Didn’t sleep well last night. Got moving by 6 and crushed out the 13ish miles to Cajon Pass by 10. Went to the Best Western to get my last mail drop. I had an ETA of 6/1 written on it so I’m ahead of schedule
Went to the McDs after that and feasted. Need to get the calories back in. Looks like another big water carry up and out if here. Around 30 miles. Cajon Pass was absolutely crowded on this day, Memorial Day weekend so I guess that’s to be expected
Left a little after 2 with full bag of food and water. The climb out was really long. Today ended up being an unexpected long day, I was planning for a low twenty, not almost thirty. Ended up hiking until 7:30 which is my latest day so far
We’re all cowboy camping at over 6000ft tonight. It’s gonna be cold. First time I’m wearing all my fleeting clothes. This is where a free standing tent would come in clutch.
Back in the desert. A lot of dry water sources today. Passed by the hot springs that a lot of hikers swim in. I heard there are a lot of diseases because of that so I didn’t go in
Got some nice trail magic today, clean water, hard boiled eggs, cupcakes and raisins. Ended the day at a campground. It’s Friday so it seems like there’s a big party on the other side of the river.
Going into Cajon Pass tomorrow to pick up a resupply box and pig out at McDonalds.
I have been trying to upload pictures but using LTE out in the middle of nowhere takes a very long time To upload any media
First official 30 mile day. Woke up at 5:15 and got moving at 5:55. Pack felt light even though it had 4L of water and 4 days of food. Cranked out 9.3 miles in under 3 hours to a potential water source. Turns out this source was really bad and when I went upstream to try and spot a better flow I found toilet paper just feet away from the water. I told everyone not to use this water after seeing that. It takes a special kind of asshole to shit next to a water source.
First half of the day was awesome hiking. It was all in the woods on a nice smooth path. Second half of the day was back in the sand and exposed to the sun. Felt like crap after that.
Ended the day at 6:30 at Splinters Cabin where there’s a trash can and a toilet. The toilet is the only reason I’m camping here. Will definitely use it in the morning.
Also popped a huge blister on my heel. Spent most of the day walking on my toes because of it.
I’m about 45 miles from Cajon Pass where I will pick up my next package. I’ll get as close to there as possible tomorrow to make it a short walk there the next day.
Slept on the couch last night. Woke up at 5:15 and got a ride back to the “trail” by 6:15. Pretty sweet that we got a free stay last night, first real trail magic.
Anyways, I would not recommend doing this long detour around the closure. It’s really a mind fuck to put in all the time, effort and money to walk something that’s not the PCT. Only do it if you’re really into the “unbroken footstep” thing.
We had a long road walk to start, I felt like a zombie during that. Road walking just sucks life out of you. Eventually got on a dirt road and pretty much walked that the rest of the way. Got to an intersection where Sonic wanted to take an alternate route that would get her back on PCT mile 255ish. Junco and I took a different route that got us back on trail at mile 262. After about 30 detour miles we finally made it back to the PCT at 4PM.
After a break, we decide to go just 3.8 miles to a campsite. Got there around 5:45 and decided to call it another early day. Pitched my tent, ate food, brushed my teeth and I’m now laying in my bag at 7:25. It’s still bright out so in the future I intend to hike until 7ish unless I feel like shit.
My gear so far has been good. The ULA pack is nice but I do miss having a brain pouch. If I could go back in time I’d probably get a Big Agnes Fly Creek instead of the ZPacks. My Neoair is still holding strong even after the AT, the only thing I don’t like about it is that it takes a while to put away in the morning. I want to try a torso pad, but I’m a side sleeper. I used thin pads in the Marines so I should be used to it. My 20 bag from ZPacks is still good, I bought an X-long so I can curl up in it. I think it’s losing its fill though. My Sawyer Squeeze is still leaking, can’t believe I lost that little ring inside it. I’ll try and deal with it.
Side note, I’m finally able to button my pants. I bought them XS because I knew how skinny I got on the AT. I should probably try and eat more though, I don’t eve think I’m getting 2,000 calories a day.
I think I’ll go for my first official 30 mile day tomorrow.
We all got moving at 5:30, slept well. Did about 2.5 miles of the PCT before having to take another detour. First few miles into it, it led us to this stone house. Inside was empty but there was a really clean bathroom outside. Clean toilet, TP, running water and hand soap. Definitely had to take this opportunity to take a dump. I’ve been on trail for 10 days now and I’ve only crapped in the woods two times, I seem to be coming across a toilet every day somehow, not complaining.
This detour sucks. Had to walk by a busy road and crawled under a couple fences. Then a long 8.5 mile stretch up another road. I was going to take a picture but was too tired.
Eventually got into a little town around 2PM where we were planning on renting a room. We didn’t have to because a woman pulled over and offered to let us stay at her place. She thru hiked both the AT and PCT. We jumped at this opportunity.
Got to her place and showered for the first time since Maine. Man, it felt amazing. I thought I was really dirty but I’m just really tan and sun burnt. She took us to do laundry afterwards, can’t wait to have clean clothes.
We went back to her place and just chilled out on the couch. She gave us her wifi password so I spent day catching up on “trending topics” and writing this. We ordered pizza and planned for a potential 40 mile water carry back to the trail.
