Bad day

So I meant to leave Tehachapi today… but about 50ft into the hike both of my calves decided to go into “beast mode” on me and have really bad cramps. I figured I could walk them off… but after about a mile of stop and go, I could walk no longer. This was a problem as I was about a mile away from the road and I could no longer walk. I stretched for a long time and was able to keep up a very slow pace. The entire 2 mile hike took about 4 hours to complete. I wasn’t in the best of moods at this point as I was hot and in quite a bit of pain- but then a very nice person drove up and offered a ride to Tehachapi as he was headed that direction and I accepted 🙂

This was one of the best hitches of the trip so far as he was a very nice person and I didn’t fear for my life for the second time on this trip (people seem to think that oncoming traffic isn’t a huge problem and that the center lane is just a suggestion) Talked with him for a little bit about his job and learned of a new way that power is made- solar mirrors!

So I made it back to the hotel and decided that the hot tub might be a good idea to soak my muscles in… which seemed to help…

But then it happened…. *plop* my phone turned into a submarine. So this may be the last update for a while as I do not have a phone anymore, there is a Verizon store in town that I will probably stop by tomorrow and see how much a phone would cost. I have a feeling that I will not like the answer!

Anyways- even a bad day has good parts, I will hopefully figure all of this out soon.

…continued…

I went to Home Depot to get some star screwdrivers and on the way back I fell into a ditch and got further banged up. Than I proceeded to lock myself out of the hotel room.

Today could have gone better… I have high hopes for tomorrow!

Advertisements

Rant: trail maintenance

I have been hearing a lot of angry hikers that the USFS has not been doing a good enough job in trail maintenance and it has been bugging me. Even after telling people that almost all trail work is done by volunteers and pcta volunteers… They just want to complain to the pcta. I am not sure if/when hikers will realize that they are the ones that should be signing up for maintenance after they have finished… But people could actually be working as they hike as well. I came across 9 trees similar to the one below and they all had alternate paths around them which ranks similar to switchback cutting in my head- the multiple trails around areas leads to more erosion and a much dirtier appearance.

 

IMG_2014052233157
It only took about 4 minutes to set my pack down and break the branches of this one… And then close the old detour around it. When I get back to Washington… I will be joining the good folks in WTA for their trail work parties whenever I can. I didn’t take pictures of all of the issues but some simple ones looked like the detour path was about one year old. That is the end of my rant… I am happier now 🙂
IMG_2014052259679

The mojave

Tomorrow begins the Mojave desert. Today was spent doing a 20 mile road walk that avoided a burned area but actually followed the old pct route (40 years ago) which was impressive as a small store has kept up a hiker log since 1977 that I was able to sign. The first three years were […]

Sleeping with the enemy

img20140515_074536

I am pretty sure that section d stands for section death. I got the displeasure of sleeping next to the dreaded poodle dog bush. Don’t let the name fool you… on contact it causes blistering of the skin. Better yet… once your clothes come in contact they will keep the oil just to keep you happy at night.

I know what you are thinking… that picture above doesn’t look like it is hard to avoid… let me disprove that.

img20140515_074607

Then there were chipmunks near my tent… and I am pretty sure they have the plague. And lastly… there was a spider under my pillow when I woke up. And to top it off… I am missing variety in my pop tarts.

Frog detour

Today was mostly off of the official trail as a species of frog is almost extinct, so they closed 4 miles of trail and created a 18 mile detour to avoid the closed area. I decided to go for another alternate route that only adds 1 extra mile to the trip (vs. 18) and it was quite gorgeous! We went into the devils chair area and there were massive green, red, and yellow rocks everywhere. Some people are upset over them closing the trail but I have no complaints at all.

An amusing side-effect of the detour is that I got to hike on muggle trails and talk to people who had no idea what the pct was. One person even went off trail to avoid me which I found funny. I have showered recently! I swear!img20140513_144307

The ultralight approach.

img20140511_153324

There is always controversy over how much weight to carry into the field with you. Some people believe that you need extra weight to fully appreciate the wilderness as it will slow you down. I personally think that this thinking is bogus as I have never been more happy while hiking than when I am not in a lot of pain all the time.

There is a balance between being comfortable and being an ultralight backpacker however. Being unprepared is stupid and can be deadly, but taking along portable showers, your rock collection, and a websters dictionary can kill you just as easily. The one regret about my pack is a minor one so far, a water filter would have been good for the water above, I still drank it… but clear water was attained by other hikers with filters. Other than that… I have been able to cover the taste of dead rats and lizards with tasty drink mix. I am still purifying my water… but there are still bugs that give me extra protein.

Other than that… my pad can not pop like many others have, I am warm and dry at night, and I can be found with a smile on my face most days. If i were not here… I would be looking for a career and so far I prefer the homeless approach for now. And the ground is rather comfy.

Cajon Pass to Wrightwood

img20140509_212737
While I must say that McDonalds did not sit well with me… I am on a new quest to find my next goal along the trail.
I should have 2 boxes waiting for me tomorrow at mountain hardware in Wrightwood. We have been very lucky when it comes to the weather as the heatwave Hit while we were at high altitude, then we dropped down into the valley when the cold hit so we have had some pleasant hiking conditions.
The next few days will be on mount baden Powell and an 18mi detour which will be interesting. For now… I have clean clothes and a bed for the night!

McDonalds

img20140508_092949
We made it to McDonalds! I have been looking forward to an iced coffee for a while now and this is a huge milestone as I had expected to drop out by now. But I am still feeling awesome and will have to find another goal now 🙂

Time for more food! 🙂