Thursday, May 29, 2014

Big Bear to Wrightwood

Day 17:
Last day off in Big Bear. It was great meeting Carlin, Brad and Chuck from "The Broadway Cafe", they were all so friendly and know how to feed a vegetarian. Also enjoyed eating at "No Name Pizza". 

Shins and feet feeling so much better and a big thank you to those people who gave me a ride from and back to the trail.

Day 18:
Started the big trek from Big Bear to Wrightwood from the Hwy 18 PCT trail head after a hearty veggie burrito. 

The scenery was fabulous, looking out over the desert on the right in the beginning and then stunning views of Big Bear lake and the mountains framing it, some of them snowcapped. 

I met "Paint Your Wagon" at Caribou Creek and he said that Maura, Avocado, Sarah, Shoe Tata and Ultra Light who I had met in Cabazon had just passed by. My plan for the day was to make it to Little Bear Spring by nightfall. It was a pleasant hike meandering along mountainside trails, here and there being a little shaded by pine forests, however much of it was burned a few years ago by a careless camper and at times still looks like a pine tree graveyard. 
When I arrived at the horse trail camp, I was the only person there. The spring was dry and the horse water trough empty. I set up camp as it was getting dark and felt uneasy about camping there alone - vulnerable again! No phone reception but fortunately I did have my satellite phone for emergencies and letting people know my location. There was supposed to be a meteor shower tonight but the sky was too cloudy to see it. As I settled down in my cocoon, I heard the crunching sound of footsteps and upon sticking my head out of my tent, I saw another hiker named Dune, so felt much better about camping there. My toes still look bad but are not as painful. I hope they hold out!
I am thankful for
1) Support and encouragement from my loved one
2) Not too many steep ascents and descents today
3) Getting in my planned mileage today
4) Beautiful sunset sky
5) Sleeping easier after the arrival of another hiker at camp.

Day 19:
This day consisted of pleasant, yet hot meandering and boulder hoping along Holcomb Creek and up over the desert hills.

 When I arrived at Deep Creek it was like arriving in a heavenly oasis, so beautiful with cool clean water in a gorge. I immediately took my shoes off and cooled my feet in the creek. Here I met a wonderful family, Erin, Greg and their sons Reed and Blake. They were so interested in what I was doing, friendly and kind and they became my trail angels, giving me beer, apples, cheese puffs, caramel popcorn and cotton candy. I showed the boys how to collect and filter stream water and replenished my water supplies. By 3 pm, I decided to get more mileage done and continued on my journey north along the skinny, canyon wall hugging trail that would last another 15 miles/24km sometimes hundreds of feet above the water. I thought of potentially camping on the river bank at Devil's Hole but there were some rough looking characters there, so I continued on, eventually camping on the trail at sunset in a space tucked into the mountainside. I was exhausted and tomorrow I would reach the hot springs but today I was thankful for:

1) A pleasant stream side hike most of the day.
2) Finally being at streams that actually had water in them.
3) Trail angels Greg, Erin, Reed and Blake.
4) Beer!!! I'm  a wine drinker, I don't normally like beer, but the PCT has changed all that!!
5) Cold apples and popcorn.... Oh yummy for a starving thru hiker! 

Day 20:
The Deep Creek traverse continued. It seemed like a pity that the water was mostly inaccessible as it was many steep feet below me. At one point it meandered down to some hot springs, infamous for it's skinny dippers and historically a hang out for Charles Manson and his followers. I was appalled to see numerous piles of human feces lying around with flapping, used toilet paper. This in combination that the hot springs often contain amoebic bacteria and the fact that my feet were cut up, made me move through there without taking the plunge. More canyon hugging trail ensued and when I finally reached an arched bridge crossing the creek from one side of the canyon to the other, I met other female hikers Saint and Rocky 4. We continued on to the Mojave Dam wall, a huge waterless structure, and suddenly I looked up and saw Abocado, Sarah and Slomo sitting in the shade on the river bank. It was great to see them again! It was here that I drank my second beer that I had been saving from the day before... for lunch! It 7was amazingly refreshing! 
The rest of the afternoon consisted of more scalding switchbacks in 100 plus degrees F. At one point I came across Maura, aka Cat Stealance ( she got this name when a Bobcat stole her food bag), she was sitting beneath the shade of a tree giving moral support to Jolly Llama, who was sweating and painfully passing a kidney stone.
Pressing on, I shared the trail with a coyote for awhile. He was ahead of me, trotting along and looking over his shoulder probably to make sure I was keeping my distance. I met Max and Monique too on my way to Silverwood Lake. I was pushing hard to get there before nightfall. 

