PCT Week 9 – Mile 618 to Kennedy Meadows

PCT Week 9 – Mile 618 to Kennedy Meadows

The ninth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and I hiked from mile 618 to Kennedy Meadows. What happened in PCT week 9, you can read in this article. In case you missed the week eight, here’s the article: PCT Week 8.

Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 9

November 28, 2020 2:11 pm
  • Distance 135 km
  • Time 33 h 41 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 1401 m
  • Peak 2440 m
  • Climb 4642 m
  • Descent 4196 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

Day 57: 1,000 km and an important decision

Day: June 01st, 2019
Distance: 17.6 mi, 28.16 km
Cumulative: 635.3 mi, 1,016.48 km

I head out early today since my plan is to walk at least 20 miles (about 32 km). There is hardly any shade and the sun is burning down on me. I reach the 1,000 km mark and each of my steps is accompanied by pain. Still – 1,000 km hiked! It feels good and weird because that’s a hell of a long distance. Yet on the PCT it’s not even a quarter of the entire way.

This thought lingers. I want to take a break to enjoy the view, but I keep walking, telling myself, “I have to keep walking or I won’t make today’s 20 miles.” An inner conflict erupts. I remember my dream from two days ago: “I’m sitting at the airport in Germany, looking forward to the PCT, but I haven’t started yet…” So I force myself to take a break and write the following in my notebook:

“I’m sitting in the desert right now, 23 miles from Walker Pass. I’m afraid of not reaching the finish line, not arriving in Canada.

What is important to me? Enjoying nature, people and everything on the trail or is the ultimate goal to arrive in Canada? With the goal in mind to arrive in Canada there is a hell of pressure. I’ve just passed the 1,000 km mark, I can’t get excited and all I can think about is the goal….

I don’t want that. The goal should, no, must be a bonus! I want to enjoy the path, I want to feel myself in every step and merge with the path. Maybe I can do that. I still have 3,300 km to go.

I try to walk in the “present “.

Afterwards I sit on a rock for about 30 minutes and look at the breathtaking landscape.

PCT - View from a stone
PCT – View from a stone

Andrew “Enterprise” passes by and we greet each other. I am glad to see him, because he started one day after me. After my break I hike on and 20 minutes later I see the sign of my Trailfamily on the ground (a square with a dot in the middle). Another break with Mockingjay and Rabbit Rabbit, which I accept with thanks.

Then I continue slowly and relaxed. A steep climb in the evening lies ahead of me and I realize that I will not make the targeted 20 miles today. Fortunately, that is no longer important to me at this moment.

Day 58: Walker Pass and a reunion with Caminofriends

Day: June 02, 2019
Distance: 16 mi, 25.75 km
Cumulative: 651.3 mi, 1,048.16 km

My alarm rings very early, because I try to be 2:00 p.m. at Walker Pass to see my two friends Barb and Ken from the Camino de Santiago again. I am not feeling well that morning and have stomach problems. As an emergency I throw in an Imodium Acut and hope for a quick effect. Around 5:30 a.m. it starts to dawn and I have 16 miles to go. I can make the distance until 2:00 p.m.

The sunrise is magical today and since it is still so early I see no other hikers. Around 8:00 I make a short tea break. Afterwards I make good progress and walk with the rhythm 2.5 h fast hiking and then 30 minutes break. 14:10 I reach Walker Pass. My friends are not there yet but there is some Trailmagic. For a joke or a spontaneous haiku you get a cold beer. I dig out the only and worst joke I can think of and ceremoniously accept the ice cold beer.

A few minutes later Ken and Barb arrive. I am thrilled to see them and we head to Ridgecrest with a few other hikers. I write Oilking, who has successfully picked up his package in Onyx, and we meet with Ken and Barb at a restaurant for lunch. It’s good to see Oilking again and we tell Ken and Barb what we’ve been up to in the last few weeks.

Lots to coordinate this day, Rabbit Rabbit and Mockingjay have also arrived in Ridgecrest and are heading to Trailangel Laura (Pancakes) with Oilking. Seashells and Lawrence of Cascadia are still at Walker Pass. Ken, Barb and I therefore make another trip to pick them up from Walker Pass. A great reunion, even though we haven’t seen each other for a few days.

At this moment I also see Biskit, whom I saw last time in Hiker Heaven. We all drive happily and exhausted to Ridgcrest, check into a Super8 and finish the evening with pizza, beer and PCT stories.

