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Ginny "Circle" Benware
Begins: May 1, 2008
Date: Wed, Apr 30th, 2008
Start: Lookout Mountain
End: Fobes Saddle
Daily Distance: 15.5
Trip Distance: 70.2
Entry Visits: 647
Journal Visits: 82,536
Guestbook Views: 21,015
Guestbook Entrys: 172
Wednesday, April 30th.
I got an early start and was a little nervous about the weather. My barometer had been indicating rain for the past three day. I woke up in a fog with moisture evident. I thought a storm was on the way. I packed up quickly and started hiking fast. I was only about 2 miles from the Pines-to-Palms Highway and then up the other side. The Highway is mile 151.3 into the trail. As it turned out I continued to hike in the clouds without any measurable percipitation.
I thought I would go into the Paradise Cafe for water and to use the phone, though they have a great reputation for the Jose Burger they don't open until 11 and it was only about 7:45 when I got to the highway. I met Mendorider at the highway and he said the phone had been removed due to so much cell phone use and there was a water cache on each side of the highway. Under the circumstances I continued across the highway where I met Meadow Mary in her camper. She had been replenishing water in the caches. Mendorider and I proceeded, of course he quickly outdistanced me.
I was beginning to get into a lovely pine forest area and the day would see some climbing. Though I stared at 5070 I descended a bi before I would eventually climb to 7080 and end my day at 5990. Tunnel prings was at mile 158. Mendorider was riding up from the spring when I was on the ridge and I saw a hiker who wound up being Karen, Rockstar. She was headed for Fobes Saddle and we agreed to camp there together tonight. Fobes Saddle was "only" 8 miles away - WHAT A TOUGH 8 MILES!
I met Mendorider coming back down the trail. There were too many downed trees for he and TLC Primo to get through. He had his rig, van and horse trailer, waiting for him down the trail from the saddle. He had given the keys to Rockstar and she agreed to drive it out to the highway where he would meet us at the fire station.
I arrived at 7:30 in a windy moist cloud. I had rushed down from 7080 to 5990 to try to beat the dark. It was all I could do to get my tent up and keep it up. I had snickers and anything else in my pack that did not require cooking for dinner. I was starved after the rush down the hill and cold weather. I even slept in my space blanket bivy part of the night to get warm.
When I arrived there were signs posted from the Forest Service that we had to descend the trail due to Forest Fire and the PCT was closed from this point through the San Jacinto Wilderness. As I would learn later I was one of the last people to get past the highway. They started diverting people from there later in the day. I had heard lots of aviation activity but due to clouds was unable to see anything. Apparently there were many helicopters filling balls with water and dropping them on the fire.
The morning proved to be breezy but still sunny and Rockstar and I hiked down to the ranch. We met Lawrence the Spring Guy on the way. He is a wonderful trail angel. He maintains many of the natural springs in the area for the hikers. He cleans out the cement or natural basins the springs runs to, cleans the hoses that provide a dirp system which is used to fill water bottles. He was looking for Mendorider and we told him what had happened.
When we got to the ranch house Mendorider was already there. We met Jackie and Larry Berg the ranch caretakers.
Celebrating My 60th On The PCT
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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