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Cajolley - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2008

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Entry 49 of 148
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Miss Potatohead
City: Portland
State: OR
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 29, 2008
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, May 29th, 2008
Start: Mile 454.4--The Saufleys'
End: Mile 478.6--Casa de Luna
Daily Distance: 24.2
Trip Distance: 502.8
Hours Hiked: 11
Daily Ascent: 2430
Daily Descent: 2170
Min Elevation: 2530
Max Elevation: 4555

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 517
Journal Visits: 62,367
Guestbook Views: 3,996
Guestbook Entrys: 23

Gear list

Pacific Crest Trail Map

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(Click image for full size)


View over Agua Dulce

Reunion on the trail

Today I tried slack-packing for the first time. Yesterday a group from the Saufleys' dropped off most of our gear at the Andersons', 24 miles ahead. I kept my pack, sleeping bag, a little food and a few other necessities, plus plenty of water bottles. All in all, my pack weight was probably cut by two-thirds--and it felt awesome. I left after my trail buddies of the past week, and I didn't see anyone for the first 6 miles, when another hiker passed me. Without the pack being as heavy, I initially didn't notice any difference. I was walking at about the same speed, maybe taking fewer or shorter breaks, but not enough to really feel a difference. I sped along, hoping to catch up to my buddies. When I reached the 11-mile mark and still hadn't caught them, I took a longer break under a big shade tree in Bouquet Canyon. As I left, climbing up out of the canyon, I heard a yell from across the road, behind me on the trail: "Hey, hiker trash!" I glanced across and saw three guys hiking, and I thought to myself, "Hey, those look like my buddies.... but no, they were way ahead of me. I bet it's some of the other hikers from the Saufleys." So I waved and kept hiking, and eventually I really had to pee, so I decided to stop at the next shade spot, set down my pack, and wait for these guys who I thought I didn't know to pass before I stepped off the trail. Sure enough, after a few minutes I hear, from the shelter of my miniscule shade spot under a live oak shrub, the distinct noise of backpackers: clicking poles the bouncing backpacks' squeaks and thumps, feet padding in the dust in rhythm with the trekking poles and a good steady breathing pattern. I peeked out from under my shade bush, and who did I see but my three friends walking up the trail behind me! I did a huge double-take, I was so surprised. Apparently they had stopped for breakfast at the market in Agua Dulce, thereby ending up behind me. A happy reunion of all six occurred when we stopped for lunch late & were joined midway through by our two friends from Bellingham.

After lunch we headed down to The Oasis, a beer & soda cache with chairs & lots of shade--the ideal afternoon break! The last 7 miles over to the road that led to the Andersons' were fast. We decided that the helpfulness of having less pack weight is not the speed at which we were walking, but the endurance we had--we didn't need to take as many breaks or as long breaks. We were picked up by one of the Andersons' neighbors; along with her two small children & groceries, we fit 7 hikers with packs into the minivan. A true clown car.

Pulling up at the Andersons' was like entering another world. There is the huge PCT 2008 banner hanging on the garage, a bonfire in the driveway, and chairs all around filled with some quality HikerTrash (what hikers call each other because we tend to look like bums: dirty, with a pack, sitting around on a corner). The Andersons backyard is filled with trees, with trails winding around their trunks to little campsites filled currently with ultra-light hiker tents. After choosing a spot, we headed down for dinner, Terry's famous taco salad. It is incredible to believe, but she cooks both breakfast & dinner for every hiker who stops in. She & Joe are incredibly generous with their time, space & money. I cannot imagine having the patience to see my living room crowded with hikers watching movies for over a month. After dinner, we stayed up late cuddled around the fire. A fire is a real treat for us since we can have them so rarely on the trail.






Entry 49 of 148
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JY-Hike

The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org

 

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