Day 59: Rest day in Ridgecrest

Day: June 03, 2019
Distance: 0 mi, 0 km
Cumulative: 651.3 mi, 1,048.16 km

The next morning we have a hearty breakfast at Super8 followed by a group photo. Afterwards we drive with Ken and Barb to Walmart to stock up on food for the next three days up to Kennedy Meadows.

I am also looking for decent plasters, bandages and disinfectant as my blisters on my feet have not gotten any better. To be honest, it wasn’t that easy to find good bandages. At least if you don’t know what to look for – most band-aids in the US just don’t stick properly.

After bulk shopping at Walmart (yes, you can buy guns in a regular supermarket – see photo gallery) we drive together to Trailangel Laura (Pancakes) where Rabbit Rabbit, Mockingjay and Oilking have been staying and we all say goodbye to Ken and Barb.

Before heading back to the trail, we all want to fill our bellies and visit the Mexican restaurant “Casa Corona“. Here we have large portions and ice cold beer. After the meal we hitchhike back to Walker Pass.

Day 60: an unexpected restday

Day: June 04, 2019
Distance: 0 mi, 0 km
Cumulative:651.3 mi, 1,048.16 km

I set the alarm clock early, because my blisters haven’t improved and I will walk slower than the others. I therefore pack everything together and am ready to start around 06:30.

All of a sudden the trailangel “Hobo Joe” stands in front of me and asks me with an embarrassed smile if I would like to have a breakfast with fried eggs and a freshly brewed coffee. I can’t resist say “YES” and drink my first Irish Coffee point 07:00.

I won’t walk a meter this day and I’m in good company. We all decide to relax, drink beer, eat ice cream and play games. It’s pure magic and we enjoy the restday before we “really” do the last stretch to Kennedy Meadows, the official end of the desert.

Day 61: Worrying about my feet

Day: June 05, 2019
Distance: 21.5 mi, 34.6 km
Cumulative: 672.8 mi, 1082.76 km

I start this morning together with Seashells. We are the slowest and want to build up some lead. It goes directly over Walker Pass and then a 10 km steep climb uphill.

At the top, we take a break and are already caught up by Lawrence of Cascadia, Oilking, Rabbit Rabbit and Mockingjay. After continuing, I fall behind. My blisters hurt incredibly and I have to stop several times to fix my feet. In this area it is not so easy – there is no water to wash the wounds.

I make slow progress that day and struggle up the last climb to the camp spot. Arriving at the camp, I take off my shoes and take a look at my blisters, which raises doubts. I don’t know what to think of the sores. They are dirty and full of sand.

I limp over to Lawrence of Cascadia and ask him what he thinks and if it could be something worse. He looks at me and just says curtly, “No man, it’s OK!” I can see in his eyes that he is concerned and it probably looks worse than I want to admit. 

Day 62: A small miracle

Day: June 06, 2019
Distance: 20.7 mi, 33.3 km
Cumulative: 693.5 mi, 1116.08 km

It’s an early start again this morning and it’s the penultimate stage before Kennedy Meadows. My feet are bad and every step is pure pain. It takes me almost 4 hours for the first 6 miles (about 10 km) and it’s all downhill. It is a pure fight with my body and myself in the middle of an unreal and inhospitable area. 11:00 a.m. I arrive at Chimney Creek and can’t believe my luck. The small creek has running and clean water.

As the sun burns down on me I sit down in the shade of a tree and decide to take a long break and get some treatment. I look for my bandages and walk to the water. A stone at the edge serves as a seat for me and I begin to wash my wounds. It takes a while until they are washed and delighted I realize that nothing could penetrate the deeper skin layers. I look contented at pink flesh and am ready to care for my feet.

With a lot of sense and attention, I start the procedure. After an hour, my feet are so heavily taped with band-aids and tape that I can theoretically hike all the way to Kennedy Meadows and not have to do anything to my feet. Then I allow myself another hour break in the shade and sleep.

Around 01:30 p.m. I am ready to start and it feels better. The pain in my feet is tolerable and it is a marked improvement from the morning. The last steep climb to Kennedy Meadows lies ahead of me.

After a few hours it starts to thunder and I get caught in a hailstorm. At that moment, I think only of my feet and hope that the bandages will hold and not soften. As if in a trance, I run up the mountain and through the hailstorm. At the top I take another break and dry my clothes. Then it goes downhill into the valley.

