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Rcluster - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2009

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Ron & Julie "Snowplow & Rubber Legs" Cluster
City: Eugene
State: OR
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 12, 2009
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Jun 20th, 2009
Start: Sierra City
End: Deer Lake Trail Jct - 7359 ft
Daily Distance: 14.7
Trip Distance: 551.2
Hours Hiked: 7
Daily Ascent: 4182
Daily Descent: 1676
Min Elevation: 4204
Max Elevation: 7485
Entry Lat: 39.65043
Entry Lng: -120.66791
Min Temp: 42
Max Temp: 68
People Met: 9

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 739
Journal Visits: 94,728
Guestbook Views: 34,232
Guestbook Entrys: 123

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

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Decisions, Decisions

Sierra Buttes - Deer Lake

We got out of Sierra City at about 8:00am. We tried hitching for a few minutes but there is very little traffic and the few vehicles that do pass by just keep right on going. We end up walking the 1.9 miles to the trailhead. Not really a big deal but our feet don't like it much because it's on pavement. Pawee & Mawee left about 30 minutes before we did, so today it's Rockstar, Julie and I hiking together. We make tentative plans for the 5 of us to camp at Deer Lake tonight.

Once we get on the trail the climb begins. We are walking through forest for the first couple of hours. We climb about 500 feet per mile as we head up the Sierra Buttes. Gradually the trees thin out and by the time we reach 5500 feet, the trees are gone and we are traversing up the steep rocky slopes of the Sierra Buttes. We are treated to some very nice views of this 7800 foot peak. We also can see down to the Yuba River and the town of Sierra City far below. We come to our next source of water, a spring that is just below the trail. Clear and very cold, it is just gushing out of the rocks. We filter it anyway and then drink enough that I decide to fill the bottles again. It is the best ice water I have had in a long time. At just about the 7100 foot level the grade eases off and we walk another couple of miles around the Buttes to a saddle where the trail heads north. We can see several lakes below us with the jagged steep peaks of the buttes just on the other side. We take photos but it's impossible to capture the view.

Another couple of miles brings us to the Deer Lake Trail. Just before we get there, there is a note under a rock in the middle of the trail. It's from Pawee & Mawee. They got here at 2:30 (it's now 5:30) and decided to go on to Summit Lake, another couple of miles up the trail. Our feet are not receptive to another couple of miles so we find semi-flat spots (there are no completely flat spots out here) and get the tents set up. It's been a bit windy at times today so I use all the tie downs (14 stakes total) just in case the wind gets stronger overnight.

Tomorrow will be a slightly longer day, about 16 miles. Rockstar needs to be in Belden on Thursday and we are relying on my GPS to get us through any snow we may encounter. Looking at the maps, I don't expect to run into much snow until maybe Monday. After that, we drop down in elevation so we should be ok the rest of the week.

Glenn asked in a guestbook entry that I comment on the Six Moon Designs Lunar Duo tent that we are using. It is a single wall tent with a complete bug net and bathtub floor. It is not freestanding but takes 6 stakes and 2 trekking poles to put it up. It sets up and takes down quickly and seems to be pretty durable. The only failure so far is that one of the corner straps broke, but I'm pretty sure it actually wore through on a rock. We were in high winds on San Gorgonio Pass and I had set large rocks on each stake because we were set up on sand. I have double tie down ropes on each corner so I can stake it down with 14 stakes, which is what I had in that night. I don't know for sure what the wind speed was but many times earlier that day you couldn't walk in some of the wind gusts. I think the tent does very well in wind as long as it is staked down well and the vestibules are zipped closed. It is not an expedition tent but it was not designed to be. I cannot comment on how it performs in snow because we have not had any snow yet. The peak is rounded rather than a sharp angle so I suppose that could be an issue, but if it is set up properly I think it would stand up to some light snow. Julie and I really like the room inside and the vestibules are large enough for our packs and boots to be completely protected from the weather. We are completely happy with the tent so far.

OK, enough babbling for tonight. Time to get some sleep so we can do this again tomorrow. I wonder what sights tomorrow will bring?

Animal sitings: lizards, very small mouse.

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Journal Photo

Ron & Julie On The PCT - 2009

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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