Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Barrel Springs to Warner Springs. 8 miles, 109 miles total.

Staying at the Warner Springs Resort and Spa. What a great place!

Warner Springs Resort is a private resort with a very nice set of pools. One of the pools is heated with a hot spring, and they keep it at 104 degrees. 12 of us all met for dinner at the lodge. We had great fun playing shuffle board after dinner, and there was still time to take one more soak in the pool.

The resort is very friendly towards PCT hikers. If it is not a weekend, they even have special low rates for PCT hikers, which is very nice.

Steve and Jane plan to stay one more day at the resort, so I plan to get an early start. I shared a room with Patrick from Hawaii.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Granite Mountain to Barrel Springs. 20 miles, 101 miles total.

This is a photo of Catipiller and Landshark. I haven't seen them in a while, and I'm sure they are ahead of me. If I'm lucky, I'll see them at Auga Dulce.

I got an early start this morning, and the hiking was fairly easy. I had a hard time keeping up with Steve and Jane. They both have very long legs, and they walk fast with their treking poles.

I made it to Barrel Springs and had set up my tent. It started to get cool, so I opted to eat a dry dinner of Beef Jerky and a Clif Bar and crawled into my tent, turning in early. Not too long later, Warner Springs Monty came by anouncing that anyone wanting to go to his place for the night, sleeping indoors and using his shower, was welcome to join him. It sounded like a very sweet offer, and two of us decided to go. Along the way, we picked up two more hikers at Scissors Crossing, so there were 4 of us "wayward hikers" camped at Monty's place.

Monty had prepared a wonderful dinner of BBQ Pork Ribs, baked potatoes, green salad, etc. By that point, the hot food was a welcome treat.

Monty shared with us that he was in charge of 2,000 meals at the ADZPCTKO the following weekend, and he hoped that some of us would consider going to the Kick-Off and helping out. I had been planing on going to the Kick-Off, even before I left Oregon, but now that I've been on the trail for a while, it seems difficult to go all the way back to Lake Morena.

Friday April 18, 2008

Scissor Crossing to Granite Mountain. 4 miles of hiking, 81 miles total.

Dave Smothers at julian Pie Company downloaded my photos to CD's. That was great. I was able to send them home and erase the 2 gig chip in my camera.

I lost one of my sandels on the trail. I was hoping that Glen might find it and bring it along, but he didn't see it. I wasn't going to carry just one sandel, so I threw the one I had away. I'll get another pair later.

Julian is famous for it's Apple Pie, and let me assure you, it was VERY GOOD!

There is a bus that runs from Julian back to Scissor's Crossing, but it doesn't leave until about 4:00 p.m. I wanted to get an earlier start back on the trail, so I hitched a ride. It didn't take too long to catch a ride by the Post Office. Small towns near the trail seem to be aware of the needs of PCT hikers.

Once on the trail, I was able to hike about 4 miles before I found a nice place to camp. Later, Steve and Jane (they took the bus) hiked by and decided to camp near me. It was nice to see them again.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Thursday, April 17, 2008.

Oriflamme Canyon to Scissor Crossing. 21 miles, 77 miles total.

I really wanted to go to the town of Julian, California, about 12 miles off the trial, so I got a very early start, just after 6:00 a.m. Glen wasn't so quick to get up, so I headed out alone.

It was a long day, but I think I did fairly well. I tried to hitch hike for about 45 minutes, and no one seemed interested in giving me a ride. An older couple were there with a horse. The husband is planning on riding the PCT on his horse starting in a few days, and they were going that direction, so they gave me a ride to Julian and dropped me off at a motel. It was great to talk with them, and I hope the will plan to come up to Oregon sometime so we can meet again. I'm sure he'll pass me on the trail at some point down.

I had a nice Beef Rib dinner and a slice of apple pie. This town is famous for it's apple pies. It's a fun town with lots of little shops.

I did have some bad news on the trail. Somewhere along the way, I lost one of my sandals. I was really disappointed. I was hoping that Glen might spot it and remember that it was mine, but he didn't see it, so I'm throwing the one I have away, and I'll try to buy a new pair somewhere down the trail.

I also saw Steve and Jane again. They were staying at the Julian Lodge also. They told me that there is a shuttle bus back to the PCT in the afternoon, so I'll plan to ride it with them back to the trail, and then hopefully hike an hour or two before camping for the night.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Mt. Laguna to Oriflamme Canyon. 13 miles, 56 miles total.

I had an easy time getting 10 miles to Pioneer Mail Picnic Area. There was water there, and some toilets. I spept for a while when Glen showed up. Heinz also came back to his camper van. Heinz is an 80 year old hiker from Europe. He likes to come to the USA twice a year. We had a great time talking about hiking and traveling.

Glen and I both fixed dinner, and then hiked about 3 more miles before finding a place to camp for the night. My new light weight gear is working out GREAT!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 TAX DAY!

Kitchen Creek Road to Mt. Laguna. 11 miles, 43 miles total.

I was up and on the trail by 6:30 a.m. this morning. It doesn't take near as long to get packed up and going as it did on the bike. I'm not exactly sure why that is.