When I arrive at the first camp spot, I see Oilking, Rabbit Rabbit and Mockingjay who have already pitched their tents. I decide to walk on. I have no pain in my feet right now and want to walk as far as possible. Furthermore, I don’t know what my feet will look like the next morning.

It is dark when I arrive in the valley and I set up my tent. After this hard morning I am glad to have come so far and it resembles a small miracle. Tomorrow it goes to Kennedy Meadows and there are only 8 miles to hike.

Day 63: Arrival at Kennedy Meadows and a serious group talk.

Day: June 07, 2019
Distance: 8.7 mi, 14 km
Cumulative: 702.2 mi, 1130.1 km

The next morning I wake up a little later and eat a snack. My feet still hurt, but they feel better. Then Oilking, Rabbit Rabbit and Mockingjay come by. Biskit also shows up, having slept behind a bush just 20 meters away from me. We all head out to Kennedy Meadows.

The 8.7 miles (about 14 km) are endless and the distance seems like an eternity. Nevertheless, we reach Kennedy Meadows around noon, arrive together and, like all hikers, are greeted with a thunderous applause. The first thing we order is beer and something to eat.

The last weeks were not easy to hike and also in our group there were tensions. Many hikers hike in groups, but there are also many hikers who want to hike alone. I definitely belong to the first category.

For me, hiking in a group is more comfortable, offers security and, above all, you have more fun in the group. You enter into a kind of relationship with your trail family, where you trust each other and can count on each other. However, as in any relationship, things can get complicated and that is also true on the PCT. On the PCT, there is also a simple reason for this:

Everyone in a trail family is pushing their limits every day, hungry, tired, has aches and pains and expectations of themselves and the trail. The result is that in a group you have to make many compromises and sometimes feel misunderstood or not heard. This is also the case with us.

After a few beers with Mockingjay, Rabbit Rabbit and Oilking, Mockingjay finally said “We need to talk before we go on to the Sierra!”. An announcement that had it all. What everyone was lugging around in addition to their backpack weight was put on the table. Everything unspoken was said and at the same time we were able to tell each other as a group why we wanted to hike together.

It was liberating and good for us as a trail family. In the end we could say one thing with certainty, “When things get serious, we bust our asses for each other.”


Conclusion

The ninth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over. My feet still hurt, but we arrived at Kennedy Meadows. The group is speaking out and licking its wounds. In the next few days we will be heading to the high mountains – the Sierra Nevada. Be curious how it goes on.

If you liked this article, I’m happy about a like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I look forward to your comments.

Greetings, Martin

PCT Week 8 – Tehachapi Mile 550 to Mile 618

PCT Week 8 – Tehachapi Mile 550 to Mile 618

The eighth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and has been marked by indescribable trail magic, pain and intense dreams that raise questions about the trail. I hiked from Tehachapi at Mile 550 to Mile 618 somewhere in the desert. You can read all about what happened in this article. If you missed the contribution of the seventh week, click here for the article: PCT Week 7.

Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 8

November 10, 2019 2:00 pm
  • Distance 102 km
  • Time 25 h 32 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 1148 m
  • Peak 2070 m
  • Climb 3272 m
  • Descent 3770 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

Day 50: On my way to Tehachapi 

Day: May 25th 2019
Distance: 8 mi, 12,8 km
Accumulated: 558 mi, 892.8 km

In the morning the sun shines and we dry our clothes which are still wet from the previous day and night. Afterwards it goes 8 miles downhill to the road to Tehachapi.

José is already waiting on the highway and wants to drive us in his car to Tehachapi. “I have to go to work in 45 minutes and I wanted to do something good first.” This Trailangel work on the PCT is unbelievably great. Thank you José!

In Tehachapi José takes us to the Hiker point “Wits’ End”, where we are greeted by Dalton. We’re trying to figure out where to spend the night. However, since Memorial Day is imminent, the search is not so easy.

Suddenly Rachel and her daughter Tela are standing in the room. Rachel also gives us tips for accommodation and restaurants. As we are on our way to the next restaurant, Tela comes running after us and says “You can all sleep with us. We have a big house and enough space.” Wow, more Trailmagic. Rabbit Rabbit, Mockingjay, Seashells, Lawrence of Cascadia, OilKing and me (six Hikers) have a bed.

