         The two-thunderstorm day in the Marble Mtn. Wilderness.  The rain -a downpour.  Some hailstones as large as golf balls.  Wet, cold and hungry I stumble onto a trail crew camp. Thanks to Sarah Borman, they fed me dinner.  I have known Sarah’s dad for many years.  What are the odds of finding a camp and a person I have a connection with in the middle of a wilderness?
    ·         The day in the Granite Chief Wilderness I cart-wheeled off the trail onto the rocks below.  I lost a little hide.  Could have been much worse
    ·         3:30 am in the Desolation Wilderness.  There is crashing and banging near camp.  The bear was only 15 feet from my tent and my food was next to me.  The bear ran away
    ·         The rattlesnake I almost stepped on
    ·         The day I climbed Mt. Whitney, I remembered the entire route back down, but was confused about the location of camp with all my food and gear.
    ·         Numerous times on dicey stream crossings I momentarily lost my balance.  Each time I recovered.  Not once did I fall
    ·         Many instances where Trail Angels helped me – a ride to town or back to the trail, to their home for a shower, a meal and a bed
    ·         Just the right set of circumstances brought me and Carsten together.  Carsten is a 38-year old from Hamburg, Germany.  He and his wife Anika had a baby girl.  But she was born with a heart defect and only lived 3 weeks.  It was hard for Carsten and harder for hi wife.  We had several deep, spiritual conversations.  What an honor!


    For a trip like this you need support.  I had the best – Becky
    ·         Every re-supply box she sent was on time
    ·         When we realized that I absolutely needed to “eat more”, Becky made sure that “more” was in every box
    ·         My plan changed several times due to trail conditions and Becky just rolled with the flow
    ·         She made travel arrangements 3 times to get to the trail and 3 times to get home
    ·         Becky allowed me to focus on the hiking and relating with other hikers.  She made sure I had food and maps
    ·         Becky also typed my handwritten notes for the blog and uploaded photos.  This was no small feat

    Although I only hiked 1,800 miles (Mexico to Ashland, OR), I had enough experiences to last a lifetime
    ·         Climbing Mt. Whitney, the tallest peak in the Lower 48
    ·         Losing a little hide when I cart-wheeled off trail to the rocks below in the Granite Chief Wilderness
    ·         The thunderstorm that dropped hailstones as large as golf balls.  Being wet, cold and hungry, and stumbling onto a trail crew camp in the middle of the Marble Mtn. Wilderness.  A young woman in a pink coat asked if they could feed me.  Turned out this was Sarah Borman, daughter of a man I’ve known for many years.  What are the odds of this happening??  AND getting fed and dried out. 
    ·         The bear that was 15 feet from camp in Desolation Wilderness
    ·         The rattlesnake I almost stepped on
    ·         A short stay in the Hesperia, CA hospital
    ·         The Jose burger at Paradise Valley CafĂ©.  The Chinese food in Lone Pine.  The cucumbers from the South Korean gardener
    ·         At elevations above 11,000 feet, seeing plant life hanging on and surviving – craggy, old bristlecone pines, heather, yarrow, sedge (carex)

    Here are a few things I especially liked:
    ·         Every day on the trail is a gift
    ·         Meeting people from all over the world.  It’s all about the people.  The PCT just brought us together.  There was an instant bond with other thru-hikers
    ·         Getting to spend time with Neal and Melanie Jones near Lake Tahoe.  It had been years since I last saw Neal
    ·         Getting to town and having my re-supply box awaiting my arrival.  THIS IS HUGE!  Every box Becky sent was on time!!!
    ·         The cool night air and seeing countless number of stars when cowboy camping
    ·         Hiking before first light to watch the day unfold before me.  I had the trail to myself.
    ·         Land the mountain men would call “high and lonesome” (subalpine and alpine zones).  Landscapes so stunning that words and cameras are inadequate to capture their magnificence
    ·         The fabulous stone hut on top of Muir Pass
    ·         Having a shower, clean clothes and “town food”.  Then, getting back on trail
    ·         I had many wonderful Trail Angels / Trail Hosts.  I’ll list a few below
    o   Bob Riess – a ride from San Diego Airport to his home and to the start of the PCT
    o   John Wilson – heirloom tomato, brought me a wonderful dinner
    o   Laura Ember – laundry and shower, great meal and ride back to the trail
    o   Evelyn Brasher – took me to urgent care, the emergency room, to her home for shower and laundry, and to the trail
    o   Neal and Melanie Jones – picked me up at South Lake Tahoe, took me home, fed me and then to Reno Airport
    o   Hospitality of Jenna and the Scolari family at Reno
    o   Susanne Stuck – a ride from Echo Lake to South Lake Tahoe and to a motel
    ·         The days I hiked with Carsten from Germany
    ·         Getting hugs from three young women PCT hikers in Lone Pine.  I had not seen them for a couple of weeks.  When they saw me, the ran to me and gave me a hug
    ·         I repeat, every day on the trail is a gift