The weather was much cooler today. That's a good thing. It's been farily hot and dry here in Southern California. I went to the general store for some supplies, some post cards and stamps, and some food. It was a great store. They had some rooms available, but I decided to hike about a mile or so to find a place to camp along the trail. I'll do that most of the time now, and will only stay in a motel if there is no other option or I feel like I just need a shower!

It was windy during the night, but the place I set up my tent had some shrubs on both sides of me, so the wind wasn't as bad as if I'd been out in the open.

The guy at the store said that it would be down into the the 30's during the night, but my new sleeping bag is doing a great job of keeping me nice and warm at night.

Monday, April 14, 2008

If you are checking my blog everyday to see if I've made any up-dates, you'll be happy to discover that I actally went back all the way to April 2, 2008, so flip back to see the text that I've added. Sorry to have to jump around, but there aren't always libraries when I need them, and often I only get 1 hour per visit.

Lake Morena Camp Ground to Kitchen Creek Road. 11 miles, 32 miles total.

(Please note that I've started the mileage counter back at zero for the hike, so to get my total miles, remember to add the 3,070 miles from the bike ride from Florida to California.)

I took it really slow today, and I didn't have any problems. The water is better today as well. Wind, Water and Food are the three biggest issues right now.

I found a nice place to camp on a ridge, and I turned in early. It was a little windy, but my new tent is doing well in the wind. I slept pretty good, and was able to get up and get an early start.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Taking a zero day (no hiking) at Lake Morena today. I'll hitch hike into El Cajon and find my way to a REI store or some other outfitter to get lighter gear.

On the trolley headed for the #25 bus, I saw a large tent that was set up on the top of a building, so I decided to get off and go check it out. I was hoping that they might also have some light camping gear. The store was called "Adventure 16", and the staff there was really awesome! Martha was a valuable resource, and Bryan also helped to pick out some of my new gear. I decided to send about 90% of my stuff back to Oregon and start fresh with lighter gear! All my original gear was old, heavy and in some cases, worn out. It was time to up-grade!

My list of new stuff included a pack, a sleeping bag, and sleeping pad, shoes, socks, long johns, shorts, and a tent. Then, Martha offered to give me a ride back out to Lake Morena (about a 30 minute drive or so), and to take my old stuff to the post office to mail back to Oregon. I can't say enough about how professional, thorough, and they really knew what they were talking about! They saved my life, I'm sure. One more day with my heavy pack would have likely been the end of my hike!

Martha is planning on hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2009! Good luck, Martha! If you are in San Diego and you need some great gear, find the Adventure 16 store and find out for yourself just how great these people are!

I wouldn't be surprised if my total pack weight is now 15 pounds lighter! I even sent home my GPS ... I just didn't want anything that was not absolutely necessary.

I was still a little sore, but I put up my new tent and I slept through the night fairly well at the Lake Morena Campground.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Campo, CA to Lake Morena Camp Ground, CA - 18 miles, 20 miles total.

This was a killer day of hiking! My pack is much too heavy, and my old gear just isn't going to work like I thought it might. I made it to the campground just before dark, and was so glad to get there.

There are about 5 other thru-hikers camped here tonight, and it is great to hear their stories and be encourage by them as well, but most agree that I need lighter gear, so tomorrow, I'll take a zero day and go back to San Diego to get different gear.

Had a nice steak dinner from some other campers that felt sorry for me! It was nice to have a great dinner and not have to cook!

I had really bad cramps in the night, in my hands, arms, legs and feet. I was in great pain! I really didn't know if I was going to make it through the night! I just kept laying there hoping that the Advil will start to kick in soon! I finally got some sleep and rested well most of the night.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Long Beach, CA to Campo, CA. I'm not counting these miles, so the official mileage is at 3,070 at the start of my hike. Going forward, I'll only record the distance hiked, so remember to always add 3,070 to get my total mileage.

After the ship docked back in Long Beach, my pack was waiting for me at the Port of Entry, so I loaded up my gear, shipped back anything that wasn't necessary for the hike, and left for San Diego. I had to take the light rail train from Long Beach to LA, then Amtrak to San Diego, another light rail train to El Cajon, and finally a rural bus route that took over 1 hour to get out to a very rural town called Campo. After some pictures at the beginning of the trail, right on the California-Mexico border, I started hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail. I made it two miles, but at least I was finally on the trail.

Another hiker, Glen, rode the bus with me, and he's going slow like I am, so I think we might see each other a time or two on this trip. He wanted to stay at the border and start in the morning, so off I went. This is the bus driver that took us to Campo.

I hiked two miles, just past the store in Campo, and set up my tent for the night. It was a little bit windy, but not too bad. I can't believe that I'm finally on the PCT!

Monday, April 7, 2008 - Friday, April 11, 2008

From Long Beach, California - Carnival Cruise Lines

I started the day the Long Beach Bike Station, trying to make the arrangements to have my bike shipped back to Oregon. They didn't have any boxes, but they sent me about 2 blocks away to a UPS Store. They were very helpful, and were able to get the bike and some of my gear all boxed up and shipped. It was a great feeling to know that it was all taken care of.