After a visit at the local bakery, the Thai restaurant “Thai Hatchape” and the supermarket we go to Rachel and Telas place, where we are greeted by Rachel’s husband Ian, the three dogs Benjamin, Hawthorn and Olli, as well as the cat Windy and the chicken Mrs. Maybell. Next we shower, wash our clothes and then eat something. We all get beautiful onesies as loaner clothes so we don’t have to walk around the apartment naked.

Day 51 & 52: Two unplanned rest days in Tehachapi

Day: May 26th and 27th 2019
Distance: 0 mi, 0 km
Accumulated: 558 mi, 892.8 km

The next morning there is a storm warning for the Tehachapi area with strong winds. Rachel says immediately: “During this weather you will not go on the trail for the next two days. It’s too dangerous.” There’s no objection from our side.

Afterwards we drive to the supermarket to shop to plan the next part on the PCT to Walker Pass. We also pack all food packages for the Sierra, as the resupply in Kennedy Meadows can be very expensive.

In the evening, Rachel cooks Mac and Cheese for us. This is an US American food almost all children in the USA grow up and love it. After our first experiences with Mac and Cheese on the trail of the companies Kraft, Annie’s, Knorr and Co we are not really convinced. But Rachel changes our minds very quickly.

Afterwards friends of Ian and Rachel come to visit us and we celebrate a fantastic evening at the campfire with guitar, banjo and music.

The next day we just sit in front of the TV and watch movies, “Game of Thrones” and relax.

Day 53: Back on the PCT

Day: May 28th 2019
Distance: 6,4 mi, 10,24 km
Accumulated: 572 mi, 916.64 km

In the morning we all have breakfast and decide to go back on the trail as the weather has improved. The second daughter of Rachel and Ian is Emma and makes marshmallows with Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast. Tastes damn good and brings calories into the body.

Afterwards there is a farewell photo and Rachel drives us back to the trail. Many thanks to Rachel and her family for your Trailmagic. It was just beautiful with you guys!

Back on the trail it goes steeply uphill after a flat piece. The wind on the mountain is so strong, you can hardly get ahead. I can’t imagine how strong the wind blows in stormy weather and I’m glad I sat out the storm.

After 6.4 miles I find a protected campground and decide to wait for the others. The wind on the mountain is so strong and cold that I can hardly feel my fingers despite my gloves. The others arrive at the campground totally exhausted and frozen and are happy to set up their tent. OilKing was faster on this day and walked on to the next campground.

Day 54: A long day on the PCT

Day: May 29th 2019
Distance: 20 mi, 32 km
Accumulated: 592.9 mi, 948.64 km

The weather is good and after the rest days in Tehachapi I hoped that my blisters on both feet would get better. However, after a few miles I notice new blisters and increasing pain. On this day I arrived very late at the campground and immediately treated my feet.

Day 55: Long Breaks and Pain

Day: May 30th 2019
Distance: 9,2 mi, 14,72 km
Accumulated: 602.1 mi, 963.36 km

In the morning I walk the first 6 miles without a break and then have breakfast with Mockingjay and Rabbit Rabbit. Seashells and OilKing are added shortly afterwards. Lawrence of Cascadia has slept a little longer and follows. The breakfast was good, but I can hardly walk afterwards. The blisters on my feet just hurt too much.

I decide not to run a long distance that day and set up my tent at Robin Bird Spring with Lawrence of Cascadia and Seashells. The new shoes were a clear mistake and I will have to change my hiking strategy in the next few days.

Day 56: The strength is to be found in serenity

Day: May 31st 2019
Distance: 15,6 mi, 24,96 km
Accumulated: 617.7 mi, 988.32 km

On this day I decide to start earlier and begin around 6:00 to catch up with the others. OilKing has a package in Onyx and must be there before the weekend. Rabbit Rabbit and Mockingjay also walked a few miles further than me the night before.

Around 11:00 I catch up with them and we walk on after a short break. The part before us is notorious and feared in hot years. There are hardly any water sources and almost no shade. I’ll take as much water as I can. In this case it means 5 litres of water.

I walk relaxed to spare my feet. During the lunch break I stare into the sky for hours and watch the clouds. I’m thinking about a dream last night: I am sitting at the airport in Germany and am looking forward to the PCT, but I haven’t started yet.

As I watch the clouds I wonder why my subconscious thinks I am still in Germany after 7 weeks on the PCT. It feels like I haven’t arrived on the trail yet.
At this moment, for the first time, I am asking myself how I would like to walk the Pacific Crest Trail.