It's a cruel joke once you reach the lake, because it's a 4 mile hike around the lake before you get you the camping area. The lake is gorgeous, but I was still on the mountainside trail as the sun was setting, so I started running with Purple Monster on my back. It was crazy and I eventually got to a campsite and set up my tent at 10 pm. The Rangers were so friendly and gave me food and water.
Things I am grateful for:
1) Doing so many miles today and feeling stronger.
2) Hiking with a coyote
3) Stunning Silverwood Lake and the wonderful Rangers
4) I figured out how to make Purple Monster more comfortable by tightening all the straps and having it more snug.
5) The PCT has enabled me to enjoy a beer!

Day 21:
 Wow! Three weeks on the trail already!
I hardly slept last night as some type of crazy alarm was going off all night long. I eventually left the Rangers office at 9am after charging up my phones in their office and " talking story". It was a very long and hot journey in out out of canyons and along more never ending switchbacks over mountains with complete sides collapsed and eroded on the San Andreas Fault, with spectacular views of the mountains and desert beyond.

 I met up with a Canadian couple I had met before using their Golite umbrellas as sunshields.

 My lesson on the trail today was:
The trail mimics life. If you have too many expectations you will only be disappointed. Rather go with the flow, be in the moment and celebrate those unexpected gifts of wonder that come your way.

By 3pm, I arrived at the infamous McDonalds near the bridge at Hwy 15. 

I have never purchased food at McD before in my life, now that has changed. Pure survival kicked in and I stuffed myself with a veggie wrap, fries, 2 orange juices, 2 cokes, a McFlurry and cone ice cream.

 I reunited with so many fellow hikers I had met before and we formed a smelly, motley crew, colonizing a few tables. It was time to hit the trail again by 6 pm to get more miles done so that I could reach Wrightwood by the following day. As I walked towards the bridge leading to the trail I was happy to see Jolly Llama arrive. He had passed his kidney stone and was now looking jolly!

I hiked for another two hours, under a highway, under and across a railway line, 

up over hills, past the famous Mormon Rocks

 and found a hidden spot to solo camp that night in a dried stream bed wedged behind a bush.

Today I am thankful for:
1) my shins and toes feeling better
2) the invention of the automobile
3) wind - it took a lot of the misery out of the intense heat today
4)facebook - being able to keep so many friends ip to date
5) Smartphones- my lifeline to those important to me

Day 22:
Yay! Reached Wrightwood at mile 369/594km. It is a picturesque little mountain village located at 5935ft on Wright Mountain, established in the 1920's as a winter ski vacation destination. This morning I packed up camp early and spent the day climbing mountains up switchbacks up to almost 9000ft. 

I had numerous snake encounters along the way. 

It was an extremely long, hot day with lots of incredibly beautiful views from   the top of the world.

 I ran out of water 3 miles out of Wrightwood, but made in down the steep Acorn Trail fine and booked a room at a funny little motel called The Pines, which is extremely hiker friendly. I caught up with numerous trail buddies in the evening which was fun, soaked my feet in a bucket of epsom salts and crashed early.

Day 23:
I had a zero day in Wrightwood and picked ip my resupply box from the post office. Wonderful to have a good supply of food again. I was impressed with what I had mailed to myself. Tomorrow I set out towards Agua Dulce, almost 100 miles away with no towns in between. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Not for the Faint of Heart...

Day 13:
I left Cabazon and made my way past the wind turbines, hundreds of them, as that is pretty much all this area has to offer....wind! 

Blistering ascents and descents along skinny ridge trails with shifting sand. 

At one point I had to wait patiently for a Rattlesnake to cross the trail in front of me. 

Today was a journey towards the San Gorgonio Pass and crossing the San Andreas Fault.

After descending into yet another valley I obtained my water supply from the Whitewater River, which was at some stage an extremely wide river, but is now more like a stream. My new Sawyer mini water filter works perfectly! Pressing on north, I eventually set up camp at sundown in the riverbed alongside the stream, giving my poor feet a spa treatment in the lovely fresh, cold water.

 It was wonderful as I could cook with my jetboil and drink water to my heart's content. It's always a little scary camping out in the wilds on my own, as one is so vulnerable whilst asleep, but it was good to be settled by sundown. 

Tomorrow I climb into the San Bernardino Mountains.
I am thankful for:
1) Life, the Universe and Everything 2) Fresh, available river water
3) My ultralight water filter
4) Riverside camping
5) Meeting great people at Ziggy and The Bear.