I ended up giving my trailer to the Bike Station. I know that they will put it to good use, and it just wasn't worth the expense to ship it home. I only paid $30 for it at a garage sale, and it was never designed to go more that about 100 miles at best. It did OK going 3,000 miles!

I left this afternoon for a 4 day cruise to Catalina, then to Mexico and back. Great food, wonderful entertainment, very relaxing and enjoyable!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Costa Mesa, CA to Long Beach, CA. 3039 to 3070. 37 miles to the end of the bike portion of my journey.

The first 3 miles took me to Hunnington Beach along the Santa Ana River Bike Trail, and I dipped my front bike tire into the Pacific Ocean! I finally made it coast to coast! Wow!

Then it was an easy ride along the ocean, past Seal Beach to Long Beach.

I stayed at another Vagabond Motel, this time in Long Beach. I tired to stay at an RV Park, but they don't allow tents, only very large motorhomes! For dinner, I walked about 20 blocks to get to a Chinese Restaurant, but it wasn't very good food. I'll try Chinese again soon, and hopefully it will be better!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Redland, CA to Costa Mesa, CA. 2977 to 3039. 62 miles total.

The path along the Santa Ana River was very nice. No road crossings, and even a little remote at times. There were a lot of people on the path, not only on bikes but on roller-blades, walking dogs, and that sort of thing. I felt fairly safe on the trail.

After about 15 miles on the trail, though, there was a missing link. I had to get out on surface streets and try to follow the path of the river. This was a real challange, to say the least. I hear that the local parks authority is trying to complete this trail, and once it is completed, it will be great, but right now, I wouldn't try riding it unless you had a really good map!

I picked up the trail again at Green River Golf Course, and from this point on to Hunnington Beach, the trail was very easy to follow again.

I was hoping to camp one last time on the bike trek, but I just couldn't find a decent place to put my tent. This is a fairly urban area, and I just didn't feel safe in a tent.

I was about 3 miles away from the beach, and it was starting to get dark, so I decided that I should get off the trail and find a motel. I stayed at a Vagabond Motel about 1 mile from the bike path, and had a nice dinner.

In the room next to mine was a Travel Rep from Alaska, and he had a booth set up at a local travel expo in Costa Mesa. We had a nice time talking about travel. I'd love to go and visit Alaska some day soon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Quartzsite, AZ to Redland, CA. 2795 to 2977, 182 miles.

After riding 25 miles in the morning, and crossing into California, I got a flat tire. As I was repairing my tire, a bike rider by the name of Steve came by on his bike and trailer. He was carrying some dead weight in his trailer, preparing for a ride with his uncle from Coos Bay, Oregon back to Southern California. He offered me a ride to Indio, and even though that wasn't the route I was planning on taking, I decided to take him up on his offer of a ride. He had to go to Costco to replace a tire for his truck, and he and his wife were going to go and visit some friends while they were there. They even took their tandem bike along, and there was still plenty of room for my bike and trailer.

After we ate some hot dogs at Costco (waiting for the tire to be replaced), they drove me on to Redland, California, at the start of a great bike trail that follows the Santa Ana River from Redland to Hunnington Beach.

It was getting dark, so I spent the night at the Quality Inn, right next to the start of the trail.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Aguila, AZ to Quartzsite, AZ. 70 miles, 2795 miles total.

Here's the sign for today. It was located just outside the town of Hope, AZ:

I saw almost 50 bike riders today heading East. 44 of them were all in a group called "Wandering Wheels". They are a supported group, and they had a truck, and trailer, and a van. It must be nice not to have to carry your own gear (I wouldn't know!). They were a fun bunch, and one of the riders that I talked to lives near Sisters, Oregon, so that was fun. This group was headed to Georgia.

I still had head winds today, though it was a good day. I got an early start at 7:00 a.m.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Surprise, AZ to Aguila, AZ. 59 miles, 2725 miles total.

Here's the sign for today:

I'm finally catching up with my blog. Sorry for the delay. There haven't always been libraries and computers to use.

I rode 59 miles today. I wanted to ride further, and would have riden after dark with my bike lights, but the strong headwind made it too difficult to ride. I ate dinner at a small cafe, and just couldn't get going again. I rented a motel room next to the cafe for $45. I know that the wind would have blown my tent over if I tried to camp.

There was a great bakery called "Paradise Bakery and Cafe" in Surprise. The food was awesome! If you are ever in the area, make sure you look this place up!

Stopped in Wickenburg for a hamburger and shake for lunch at the Tasty Freeze. This was a nice little town, and I would have enjoyed spending a little more time there. I can sure tell that I'm getting close to the end of the bike ride, though.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008 - April Fools Day

Apache Junction, AZ to Surprise, AZ. 72 miles. 2666 miles total.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Globe, AZ to Apache Junction, AZ. 51 miles. 2594 miles total.

The flowers along side the road have been awesome:

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thatcher, AZ to Globe, AZ. 63 miles. 2543 miles total.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Mule Creek, NM to Thatcher, AZ. 69 miles. 2480 miles total.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Sliver City, NM to Mule Creek, NM. 50 Miles, 2411 miles total.