The eighth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over. My feet hurt and I am uncertain about the further course of the trail. It still goes on on the PCT and you can be curious.

If you liked this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I look forward to your comments.

Greetings, Martin

PCT Week 7 – Hiker Heaven until shortly before Tehachapi

PCT Week 7 – Hiker Heaven until shortly before Tehachapi

The seventh week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and it went from Hiker Heaven at mile 455 to shortly before Tehachapi at mile 550. You’ll find out what happened in PCT Week 7 this post. If you missed the sixth week’s contribution, here is the link to the article: PCT Week 6.

Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 7

November 10, 2019 12:10 pm
  • Distance 150 km
  • Time 37 h 28 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 772 m
  • Peak 1916 m
  • Climb 4404 m
  • Descent 3260 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

Day 43: It pinches in the shoe

Day: May 18th 2019
Distance: 11 mi, 17,6 km
Accumulated: 465 mi, 744 km

In the morning we take our time before we leave Hiker Heaven. A great place and also the Hiker Heaven dogs are sad that we go. But before we leave Agua Dulce, we have breakfast again.

On the way we don’t get far, because we meet other hikers who are celebrating the Norwegian Independence Day. You don’t get champagne in the desert every day. So we sit down and have a drink.

Afterwards it goes a few miles further and I notice how my new shoes press. I hope that they only have to be break in properly, but in the evening I see a blister on the ball of my foot in the tent. Let’s see how that develops.

Day 44: Arrival at Casa de Luna

Day: May 19th 2019
Distance: 13 mi, 20,8 km
Accumulated: 478 mi, 764.8 km

The next day we start again early and our destination of the day is “Casa de Luna“. A place, similar to Hiker Heaven, for Hikers to relax, recover and recharge their batteries. The way is relatively unspectacular on this day and I am more busy with my blisters on my feet than with the surroundings.

During a break we all relax and I make tea for us. When Nils turns around, he accidentally pushes the tea pot around and the almost boiling hot water splashes on my stomach. A hellish pain flows through me and I see the skin coming off the flesh at a small spot. Lila gives me first aid and special ointment. A big band-aid covers the wound. Now I hope the whole thing doesn’t get infected and we keep going.

Arrived at Casa de Luna, each of us will receive a Hawaii shirt. That’s an obligation for every hiker. The trailangel “Hooshodady” (Who’s your dady) gives us a briefing. Besides many familiar faces I also see many new hikers in Casa de Luna and look forward to dinner.

Last but not least all hikers have to do an improvised dance to get a “Hiker to Town” Bandana. This Bandana is a popular souvenir from the PCT. Afterwards I go into my sleeping bag.

Day 45: An unplanned rest day

Day: May 20th 2019
Distance: 0 mi, 0 km
Accumulated: 478 mi, 764.8 km

The next morning I wake up in my tent and it rains cats and dogs. Many hikers take down their tents and drive to a hotel, others do not even get out of their tents.

I go to breakfast and see Lila, Débo and Nils sitting in a sofa. Our unanimous decision: we are not going on the trail today. Instead we decid to go to Lancester to the cinema.

Since the others want to watch a scary movie, I’m out. Scary movies are not for me and the other movies are also not first class. I relax with a coffee and a good internet connection at Starbucks next to the cinema.

In the evening in the tent I look at my burn wound on my stomach and am satisfied. It still hurts like hell, but it has not become inflamed and seems to heal well. Lucky.

Day 46: My blisters are getting worse

Day: May 21th 2019
Distance: 18 mi, 28,8 km
Accumulated: 496 mi, 793.6 km

The next morning the weather looks better again and we start walking. When the sun breaks through, the opportunity is used to dry all things. Nils finds huge fir cones on this day and is thrilled.

In the evening I have quite a lot of pain on both foot pads. Thick blisters have formed and I try to treat them as good as possible. I had no problems with my other Altra shoes. I shouldn’t have changed the model.

Day 47: 500 miles and a bizarre arrival in Town

Day: May 22th 2019
Distance: 21 mi, 33,6 km
Accumulated: 517 mi, 827.2 km

It’s foggy in the morning and we start early. Today more water has to be carried because there is a warning for a water tank. A bear fell into the water tank and drowned. I meet Matt later and he confirms that it smelled disgusting out of the water tank: “There was definitely something big dead in it.” The alternative water tank is a bit provisional but it fulfils its purpose.

