Saturday, May 24, 2014

3 Days on the PCT

I'm sitting in a pickup truck camper that's on stilts on the property of some desert rat trail angels at the edge of the Mojave Desert. Around me are the storefront remnants of old Hollywood western movie sets - jail, hotel, general store. Apparently the former owner of this property collected these film relics and now the are used as bunk houses for Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hikers for $10 a night. I think I got one of the lamer ones.

Jail. Gun shop. 
Look close to see chickens in the jail. Not sure what they're in for - perhaps they've ruffled feathers by repeatedly breaking a.m. curfew. 

There are about 20 hikers staying here this evening waiting for the sun to set and the desert to cool off because we have a 17-mile hike to the next water source. Then it's 14 miles to the next one. Many of us will make the hike after dark. My plan is to get some sleep until about 2am and then hit the trail because I'm still recovering from today's hike. Everyone else here is hiking the entire length of the PCT from Mexico to Canada and they all have a month of hiking and 500 miles under their conditioned feet. My feet are still getting broken in so I've done three 15-mile days so far. 

After I get through the desert I'll start climbing into the mountains -- the real reason I'm out here. 

So far things are going well. I've been taking frequent foot rest breaks and limiting myself to 15-mile days based I. The advice of everyone on the trail. Almost everyone has had blisters and other foot ailments that sometimes lead to knee and hip and shin issues. So I'm trying to allow my feet to get used to the mileage. I've had one blister, but treated I this morning and it's feeling better. 

My body isn't needing as much food as I planned on and, from what the others are saying, it's probably because I'm able to burn through some body fat until that gets more depleted. In a few weeks I'll likely be chowing many more calories. 

The terrain has been sandy soil on rolling hills with scrub trees and bushes. Parts of the trail have been closed due to active fires and to the aftermath of last years fires where firefighting techniques destroyed sections of trail. 

Last night I cowboy camped (no tent) for the first time and it was a beautiful night. 

This photo is of the home of one of the trail angels along the route. Trail angels are people who live near the trail and open their homes to dirty hikers. This one pictures hosts about 30 hikers each night for the high season that lasts a few weeks and is occurring now. 

Beautiful morning mountain fog the other day...

That's it for now. Early to bed, early to rise. 

1 comment:

Karin said...

Glad to hear all is well!!