Day 14:
A long and difficult day! I was pressing hard to get some serious mileage done, so that I could cover enough ground to make it to Big Bear by my birthday night. 

The day started off with spectacular views of the mountain I had come from and the mountain I was going to, then it followed a creek for 9 miles. 

I had a refreshing dip in a section that was flowing well and enjoyed the fact that I could drink as much water as I wanted to. 

The trail then cut back up the mountain and once again traversed over never ending switchbacks with multiple snake encounters, including the startling red Coral snake with black and white stripes. It slithered off before I could get to my camera. I pushed on for 12 hours, getting high up into the pine forests on the mountain. At one point I felt like collapsing with every painful footstep. I relied heavily on the mantra:
The trail is the master
Be like water
Go with the flow
One step in front of the other
And eventually you will get there.

It's amazing how a mantra like this can help you when you feel like you can't continue!

I pitched my tent in the forest again in solitude and had to wear all my warm clothes on top of my ninja sleeping outfit, as well as zip myself into my down mummy sleeping bag with hood. It gets so cold at night!
Lying there listening to the sounds of the woods I felt thankful for:
1) The flowing rivers and creeks that day
2) The good distance I had covered that day
3) The amazing variety of flowering plants
4) Camping in the woods
5) The vast amount of unspoiled wilderness still out here

Day 15:
It's my birthday today!
Woke up in the woods and knew I needed to hike hard to make it to a comfy bed by sundown. Fortunately this section was cooler due to a large portion of it being shaded by conifer forests. The views from the heavens were spectacular once again!

I was a bit disconcerted at one point when I passed some kind of fenced off facility which contained beautiful large bears pacing about in small cages. I have no idea what that was all about. By the afternoon my left shin and toes were killing me and when I arrived in Big Bear at mile 265/ 426.5 km, I was reduced to a hobble. My left shin had swollen significantly and the baby toe and one next to it on both feet looked infected and swollen and the top part of the balls of my feet had developed cuts that were gaping. I was elated however to be in a comfy bed, have a hot shower and eat real food on my birthday and I even bought myself a margarita in a can to celebrate! Along with a bag of epsom salts to soak my feet with.

I really felt the LOVE from all my birthday messages. Thank you to everyone who helped make my day special!
This trail is not easy! I can fully understand why a lot of people drop out after two weeks. It's a tough endeavor and by no means a walk in the park. One has to deal with harsh conditions starting out in the desert and the wear and tear on the body that ensues. I take my hat off to all those that have completed the trail and/ or given it their best shot! It is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Day 16:
Zero day taking care of my feet. I decided to take a course of antibiotics that I had brought along for emergencies, for my mangled toes as they look suspiciously infected. Also treating them with foot soaks and anti-fungal cream to cover all the bases. Catching up on laundry, my blog and strategy for the next hundred miles. Eating lots of real food! Yummy! I might take an extra zero due to reports of bad weather approaching, i.e temps going down to the 30's at night and rain..,, I'll watch and see.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Heat and dust with chilly nights

Day 8: I got rid of my solar panel today due to the ratio of weight vs effectiveness. It wasn't charging my phone much at all anymore and it was quite heavy, so it had to go. Starting out from Warner Springs it was very windy and hot as Hades with temps in the upper 90's-100 degrees F.

 Hiked 17.7 miles with Kimchee Snotrag, Shortrib and C.P to Magic Mike's Skyranch , a hiker haven up in the mountains. 

It's an interesting, trippy spot and we felt very welcome by Strange Bird, Crash Test and Nina who had dinner prepared for any hikers who might show up.

 I slept in the hiker dorm RV that night whilst the wind blew ferociously and made all the contraptions dangling on the side of the vehicle clang and bang all night long. 

Again, the air temperature dropped to super cold as soon as the sun went down and the big full moon rose from behind the mountains, illuminating the cloudless sky. 

Magic Mike rocks! 

Gratitude: 1) Hiking all day with trail buddies; 2) Getting good mileage done; 3) My wonderful kids, Ian and Sian; 4) My amazing Mom, so cute sending me encouraging messages; 5) Magic Mikes Skyranch 

Day 9:
A very tough 25 mile stretch alone. Bleak, hot and may I say horrible! I shuffled through it like the Walking Dead.

