Monday, May 22, 2017

Julian to Warner Springs

5/16  Wind was bloody hell.  No Sleep at all.  About 4:00 am started misting.  I packed up and waited for first light.  Left camp about PCT mile 74.  Quick hike to Scissor Crossing.  Hitched a ride in less than 30 seconds with first pickup.  Mark was on his way to work, gave me a ride to Julian.  Mark dropped me at Granny's Kitchen where I had an amazing breakfast--French Toast to die for, eggs, sausage, milk, grapefruit. Most I ever paid for breakfast--$21, but worth every penny.

Bought a couple of things at the store: Band-Aids and sunscreen).  Box at Post office.  I had too much food due to being almost two days ahead of schedule.  Left some food in the Hiker Box.

To Carmen's to get a ride back--I made the first trip and was back on the PCT just after 10:30.

Wind is supposed to be 60 mph tonight.  I hiked to (88.6) bivy site that is as protected from wind as you can find.  Cowboy camping again.
Tomorrow supposed to be water at mile 91, then Barrel Spring at mile 101

Day 5 in the books, 12 miles, and I have only encountered a few with trail names:  Haiku, Navigator, Tea Time (may be British).
It was great getting to talk with Becky and Garrett.  I'll call Leanna from Warner Springs, 22 miles ahead. 

Since I haven't slept much last 2 nights, I have had time for stargazing, like looking at the handprint of God

Today I only hiked about 12 miles to give my feet a break.  Tomorrow I want to get started by 5:30 am and see if I can crank out 18 miles.  That would leave only a few miles on Thursday for Warner Springs.  

Here are my Hiking Commandments for this trip:

  1. Live your testimony
  2. Be Grateful and take nothing for granted
  3. Encourage others and hike for those who can't (Camp Korey)
  4. Embrace all challenges
  5. Take the long view (I need to improve on this)
  6. Take care of your feet and body--my feet are sore from blisters
  7. Stay hydrated and eat well
  8. Be responsible
  9. Do the math.  To get to Canada, you gotta do the miles each day
  10. Don't forget to have fun.  Find joy in the simplest things.  
Day 6:  Wind howled last night.  My campsite was pretty protected, but not totally.  Left camp at 5:24 am.  At a campsite above me, the guy was cowboy camping too.  Right in the force of the wind.  The guy was curled in the fetal position.

I must have looked like a drunken sailor the way I was staggering against gusts that came from different directions.

Here's what I was thinking about:

  • Wind has been howling for 3 nights and 3 days
  • It's darn cold for May 17
  • Hiking through a could bank--no visibility
  • My feet hurt
  • Lester, a 58 y/o from Poland is several minutes ahead of me.  
  • Three very pretty Canadian girls are several minutes behind me--Kaylyn, Kristin, and Kayla (2 from Toronto, 1 from BC)
  • Fritos in one pocket, gorp in another pocket
  • There is nowhere else I'd rather be
  • If your day was half as good as mine, you've had a darn good day. 
At Barrel Spring, several of us were drinking, eating, and talking.  A young guy comes in but sits all by himself.  I sat down next to him.  Jerry is his name and he complains about the weather and that he had not bargained for this.  I said, "Jerry, that's part of the challenge.  It's not always a walk in the park.  I read that anyone considering quitting needs to give it at least another week.  It's gonna get better." 

Jerry said, "I  am thinking about ending my hike." 

"Hang in there, Jerry.  You've made it 100 miles.  You know how many people never get this far? You're doing great."

Jerry headed up the trail.  I hollered, "hang in there." 

Then I told the three Canadian girls, Alex and Lawrence my thinking.  Kristen said, "Wow! How encouraging is that?"

NRCS folk will appreciate this
  • At Sunrise Trailhead, the water source is a stockwater facility.  
  • I'm filtering water when another hiker comes in.  He asks, "How does this work?"
  • I pointed, "That's a shallow well.  The tower used to be a windmill.  It has a solar panel now.  Used to use wind power to pump water into the storage tank.  Uses solar power now. 
  • The pump fills the storage tank and then gravity fills the stock trough. 
  • A ball valve controls flow from well to storage tank.  A second ball valve controls flow from cistern to trough.  
  • He just nodded. 
At Barrel Springs a sign says to boil water 5 minutes.  Water looked good enough to fill and drink without filtering.  Not knowing of spring box, I filtered. 

Hiked all the way to Warner Springs Resource Center.  Warner Springs is not a very affluent community.  The money they get from hikers helps them pay for school, so they put in a resource center for hikers. 
Camping Area
Around back--bucket showers.  It was wonderful.  They have hot water, soap, shampoo. They give you laundry detergent, a towel, and clean clothes to wear.  Clothes get clean, body gets clean.  Clothes line to hang clothes. 

Day 7 5/18
Wind howled half the night, then quit. Finally!  But we hit heavy dew.  Tent, sleeping quilt are wet.  Hiking clothes still damp.  Only thing to do is put them on wet and wear them dry.  Not as bad as it sounds, but at 4:00 am, it certainly got my attention.

I have a couple of hours to dry out, pack up, and get to post office for my resupply box.  Thanks, Becky, I appreciate all you're doing to support my trip! We talked yesterday and I had her put in the next box (Big Bear City), a long sleeve nylon shirt and hiking shorts.  My arms are sunburned and these old hiking shorts I'm wearing have only so many miles left. They gotta last another 165 miles to Big Bear City.  My shoes only have to last until Idyllwild--74 miles up the trail. 

Note:  I started my hike with well worn shoes and shorts.  That was the plan all along. 

So far: 110 miles
105 miles of desert shrub
5 miles of pine grass or pine shrub

After all the planning, all the preparation, all the thinking, on May 12, it was great to FINALLY to be on the trail.  

At first it was exciting, the desert was new.  All the anxiousness melted.  Wonderful feeling!

Goal #1:  Get on the trail and get started.  Achieved on May 12
Goal #2: Get to Warner Springs. Achieved on May 17. 


  1. Things that stand out to me:

    1. When Dad says he didn't sleep, I'm guessing that anyone who camped around him would tell a story of some guy snoring all night and keeping them up. I've been kept awake by his snoring on many of his "sleepless" nights.

    2. Haiku has her own blog that is pretty good:

    3. Everyone struggles at times to take the long view. The main trick is to not get too short sighted and you will be fine.

    4. Making it to the 100 mile mark is HUGE. That means that you belong on the trail. More people drop out in the first 100 miles than anywhere else on the PCT. This isn't a surprise to me, but Dad belongs on the PCT this year!

  2. Love your pictures Kevin. Keep up the good attitude!!