    In the Hospital – Older Hikers Need to be Careful, We Have lost our resiliency
    ·         On May 30, hiking from Deep Creek hot springs, every uphill was killing me.  I was dizzy and short of breath
    ·         I was taken to Hesperia, CA Urgent Care and admitted to the hospital emergency room.  They ran many tests.  They released me the next evening with 4 words – “Drink more, eat more”
    ·         Later I ran into Kevin Smith & Dorothy Haskell (retired doctor and nurse from Moses Lake, WA).  When I related my incident, they said “electrolytes”
    ·         Drinking, eating and electrolytes are all important
    o   Hiking all day in the heat, we sweat a lot.  So, we need to drink a gallon or more of water each day
    o   When we sweat a lot, we lose electrolytes – sodium, calcium, potassium, chloride, phosphate.  We need to replace electrolytes up to 4 times each day.
    o   Long-distance hiking is a calorie deficit situation.  We burn 5,000 to 8,000 calories each day.  cannot carry enough food.  After several weeks on the trail, “hiker hunger” is a constant companion.  We need fat, carbs and protein.  We need calorie-dense food and good nutrition, we need
    ·         Weeks after Deep Creek I am hiking in the Marble Mtn. Wilderness.  The day before I get soaked during a thunderstorm.  The exact symptoms reoccur – dizziness and short of breath
    o   I absolutely need to hike 20 miles that day
    o   I also decide to figure out what the real problem is
    §  I start downing water and Skratch (think Gatorade but w/ less sugar)
    §  Water and Skratch do not touch my symptoms.  I am still dizzy and short of breath on any uphill
    §  Then I started eating more frequently.  By early afternoon I am no longer dizzy hiking uphill.  By the end of the day I am no longer short of breath
    §  My symptoms were totally due to a lack of fuel.  I needed to eat more
    Our Bodies Are a Miracle
    ·         After hiking 20+ miles my body would be beat up and exhausted
    o   When I sat down for a bit, I’d get so stiff and sore I could hardly move
    o   My knees just ached
    o   But after a night’s rest, I’d be ready to go the next morning
    ·         Last full day on the trail, a rock rolled from my right foot and I landed hard on my left side on a rock
    o   One rib was cracked. 
    o   The rib was very painful during the night.  I was certain that I’d be unable to hike the next morning
    o   The rib caused no problem at all during the 10-mile hike back to Echo Lake parking lot

    Injuries – just walk it off
    ·         A child gets hurt and starts crying.  The dad says, “Stop crying and walk it off”.  Sounds cruel
    ·         Injured hiking the PCT.  You have no option but to walk it off
    ·         Every day on the trail a pain would surface somewhere – a foot, a knee, my back.  How did it treat the injury, I walked it off.
    ·         The day I cart-wheeled off the trial to the rocks below, my left shin lost a chunk of skin 3 inches by 5 inches.  I washed my leg as it was filthy dirty, I dried the injured area and then painted it with New Skin.  Last thing I did was to resume hiking.