After four miles we reach the 500 mile mark and have breakfast. I take the opportunity and look after my blisters. Still painful and no improvement. I decide to walk slower to get to Hiker Town. A good opportunity to enjoy the great views.

Arrival in Hiker Town

Once we get to Hiker Town, we won’t find anybody. Hiker Town is a kind of “Western town” in the old style where Hikers can sleep. But the town seems extinct. Three cats greet us and a gentleman in a leather jacket comes from a garage. “It’s all booked out, but I can call you a shuttle to take you to the cafe.” A car with hikers comes around the corner, “Ahhh there’s the shuttle already.” The man turns around and wants to leave. When I ask him who’s driving us, he looks a little annoyed and says: “You’re driving yourselves. You can drive, can’t you?”

Nils sits behind the wheel, Lila and Débo in the back seat, me in the passenger seat. It feels like the car could fall apart at any time. It wouldn’t stand a chance with the German TÜV. The man watches as Nils tries to start the car. Strangled… again, it works. The man still shouts: “Follow the road for four miles and turn left! You’re almost out of gas. I hope it still goes that far. Oh, and the battery won’t last much longer. You’ll manage somehow. Good luck!”

After a few minutes we arrive somehow and with a lot of luck at the café, which is café, supermarket, gas station and town hall in one. There’s beer and hot food here. It’s KingOlli’s birthday today, it needs to be celebrated. At the end we sleep with about 10 other hikers on the floor in the town hall office because a stormy night was predicted and tents were not recommended. Sometimes it can be that simple.

Day 48: The Los Angeles Aqueduct

Day: May 23th 2019
Distance: 17 mi, 27,2, km
Accumulated: 533 mi, 852.8 km

The storm of the night is over, but the weather forecast promises nothing good. Many hikers decide to take 2 days off until the weather has improved. After a good breakfast we decide, despite the bad weather forecast, to go on the trail. At the moment the sun is shining, there is a light wind and the temperature is 6° C (43°F). It’s pretty cold for this time of year. Normally this section is run at night, as temperatures can rise to over 43°C (110°F) during the day and there are hardly any shade places.

Jukebox at the Los Angeles Aqueduct

Jukebox at the Los Angeles Aqueduct

So we leave around 11.00 a.m. and reach our camp spot around 7:00 p.m. The path is somehow monotonous, but I still enjoy it, because you can walk easily and don’t have to pay attention with every step.

Day 49: The storm is approaching – PCT Day 49

Day: May 24th 2019
Distance: 17 mi, 27,2, km
Accumulated: 550 mi, 880 km

In the morning we walk a few more miles along the Los Angeles Aqueduct, past a large wind farm into the mountains, which are trapped in dark clouds.

I put on my rain jacket early because I have the feeling it could rain anytime. After a longer break at a small stream the weather changes. Thick fog comes up and it begins to hail, rain and storm. The weather report was right.

I run as fast as I can and arrive at camp. I set up my tent, slip into my sleeping bag and hope that I don’t freeze at night. The humidity is at a perceived 100% and it’s damn cold. Tomorrow we go to the city of Tehachapi, where we plan a rest day.


The seventh week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and the weather was again not optimal. It still goes on, on the PCT and you can be curious. Here it goes directly to PCT Week 8.

If you liked this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I look forward to your comments.

Best greetings, Martin

PCT Week 6 – From Wrightwood to Hiker Heaven

PCT Week 6 – From Wrightwood to Hiker Heaven

The sixth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and it has gone from Wrightwood from mile 372 to Hiker Heaven at mile 455. What happened in PCT week 6 you can read in this article. If you missed the fifth week’s contribution, click here to go to the article: PCT week 5.

Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 6

November 9, 2019 2:42 pm
  • Distance 127 km
  • Time 31 h 49 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 676 m
  • Peak 2778 m
  • Climb 4381 m
  • Descent 5879 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

Day 36: Mount Baden Powell

Day: May 10th 2019
Distance: 12 mi, 19,2 km
Accumulated: 384 mi, 614.4 km

Today we climb Mount Baden Powell. A change in the weather has been announced although everything still looks good when the tent is dismantled. A wall of fog approaches and devours us in one go. It starts to rain and the ascent to the top of the mountain in the snow is murderous. Without microspikes it is almost impossible to climb up the mountain. The following video was recorded by David “Biscuit” on the same day. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
Sieh dir diesen Beitrag auf Instagram an
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Ein Beitrag geteilt von David Turzynski (@david_turzynski) am

I arrive at the top of the mountain and freeze. Quickly take a souvenir photo and a short small talk with two local day hikers. Normally you can see from here to L.A., today the visibility is unfortunately at zero.