Descended down from Fullers Ridge this morning. If you do that mid day, make sure you’re full on water. You’re directly exposed to the sun with no shade. After that, there was a short road walk and then about four miles through loose sand to Ziggy/Bears. The last eight or so miles you get pounded with heavy winds
Arrived at 11:45ish, about 17 miles in under 6 hours, not bad. Ziggy and the Bear took my picture and I picked up my box. I’m ahead of schedule so my food bag is heavy. There have been over 1500 hikers that have stopped at this place. Can’t believe that many hikers are in front of me. I want to see how many I can catch and pass by the end.
A lot of hikers are trying to decide what to do about this next closure. They’ve been shuttling hikers into town and from there they catch a bus to Big Bear. I really hate all these closures. Decided I’m going to hike the 51 mile detour with Junco and Sonic. Met Sonic on day one. She did the AT in 3.5 months in 2014.
We left Ziggys at 3:45 and did about 8 miles before finding a camp spot. Insanely windy out here, it’s hard to even keep balance. I finally did a great pitch of my tent, best one yet. I’m thinking about trying to rehydrate food. Junco has been doing this and says it’s awesome. I get jealous seeing him eat his meals while I eat a tortilla with peanut butter…We’re going into town tomorrow so maybe I’ll try it out
My eye stopped bothering me today, thank god. Don’t know what it was but it was bad enough that I would have gotten it checked out if I weren’t on trail.
These next two days will be all detour miles
Left town at 6. Ascended 5000ft from there. Went up Mt San Jacinto, it’s almost 11k feet. For some reason that climb really killed me. It wasn’t even steep, but for some reason I felt like shit going up. Could have been lack of food, water, sleep, altitude sickness or all of the above.
Finally got back on the PCT after the Jacinto, detour done. There was actually no desert hiking today, it was all in the forests which is what I like.
I’m thinking about going back to a regular free standing tent. Really haven’t been a fan of this ZPacks tent so far. Sucks that I paid so much for it just because it’s light, other hikers seem to like theirs though. The wind really cuts through it like butter and there’s pretty much zero headspace, I’m only 5’8″. And it gets pretty wet too since it’s a single wall tent. I’ll give it some more time though, maybe it will grow on me.
For some reason my right eye has been really bothering me all day. It feels like I have a huge rock stuck under my eyelid and I can’t get it out. It hurts so bad that I can’t even open it, I spent most the day with only one eye open. This happened last year and it went away, but it didn’t hurt this bad. Had to call it an early day so I can try and sleep it off.
Pass few days I’ve been hiking with another thru hiker named Junco, he did the AT in 2014. We both started on the same day. We started going up to 7k feet, which is higher than any point on the AT. This kart reminded me a lot of the White Mountains.
After that we hit our first closure. He had the map to go around so I followed. Along the detour we stopped at a nice mini mart and ate a bit. After 20+ miles we made it to Idyllwild where we stayed the night at a campground, a ton of hikers here, it’s Saturday. Some hikers actually paid hundreds of dollars to sleep in a lodge.
This town is like the Gatlinburg of the PCT, lots of tourists here and many things to do. We had to walk through a residential area and all the houses looked like they belonged in a Disney movie.
Kind of sucks to walk so much but none of it really counts towards the PCT. Not sure how I’ll get around the next closure.
I currently laying in my tent at a downward angle, I guess my feet will lose some swelling but I’ll probably wake up with a headache. Lots of other hikers/campers around and cars driving by. Took another Benadryl to help me sleep but I doubt it’ll work tonight. Tomorrow looks like a long day…
Windy night. Tent held up. Got moving at 5:45. In the water report it said a potential 31 mile dry stretch but we came across three water caches.
Did 25 to the Paradise Cafe that’s about one mile off trail, got there at about 3. Pigged out on some burgers and planned the next stretch of hiking that will include the first fire closure.
Got back on the trail a little after 5 and did four miles before finding a good camp spot free of wind and bugs. Kind of sucks to be one mile short of a 30 mile day but whatever, technically went 31 with the road walk.
Took some Benadryl to help me sleep, probably won’t work. But my feet are kind of swelling so it helps with that too. Also took some ibuprofen this morning for my feet.
Tomorrow I’ll be spending most of the day walking the detour around the fire closure, the first of three in the desert. I think for one of the other ones you actually have to ride around it. I’ll see what everyone else is doing. I think I’m missing around 15 miles of the PCT tomorrow, but the detour is around 20.
Still having trouble falling asleep, which is nothing new for me. But it sucks because my body is never really rested each day after only a few hours of sleep.
No real injuries to speak of yet. Feet have been hurting but I’m sure everyone’s is. Have some pain and swelling on the top of my feet
Got moving at 5:45, did a quick 4ish and got to Warner Springs at 7ish. They had a restroom so of course that’s the first thing I did. Felt awesome to wash my hands. I bought some hand sanitizer and some cheap flip flops. I’m sending my Vivos home. Kind of sucks because I spent 50 on them. I bought a lot of gear I ended up not using for this hike, will have to sell it when I get home.
Got a ride to the PO to pick up my package. I still have food left over so my pack will be a bit heavier this time. For some reason I haven’t been eating much out here, haven’t even been hungry.
I’m currently just waiting for my phone to charge and using the free wifi. I should be out of here around 10.
Made it to Mikes Place around 17 miles UP from Warner. Man, that climb wasn’t all that bad but doing it in the heat of the day with no clouds really sucked. This was the first day I really pounded water.
At Mikes Place there were a lot of hikers. A man was there grilling burgers for people and I had two sodas, there was also brick oven pizza. Was going to cowboy camp but I think people are going to stay up tonight so I pitched my tent further away.
The Hexamid tent has been okay, kind of a pain to set up and I’m not entirely confident that it will do well in bad weather.