Saturday, May 17, 2008

Day 29 Sat May 17

Up for 0530 and hiking the 3.5 miles into Agua Dulce! Yeah, finally here! Warm morning and I actually hiked in my t-shirt for once (sun wasn't up yet) Got to town, cafe wasn't open yet, so we just headed up to the Saufley's (super nice family that let's hikers stay with them and 100% helps you out in anyway possible) So, by 7am we were at their place and signed up for a shower and put our laundry in the basket to be cleaned! Yeah, went to the garage and picked up our many packages! Some we expected, others were a great suprise! Our ice axes made it (we'll mail them up ahead to the Sierra's), our new tent fly made it, our 2 boxes of maps, dehydrated food and other stuff made it! A great care package from Gram and Grampa (with REAL homeade cookies in it! Our first homeade cookies, though Priscilla "tried" to pass her cookies off as homeade) Another package from Yappy (AT friend from 2005 who lives in Alaska) with all kinda of fun trail food, a letter from my Grammy Peg (who just recently found this website, she's a computer genius now!!) Hi gram! And just in the mail today is a package of trail bars from Linda from work and Peter! Thank you so much......and yes, we are having FUN! :) After all of that, we signed up to take the family surburban into the city to REI and go food shopping at a less expensive store. So, 8 of us piled into this beast of a vehicle and went to Los Angeles! Wow, going fast on the highway was a weird feeling, esp for Neighbor who was driving! Got our errands done without too much hassle and made it back to Agua Dulce! Pulling off the highway, we get pulled over..........guess it's the law to wear a seatbelt in CA (I had mine on!!) Others didn't....the cop looked at us like we were crazy (this surburban was older and the a/c didn't work and it was nearly 100 degrees today, so all the windows were down and we were all windblown.) Then he realized that there were 4 of us in the middle row of seats instead of 3, so I crawled in the back row, after all that we only left with a verbal warning! We filled up the beast for 3.99 per gallon and brought it back to the Saufley's! Then we realized that our friend Stinky and Chris were here to visit us! They drove an hour to hang out with us!!! We chatted for a bit, then went out for Mexican food! What a great end to a fun day! It's almost 11pm here now, so I'm going to sign off for a bit, tomorrow involves putting all the food we bought into boxes and mailing ahead for the Sierra's!

Day 28 Fri May 16

Hiking by 0538 this morning, already HOT, but we got a full hour of hiking in before the sun hit us! You can tell we are getting lower in elevation as the heat is picking up. Made it to a road by 1130 and walked to a camping area (that was pretty sketchy looking) but we found out that there was a small grocery store just down the road a bit and caught a ride there, where we stayed for 4 hours during the heat of the day. Sooooo happy to be near cold drinks and ice cream! Both Chief and Neighbor bought 1/2 gallons of ice cream! Around 4:30, we caught a ride back to the trail and hiked another 6 miles closer to Agua Dulce. It wasn't so bad at that time. Had to hike under Highway 14 and the "tunnel" was long and really dark, almost needed the headlamp to see, eeeek! Found a really nice spot to camp after Vasquez rocks, warm night, great sunset. 22 miles by the end of the day.

Day 27 Thurs May 15

Hiking by 0540 this morning! Only because the wind picked up and nearly blew us out of the tent.......nothing like waking up in a windstorm! Hiked up the ridge and the wind didn't stop, it was crazy! With my pack, I prob. weigh close to 150 lbs and a few of those gusts were tossing me around, so they had to be close to 50 mph gusts. Got to a ranger station by 11am and realized that we'd already hiked 12 miles! Wow! The wind really moved us! Ate some food and pushed on, by this time it was HOT. But slowly, we made our way along the trail. At one point, we found a spot of shade and sat along side the trail for a nice break, I took my sunhat off, we aired out our feet and then a big gust of wind came along and poof............there goes my sunhat.......down the very steep enbankment........ahhhhhhhh!!! Neighbor retrieved it for me :) Thank you again! Eventually made it to a closed campground and hiked 23.5 miles for the day.

Day 26 Wed May 14

What a long day. Had to hike part of the road today (a detour) due to some endangered yellow-legged frogs (I'm serious) Then another trail to get back to the PCT, then back to the road and cross it a few times and then we lost the trail somewhere and ended up on the Chippewa trail (2 miles out of our way) and got a ride back to the trail from a nice family and then at 6am, we still had 4 miles to hike to get to the next water! We hike the 4 miles and the water is this green slimey creek.........oh well, not hiking anymore and we put up the tent, should have guessed for a place called Sulphur Spring........Also came to realized that we need more protein in our diet, new plan on the next stretch, protein with every dinner! Roughly 20 PCT miles, but more like 25 miles hiked today........too many for us, we were exhausted by the end of the day!

chief's website

chief is updating more pictures......some are GREAT!

The video from the summit of Baden-Powell should be on there soon, you can see the fire smoke in the distance too!

And Neighbor spitting his toothpaste into the sunset is a good one too, like a fire breathing dragon!

Heading to REI and Trader Joe's now (in LA) and Neighbor will be driving............eeeeeeek! LA?!

Day 25 Tues May 13

Our most exciting and beautiful day yet on the PCT!!! Walked to the Cinnamon roll bakery for breakfast, (yummm) then caught a ride up to the trail with a guy from town who is on the rescue team and told us about a fire that had just started behind Mt. Baldy that morning. Hit the trail in the crazy wind, I was getting blown all over the place! Crazy!!! By 1030, we were to the parking lot before our big climb up Baden-Powell and found a note from another hiker saying that crampons and ice axe were necessary........eeeek, but we decided to go see for ourselves (many hikers do not have any experience hiking in snow out here) Sure enough, we made our way up the mountain and there were small patches of snow at first, but nothing scary, then the snow got deeper, but it was close to noon and the snow was soft, so it wasn't scary at all. It was actually fun and made for some great pictures (which I'll attatch later!!) We made our way to the summit and we could see the smoke from the fire over by Mt. Baldy, it looked rather serious, esp with all the wind blowing around. We followed the ridge for a couple miles, trying to avoid the 6 foot suncups for as long as possible, camped at the bottom of the mtn after about 16 miles this day.

The rest of our day in Wrightwood

Mon May 12 -

We found our way to Kate's house and dropped our packs there (lugging them all over town is not fun) Someone told us to go on in and make ourselves at home, but that felt a little strange, just going into someone's house.....she didn't even know we were showing up, so we walked back to town. Found the pizza place, bought some fuel for the next 5 days and then walked back to Kate's. She was home this time and she was super nice, made ourselves at home, showered and did a load of laundry. Ash was there also, he came into town with an injured foot, but then realized that he has an infected blister..........a very infected blister. He wanted to see a doctor about it, but there wasn't one in town, so he went to the vet......and the vet gave him penicillin.....for a fish! It seems to be working, cause the infection is going down, though it says "not for human use....for tail rot" on the bottle! Whatever works! The 4 of us (Ash, Chief, Neighbor and I) all had a pint of Ben & Jerry's each and then went to bed!