I want to get off as soon as possible because it’s freezing cold. In a small group it goes downhill. It’s very icy and dangerous, you can’t see or guess the way. One time I slip. It’s all happening so fast, I can’t react, slide over a rock and through snow. After four metres I am stopped by a young tree and come to a standstill – luckily.

I’m in a little shock. A wrong step can have fatal consequences here. I climb back on the path and the others help me. After more miles and a short detour we arrive at Little Jimmy Campground completely exhausted. I’m trying to make a fire with Nils (OilKing) in vain. The wood’s too wet. To top it all off, it’s starting to rain cats and dogs. Everyone crawls into their tents and tries to stay warm somehow. A cold, wet and exhausting day comes to an end.

Day 37: The day after the rainy night

Day: May 11th 2019
Distance: 17 mi, 27,2 km
Accumulated: 401 mi, 641.6 km

The next morning we start early. It’s raining and everything, really everything’s wet. To get going we start the day with a few warm-up exercises. Yoga in the rain at 3°C. Then it starts. After a steep ascent the sun comes out and we decide to dry our clothes on an empty parking lot.

Other hikers join us. The local sheriff stops briefly, inquires whether everyone is well and continues amused. He’s shouting out of his car: “Looks like a yard sale, hahaha.” Everyone’s mood rises again and everyone tells how they survived the night. Lila (Rabitt Rabbit) must have had it worst. She tells how she leaked the Camelbag in her tent the night before and emptied the tent with her tea cup. Outside icy cold and rain, in the tent icy cold and swimming pool – no fun.

After everything is dry we continue on the country road. The PCT is closed in this area for nature conservation reasons. Back on the trail, it starts hailing. The hailstones have a diameter of almost 0.6 mm and I notice them through three layers of clothes on my skin. The weather wasn’t on our side. We’ll pass the 400 mile mark and stop the next campground. A small fire brings the day to a good end.

Day 38: Bear Training and Trailmagic

Day: May 12th 2019
Distance: 17,5 mi, 28, km
Accumulated: 418.5 mi, 669.6 km

In the morning it starts again early. To warm up, we do bear-thaibox-training with a tree. Our kick and punch techniques are very promising.

After a small breakfast I immerse myself in an audio book on Audible: “Tylor Hamilton, The Secret Race*“, which fascinates me. Those who followed the “Tour de France” in the 90s and 2000s will devour this book and see cycling with different eyes.

In the evening almost everyone lies very early in the tents and is ko. A truck with three people stops in the parking lot at dusk and the driver shouts: “Is anyone still awake? We have a cake,”. Everyone climb out of their tents and enjoy the Trailmagic. There’s nothing more beautiful.

Day 39: Bees on the Pacific Crest Trail

Day: May 13th 2019
Distance: 17,5 mi, 28 km
Accumulated: 436 mi, 697.6 km

On this day there are a lot of bees to see on the PCT and some hikers get stung. I’m lucky and decide to put on my fly net for lunch as a result. Safe is safe.

In the afternoon I hear the audiobook again and reach the campsite a little later than the others. On the campground there is a ranger who sells soft drinks. I’m going to get me a Coke, a Fanta and a Sprite. I’m in the mood for all tastes. Even if the campsite is directly below the power lines, which are loud as hell, I sleep well. I just imagine it’s the sound of the ocean.

Day 40: On the way to Hiker Heaven

Day: May 14th 2019
Distance: 18,5 mi, 29,6 km
Accumulated: 454.5 mi, 727.2 km

Our destination today is Hiker Heaven in Agua Dulce. A place of Trailangels for hikers to rest and recharge their batteries. But before you get there, you’ll be passing through breathtaking nature and the Vasquez Rocks Country Park.

The Vasquez Rocks Country Park has special rock formations that serve as backdrops in many films. These included Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and the Bonanza series.

Arrived in Agua Dulce we go to a Mexican restaurant and fill our stomachs. For dessert, four of us treat ourselves to 1.5 litres of ice cream. The motto is: replenish calories. Arrived in Hiker Heaven we see many familiar faces again and relax at the campfire.