 I developed shin splints on my left leg, the balls of my feet felt mangled and I was carrying 4 liters of water all the time (which is heavy) whenever I could refill, for fear of running out. I had started out early with Ultra J, Scott and Canadians Leslie and Keith but they were going faster so went on ahead. My goal was to get through this long, difficult stretch to Highway 74 by nightfall. I wanted to sleep in a bed in Idyllwild! The switchbacks, ascents and descents went on forever and the temperature was in the 100's. I finally got to use my heavy water filter I had been complaining about carrying when my only source of water was some manky brown fluid in an underground cement well full of bugs and creatures. The filter gave me clean, lovely tasting water.
Eventually after a long Zombie shuffle, nearing sundown, I arrived at Hwy 74 and a wonderful trail angel, by the name of Gail picked me up and drove me to Idyllwild Inn. Thank you Gail! Yay, a beautiful, soft, comfy, blissful night ensued.
Things I am grateful for: 1) My heavy water filter; 2) The manky water in the cement well; 3) Being able to shuffle through 25 tough miles; 4)Gail the angel; 5) A bed.

Day 10:
Zero day in the quaint and picturesque town of Idyllwild.

 The entire town is hiker friendly and I love it here! There are no franchise stores either which is great! I had breakfast at the "Red Kettle" and met a bunch of other PCT hikers there which was fun. I purged my pack again by mailing my heavy water filter home and purchasing an ultralight Sawyer filter and new water bladder. I weighed myself at the sports shop after a hefty breakfast and was 120 pounds. It'll be interesting to weigh in again after a few months. I iced my shin and had an Epsom salts bath, had my laundry done and resupplied my food stocks. All day ling I ran into other hikers I knew. Tomorrow I climb very high up into the San Jacinto mountains to almost 9000ft. Met Ken "Backwoods", former PCT hiker and Idyllwild resident and Canadian couple Leslie and Keith for pizza at dinner.
So thankful for a day of rest!

Day 11:
Time to move back onto the PCT. I was happy to be able to say aloha to Ken and Gator, who I had first met at Warner Springs. He is struggling through the PCT with knee problems and I wish him the best of luck! A lovely lady named Meaux drove me to the trail and this time it was an all afternoon ascent up Devil's slide with stunning views of the San Jacintos and the famous tock face "Lily Rock". 

Absolutely beautiful! It was a constant but pleasant ascent due to the fact that most of the trail was shaded by pine forests. 

10 miles to the San Jacinto River, which looked like a stream, and then on to Fuller's Ridge until sundown where I set up solo camp alongside the trail wedged between some boulders to shelter me from the wind.

 I had only seen a few day hikers today. The wind was howling and the air was filled with smoke from wildfires miles away. 
So far the staple of my diet has been nuts in some form or another. Loose nuts, nut butters, trail mix, bars made with nuts... A great combination of fat, protein and carbohydrates.
Things I am grateful for today:
1) My Sioux Indian Guide; 2) My shin splints feel a bit improved; 3) A cooler  hike today in the forest; 4) All the love and support I'm getting from family and friends; 5) I'm making steady progress.

Day 12:
An icy wind swirled about on Filler's Ridge as I broke camp to head down the 25 mile "punishing descent" into Cabazon.

 It was grueling and most certainly punishing. My shin splints flared up again and felt unbearable at times. Coming down the 9000 ft mountain on never ending switchbacks on loose rocks in the scalding heat was hellish and it took 11.5 hours to get down to the next water source. 

I walked right beside a rattlesnake curled up next to the path. I also want to mention that wild bees on the PCT are alive and well. I am relieved to see this as I've read so much about the demise of the bee population. 

I arrived at a hiker haven called Ziggy and The Bear at sundown and met up with other hikers Andy, Maura and Snickers. Tried to sleep outside under a flapping tarp without much success. This is a crazy adventure!
1) Happy to be off that mountain; 2) Relieved to get water 3) glad to be able to recharge my phones 4) Apple pie and ice cream for supper ; 5) Being able to wash my  clothes and have a ( cold) shower. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Scorching Desert Mountains and Trail Magic

Day 2: upon waking, I packed up camp and continued on the hike making my way down the mountainside to Hauser Creek which then rewards one with a particularly nasty ascent up the next mountain. This was then rewarded eventually with the spectacular sight of Lake Morena, a shimmering jewel, promising a heavenly oasis after the next descent. 

