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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Mon, Aug 3rd, 2009
Start: Above Scott Mountain Summit on Hwy 3
End: Statue Lake
Daily Distance: 30
Trip Distance: 1,596.0
Entry Visits: 698
Journal Visits: 132,528
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
I am glad to see that the universe has recovered its equilibrium today. The weather was back to normal with a bright blue, cloudless sky, my shadow was mostly in front of me, and the PCT continued to throw surprises at me.
I partially solved the alarm problem by putting the phone on vibrate and parking it right next to my head. It worked this morning and I was up and out before 6:00 am.
The trail continued its path to the south before turning westward and then northwest after a few miles. That turn put my shadow back where it should be - in front of me. The climb also continued and it took most of the morning on this ascending roller coaster to reach the 7200 ft ridge. On the way up I passed several large volcanic areas with monster rocks covering the slope just like an avalanche. They were rather spectacular sights. I also passed two canyons that provided outstanding views and in the background was another craggy-topped mountain.
The trail continued its rollercoaster style so even though it was generally flat over several miles I was still doing a lot more climbing. I came to a saddle and there was an incredible view to the north of West Boulder Creek Canyon. In the distance down in the valley it looked like some cultivated farm land. I thought it might be a good cell reception point but it had only a weak, unusable signal. I also got a nice view of the Trinity Alps in the distance. They still had quite a lot of snow on them.
As the day wore on the rollercoaster tread continued with a trip down into a valley to cross the South Fork of the Scott River followed by a climb to Carter Meadows Summit. After a longer than normal climb out of Trail Creek Canyon I am starting to think about finishing early as I was getting to feel a little fatigued. I saw a couple of nice campsites but passed on them as I wanted to get water for dinner. Then I entered the Russian Wilderness and very soon was at the top of the spectacular Russian Creek canyon with steep granite walls similar to many I saw in the Sierras. The trail went along the north ridge which was also very steep and rocky in places. As the evening wore on my focus was on water and a campsite. The water came quite easy but campsites were non-existent. It was obvious I was going to have to keep going until the trail crossed back over the top of the ridge. It wasn't going to go to the bottom as that was a long way down and I knew the trail stays in the 6000 ft range. Eventually I saw the point it crossed the ridge but it was a steep climb to get there and with the sun already set I was just hoping I would get there before it got dark. I reached the ridge in the dusk and met two other hikers there who were also looking for camp sites. The ridge had very little to offer and the one flat spot had just been taken by one of those hikers. The other was just going to set down on the trail. I was more persistent and hiked on about another mile. The ridge to my right got lower and I saw what looked like a flat spot on the top. So I climbed the ridge and found a perfect site for the night.
With all the climbing today I am really tired now as I also walked a lot further than planned. As for Etna, I am now nine miles from the road so the timing will be really bad. Since I am on course to get to Seiad Valley on Thursday (it's now 65 miles to go), I am planning to keep going and skip Etna.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
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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