PCT CA Section D

Nov. 17: Wrightwood to Swarthout Canyon

I got started very early, taking a La Croix from the minibar to undry my throat, then making some coffee.

I walked to the convenience store around the corner for some fast breakfast. Then, after showering and packing up, I walked back again to buy a couple of limes and some candy to motivate me up the hill.

PCT CA Section D

Nov. 14-16: A Weekend In Pasadena

Nov. 14:

Obviously I didn’t prefer to spend three straight nights in Pasadena and two straight zero days off the trail, but I didn’t mind taking one day off if just for the sake of clean clothing. After all, I had been a long way and a lot of not clean places since the last time I had done laundry nearly a week before. So, following an early trip down the street to the grocery store, I booked another night in the motel.

PCT CA Section D

Nov. 13: Rescued from a Dead End

Thanks to a lack of information, I made a poor decision this day.

A chill wind blew across the parking lot as I got ready to hike again. It was chilly enough to lose feeling in my fingers as I rolled up my mattress on the picnic table. I did the later parts of packing up, including removing my extra layers, in the foyer of the privy for the added wind protection.

PCT CA Section D

Nov. 12: Over the Mt. Gleason Ridge

I started decamping at sunrise, but before I left, Todd the caretaker came out to chat. He informed me that dispersed camping (as I had definitely done the night previous) was currently banned, and the next place that I could legally camp was Mill Creek. So that became my destination for the day.

PCT CA Section D

Nov. 11: The Desert Ain’t So Bad in November

I left camp at a relatively lazy half past eight for an easy three miles down to the road to Acton KOA. Of course I decided to stop in there. Why not? Real bathroom, camp store open, power outlet top up.

Off-trail PCT CA Section D

Nov. 9 & 10: Burbank /Vasquez Rocks

Nov. 9

So after a single deep sleep cycle, my phone alarm went off so I could get all of the following done before 2:50am when my taxi arrived:

Off-trail PCT OR Section A

Nov. 8: Rescued from the Privy (Medford)

I’m going to go out of my way to ensure this post does not see distribution on my mom’s Facebook feed by starting it off with a frank discussion of poop.

PCT OR Section A Uncategorized

Nov. 7: The World In White

This is a simple one. I woke up with snow everywhere, including on top of the tent. But it was otherwise a nice, shiny morning.

The trail was all covered with snow, but it was only a few inches deep at worst. It was very dry powdery snow because it was too cold for it to melt on top and get hard. But it was still awkward to walk on. I tried putting on my microspikes for better traction, but they just stuck to the snow and formed it into large, hard ice balls under my feet, so I took them off by the time of my first snack break.

PCT OR Section A PCT OR Section B

Nov. 6: A Day At The Lodge

It was still a bit chilly and wet when I woke up, so I did as much packing as I could still inside my tent. I believe this was the morning I figured out how to roll up my air mattress without pulling it out of the tent first and without emerging from under the rainfly myself.

PCT OR Section B

Nov. 5: The Last Nice Day In Oregon

The day started with an hour of blog picture uploading while waiting for the lodge to open followed by a nice breakfast at the lodge. I arrived first and started eating while Owl and Phoenix packed up. Then they joined me as I was finishing and I went back to the cabin to pack up and do the dishes and get out by check-out time. We arranged a ride in the truck of one of the resort operators back to the trailhead and started hiking together.

I was in the lead, but at some point, I started seeing pole drag marks on the trail like Phoenix would leave. I stopped at an immaculately clean privy and, when I came out, I talked to a man parked in the parking area enjoying the weather. Apparently it was something he did often:

“You guys always go straight for that privy. I much prefer the outdoors.”

But the point is that he asked me if I was Owl. Phoenix had wanted to send a message she was a half-hour ahead. Which was before I even reached the parking area. Conclusion? She had taken a different trail that shortcut the PCT and gotten in the lead.

I knew where she was planning to stop for the night, but it was getting dark by the time I came near that area. I didn’t see her tent as I passed it by, but I could see plenty of city lights down in the valley.

I kept on a bit further until Pilot Rock. I couldn’t quite see it in the dark, but I expected it would be a spectacular sight in the morning based on the looming prominences near where I was tenting.

It was windy and cold and just starting to rain as I set up my tent. I pulled everything under the fly and cooked in the vestibule once I was snug in bed.

Total distance: 19 miles