I met up with Sandles again and he helped me patch up "blue baby", which I had been cradling all the way thus far, with super glue and a patch made from my zebra patterned duct tape.I also met "Kimchee Snotrag" and Jason here as they were heading out. I spent at least 3 hours here, showering, washing a few clothes items, eating and trying to see what I could purge from my pack and got rid of a tube of sunblock. I enjoyed chatting with the park Rangers who were really friendly. They said that the first section was the hardest which gave me a boost but subsequently I know that this isn't true. I planned to hike to the next campground before nightfall, to get some more miles done. My mantras for the day were "be like water" and "one step in front if the other". I learned very quickly that the trail is the master, you can't fight it and you can't have any expectations.
After another 5.2 miles, with an empty "blue baby" now shoved into my back pack I arrived at Boulder Oak campground. I was the only person there except for a lone man in his truck who sat and watched me set up camp, which made me feel very uneasy. Fortunately, just before sundown another hiker called "Cloud Trousers" arrived. I was so relieved to see him and asked him to pitch his tent near mine which made me feel a lot safer and shortly the man in his truck drove off. I went to sleep with my trekking pole and mace beside me to use as weapons but they were not needed.

Things I was grateful for today were: 1) Beautiful Lake Morena 
2) Feeling stronger; 3) Feeling positive; 4) A hot shower; 5) Feeling safer with Cloud Trousers at the camp.

Day 3:
Today was a long, hot approximately 17 miles from Boulder Oak to Burnt Rancherio in Laguna State Recreational Park. Started out with Cloud Trousers who then went on ahead and met up with Kimchee Snotrag and Jason sporadically and ended up camping with them. Spent most of the day on my own, gaining elevation in the Laguna Mountains amongst the spectacular high chaparral, specifically noticing the abundance of sage, Indian paintbrush ( a beautiful red flowering plant), and loved the Cottonwood and Oak trees in the valleys. Today was a hot hike and " Purple Monster" dug into my hips and shoulders unmercifully. At camp we were again able to have a hot shower and wash a few clothes items in the shower. I left behind my bottle of Deet to try to lighten my load.

Gratitude list: 1) My Sioux Indian guide; 2) Pressed coffee in the morning from Cloud Trousers; 3) The spectacular Laguna Mountains; 4) Respite and a hot shower at campground; 5) camping with other hikers.
I feel like I have to push harder and get better mileage in. Will try again tomorrow.

Day 4: 
Woke up at Burnt Rancherio feeling refreshed and motivated. Said goodbye to Kimchee Snotrag and Jason and got going. Presently I was passed by a young man who looked like he was just carrying a day pack and hiking the entire PCT. After talking with him, i gave him the name "Cowboy camp" as that is the way he was planning to camp mostly. He later shortened to Cowboy. I had been tearful for the first 2 miles that day, as I was thinking that perhaps doing this hectic, time consuming adventure may have been a mistake for my personal life, but after an encouraging call from my loved one, I felt motivated again and had a spectacular hike along the most stunning, skinny trail of a mountain's edge, overlooking a massive canyon with the Colorado desert in the background after Pioneer Mail Picnic area and trail head.

 The PCT runs along the old mountain pass mail route established in the 1850's. 

After a long, hellishly hot but sensationally beautiful hike which got progressively windy, I reached Sunrise Rd track and trail angel water cache. The winds were gusting so strongly, they almost toppled me over and the blistering hot day started turning into a chilly desert night. I was tired and hungry and decided to make my way to Cuyamaca State Park campground with the misleading directions in the guide book. I walked a dreary 3 miles or so feeling potentially lost, at which point I flagged down a truck and the very kind gentleman named Tony took me right to the campground. The Rangers at the park were angels too and really helped me out a lot by charging my phones and making me feel comfortable. After today, I have a really good feeling about humanity as I realize that there are so many people out there that give random acts of kindness without expecting anything in return.
My gratitude list today is: 1) I have developed strong hiking legs today; 2) Beautiful Cottonwood Canyon; 3) Realization that the best things in life don't come easy; 4) Cuyamaca heaven; 5) Kindness that exists in humanity.
Cuyamaca comes from the Native American " Ah-ha-kwe-ah-mac", meaning "place where it rains". It is situated in a forested glade with bubbling streams, a campground and showers and also contains a Native American cultural exhibit and stone mine.

Day 5:
The Ranger from Cuyamaca drove me back to the trail point I had left from and I set out at a galloping pace, feeling very motivated and filled with gratitude towards all the trail angels I had encountered. My faith in humanity was being restored by all the kind people out there. 18 miles of scorching, windy, but spectacular desert mountain trails ensued. Sometimes the trail looked like a landscaped cactus garden with everything in bloom. Rodriguez Valley was mind blowing to gaze upon from the mountains and " Purple Monster" felt more bearable today. It was a long, hot slog and when I finally got to Scissors Crossing, I decided to hitch to the quaint ex mining town of Julian, now turned artsy and a vacation destination. 