Day 41 & 42: Rest days in Hiker Heaven

Day: May 15th and 16th 2019
Distance: 0 mi, 0 km
Accumulated: 454.5 mi, 727.2 km

Two rest days are planned, because the weather forecast shows a lot of rain in the following days. This is not so optimal. On the first rest day, equipment and food resupply are on the schedule. With an Uber we drive to the north of L.A. for 40$ and enter a REI Store (Outdoor Shop).

I get new shoes and two pairs of socks, Nils needs a new backpack and also Lila and Débo get things they have to renew. Afterwards a friendly American drives us to an electric market from where we simply come to a supermarket to buy food for the next days. In the evening we cook delicious food again in Hiker Heaven and let the day end.

The second day is very simple. We just rest, play guitar, watch movies or do yoga. The weeks end on a rainy day in total relaxation.


The sixth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and ends quietly in Hiker Heaven. Be curious what happens next. Here it goes directly to PCT week 7.

If you liked this article, I’m happy about a Like, a heart or a smile on your face. If you have questions, suggestions or criticism, I look forward to your comments.

Best regards, Martin

PCT Week 5 – From Big Bear to Wrightwood

PCT Week 5 – From Big Bear to Wrightwood

The fifth week on the Pacific Crest Trail is over and I had my first border experiences. PCT Week 5 went from Big Bear Mile 284 to Wrightwood Mile 372. If you missed the fourth week’s contribution, here’s the link to the article: PCT week 4.

Map – Pacific Crest Trail Week 5

October 27, 2019 6:07 pm
  • Distance 136 km
  • Time 34 h 6 min
  • Speed 4.0 km/h
  • Min altitude 907 m
  • Peak 2571 m
  • Climb 3997 m
  • Descent 3900 m
  • Distance Instructions
Label

Day 29: The 300 miles mark in sight

Day: May 3rd 2019
Distance: 17 mi, 27,2 km
Accumulated: 301 mi, 481.6 km

The next morning we check the campground for traces, but find nothing useful. The night is still in the bones and Nils is not sure which animal growled in front of his tent. So we’re back on the trail.

A few miles after the first break, I bend my right ankle and collapse in pain. The other questions are if everything’s okay, and I’m mumbling it’s okay. I get up and I still feel the pain. Nothing’s broken, but it feels sprained. I’m walking slowly. After further miles I arrive at a stream with good current. Lila and Débo are taking a break. I sit down and put my swollen foot in the ice-cold water.

The pain’s going down and I’m trying my best on the trail. At the Deep Creek Bridge, Nils and I walk on. Lila and Débo stay there to camp. I need a good day’s end because my foot still hurts. My reward: the 300-mile mark on the PCT. After we have reached them, we look for a camp spot and I fall asleep satisfied.

Day 30: Wellness Day at the Hots Springs

Day: May 4th 2019
Distance: 12 mi, 19,2 km
Accumulated: 313 mi, 500.8 km

Today is a relaxed day, because the Deep Creek Hot Springs are on the agenda. The Hot Springs are natural springs with hot water and a popular excursion destination. However, 8 miles must be covered first.

Lila and Débo catch up with Nils and me at the campground and around 11 am we take a first break at a paradisiacal place with river and small waterfalls. The sun burns down on us and I don’t hesitate a second: Clothes off and into the cold water. A good refreshment and I let the sun dry me afterwards on a big stone. I am as relaxed as on a wellness day with sauna visit. Around 1:00 p.m. we continue in the direction of Hot Springs.

Arrived at the Hot Springs I am more than happy to have bathed before. Lots of people, garbage everywhere and turds of toilet paper in the bushes. I let the others go to the Hot Springs, find a spot on the beach and decide to sleep. The other three inspect the Hot Springs and are thrilled. I’ll pass… After a few hours of relaxation, we are back on the PCT.

There is another fantastic sunset to see and we camp on the beach of the Mojave River Forks dam. Nils and I do cowboycamping, Lila and Débo pitch their tents.

Day 31: Silverwood Lake

Day: May 5th 2019
Distance: 15,1 mi, 24,16 km
Accumulated: 328.1 mi, 524.96 km

Today we go along Silverwood Lake. A reservoir with beautiful beaches, which are however littered with garbage. Anyway, we’ll take a long break and relax by the lake.

A campsite is located directly at Silverwood Lake and we decide to camp there. The highlight of the campground: you can order pizza. $40 for a pizza and a six-pack of Bud Light… you only live once.