    Nutrition System: Trail Food, Town Food
    ·         Town food had to be a part of the hiker’s nutrition program.  Burgers, pizza, Chinese
    ·         My meals were in freezer bags.  Cooking consisted of pouring hot water into the bag and waiting 5-15 minutes for the food to rehydrate.  No dishes other than my spoon
    ·         Breakfast
    o   I start with nuts or gorp (trail mix) while breaking camp or as I start hiking
    o   Grape Nuts or oats with raisins, Craisins, whole milk and regular milk powder.  Could eat cold or hot
    o   Cream of Wheat with same additions.  Had to be cooked
    ·         Lunch and snacks
    o   6 different types of bars
    §  1 Snickers or Pay Day
    §  Nature Valley – Oats N Honey, Protein
    §  Kind
    §  Kirkland – Nut Bars (good), Protein
    §  Lara Bars
    §  Pro Bars – spendy, but oh, so good!!!
    o   Peanut butter with darn near anything – crackers, Nature Valley Oats N Honey, Snickers
    ·         Snack while getting dinner ready – Gallo dry Italian salami w/ crackers and Gouda cheese
    ·         Dinners (I cooked the dinners, then dehydrated them)
    o   Mexican (shredded beef, red chile stew, green chile stew, etc.) with dehydrated beans and Spanish rice.  Topped with Fritos
    o   Non-Mexican (BBQ brisket, pulled pork, roast beef, mac N cheese) with dehydrated veggies, instant potatoes and crackers or Fritos
    o   MSR Rocket Pocket stove, fuel cannister, lighter, titanium pot with lid
    o   Used the cozy Becky made so that dinners would rehydrate and stay hot
    ·         Several times I woke up in the middle of the night hungry.  Fritos were wonderful

    Hydration System
    ·         Sawyer filter (not the mini-Sawyer) w/ squeeze bag.  When the bag burst I used a Platypus bag.  Almost every PCT hiker used the Sawyer filter
    ·         Aqua Mira drops for questionable water.  Did not use but once
    ·         2 one-quart Smart Water bottles (Sawyer filter screws on) and 2 one-quart Power Aid bottles
    ·         In the desert I also carries 2 20-ounce Gatorade bottles




    Sleep System
    ·         Cowboy camping in the desert – ground cloth, Z-Rest pad, silk cocoon, sleeping quilt (Becky made the quilt)
    ·         Started with 6 Moons tent.  I got tired of having no head room.  I put Garrett & Becky on a mission of finding a different tent for hiking the Sierras.  They came up with a 2-person Nemo.  Great tent
    ·         I used my clothing dry bag as a pillow
    ·         I slept in clean socks and base layer to help keep sleeping quilt clean

    Navigation System
    ·         Altimeter watch (from Leanna) – used to track progress on climbs and descents
    ·         Halfmile PCT maps (GPS w/ notes on water and campsites)
    ·         Silva Ranger compass
    ·         Hafmile app on my phone (used a few times)

    Clothing System
    ·         Hiking shirt – started w/ short-sleeve, switched to a nylon long-sleeve when the back of my arms were getting fried
    ·         Hiking shorts
    ·         Darn Tough wool socks – went through 4 pairs
    ·         Shoes – I switched back and forth between Asics trail running shoes and Brooks Cascadia shoes
    ·         Go Lite wind jacket and rain pants.  Pants ripped; repaired with duct tape
    ·         Mont Bell rain jacket (from Garrett)
    ·         Puffy down vest
    ·         Gloves & stocking cap

    Gear
    ·         Leatherman knife and tool
    ·         Scissors and tweezers
    ·         Headlamp
    ·         Microspikes – great traction when I came down icy Forester Pass
    ·         Black Diamond hiking poles



    Dates (not part of In Retrospect)
    Here’s What I did
    ·         May 12 – June 27 hiked northbound (NOBO) from Mexico to PCT mile 767 miles; hiked 767 PCT miles

    ·         June 28 climbed Mt. Whitney (not on PCT)
    ·         June 29-30 retreated to PCT mile 750 Lone Pine, CA
    ·         July 1-2 in Lone Pine waiting for the bus
    ·         July 3 rode the bus to Reno airport and flew to Spokane
    ·         In Ephrata July 4-18
    ·         July 19-20 rode the bus to Ashland

    ·         From noon July 20 to August 18 hiked southbound (SOBO) from Ashland, OR PCT mile 1716 to South Lake Tahoe (PCT mile 1102); hiked 614 PCT miles

    ·         August 18-19 w/ Neal & Melanie Jones
    ·         August 20 flew from Reno to Spokane (due to a misunderstanding)
    ·         August 21-22 in Ephrata
    ·         August 23 to Spokane airport; flew to Reno
    ·         August 24 rode bus to Lone Pine, CA

    ·         August 25 shuttle to Horseshoe Meadow trailhead w/ Carsten and hiked back to PCT mile 750
    ·         August 25 – September 16 hiked from PCT mile 767 to PCT mile 1102; hiked 335 PCT miles

    ·         Note: because of fires and closed trail I was unable to complete the PCT this year