I had the daunting San Felipe Mountain crossing ahead of me the next day. I hitched and almost immediately got a ride from the very pleasant and interesting Dr John, who drives around Southern California performing free vasectomies to whoever wants one. 
Once in Julian, I discovered that everything was fully booked and the campground was my only option. I ate some real food at Applepie is Gold and a couple at the next table overheard my plight of trying to get to the campground. Upon discussion  amongst themselves, the husband said he would take me to the campground immediately and got up from the dinner table, interrupting their evening out, and drove me the 6 miles to the camp. Wow, wow, wow! I could barely believe it! Another act of selfless kindness, and another angel helping me achieve my goal. Thank you!
The Santa Ana winds were blowing strong tonight and I was glad not to be sleeping on the trail. The Ranger at the campsite initially turned me away, stating they were full, but then had a change of heart and allowed me to pitch my tent behind some bushes, against the fence and near a bathroom. A peaceful night ensued.
Today I am grateful for: 1) Rangers aka Angels at Cuyamaca; 2) beauty of the flowering desert mountain; 3) Dr John who drove me from Scissors X-ing to Julian; 4) The Angel who drove me to the camp ; 5) The grumpy Ranger who let me sleep safely.

Day 6:
I was awoken by the sound of a hooting owl. Wow! My aumakua (animal spirit guardian) had been with me all night! I had pitched my tent under it's tree. There were also wild turkeys around the camp and I picked up 2 of their feathers which I'll carry with me. I feel like I am really earning my trail name "Two Feathers". Another wonderful person gave me a ride into town and dropped me off at the coffee shop "Granny's Coffee". The staff  there are extremely hospitable to PCT hikers and give them a free piece of fruit. As I drank two cups of coffee and ate my cookie, a man overheard me saying that I needed to get a ride back to the trail which was 12 miles away. He was just sitting down to breakfast and offered me a ride as soon as he was done. Astounding! Another Angel! Thank you Dario for being so kind and going out of your way to help me with my journey expecting nothing in return. I now understand the term "trail magic". I also found out that there is an Indian living in Julian by the name of Two Feathers, which is pretty cool!
Starting out at Scissors Crossing again, I climbed another mountain on relentless switchbacks in the scorching heat and hot, dry Santa Ana winds. 

I was startled on one of the skinny trail path sections with sheer, plummeting drops by another snake encounter, but it slithered away before I could take a photograph.

I doctored my feet on the trail with moleskin and fresh socks as the ball of my right foot was hinting at forming a blister. As I sat down on a rock to trim some moleskin, a Humming bird came and hovered inches from my face for at least a minute, just looking at me. As soon as it flew away, out of the silence of the mountain, I heard a distinct rattle behind me. I leapt up, looking for the Rattlesnake but could not see it, however I was not about to overstay my welcome at that spot, and left abruptly. By 7 pm, I had been hiking through the tortuous San Felipe Mountains for 9 hours and set up camp on one of the west facing switchbacks and enjoyed a sensational sunset in solitude.

 I felt fine about still being up here because I had enough water due to a trail angel water cache I had filled up at earlier.

 I'm sure that cache keeps people alive! I can't wait to get off this mountain tomorrow, but I know that plenty more await.

Today I am grateful for 1) Dario, trail angel who gave me a 12 mile ride; 2) I am hiking stronger; 3) Purple Monster is feeling much better on my back 4) Granny's Coffee shop hospitality 5) spectacular sunset.

Day 7:
One week into the adventure and here I am, striking my mountain camp early in the morning, eager to get the next section done,
Today was not too bad except for the incessant heat and the blister in my right foot. Once I reached the 100 mile mark at 08:30 am, I knew today would be a good day and I'd meet my goal of getting to Warner Springs at mile 110.

 Warner Springs has the most amazing resource center for PCT hikers with showers, food, laundry and computers. I participated in all of the above and camped in a field at the back. The people here are true trail angels! 

To sum it up: week 1; 110 miles, so far I've seen crows, snakes, wild turkeys,, an owl, deer, a large hare, a coyote, strange lizards and squirrels. Camped at Warner Springs with KS, chef Shortrib,Canadian Princess, Scott, Jason ultra and Bob.
More adventure awaits...