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Jon Margolis - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2010

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Jon Margolis
City: Los Angeles
State: California
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 11, 2010
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Nov 2nd, 2010

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 238
Journal Visits: 6,518
Guestbook Views: 328
Guestbook Entrys: 0

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

Manton to Dales

So far the experiment in urban walking is going well. The walk that morning is pleasant as forest gives way to farms. Places to rest are at a premium, meaning there arent any as the road is an enclosed corridor bordered by fences, most with unfriendly no trespassing signs on them. But the road is a legal if not common place for a backpacker to walk on. I dont make it to the store in Manton till around noon which was hard on me because my feet wanted a rest sooner and even when I got to the store there wasnt a place really to lie down as I would normally do on the PCT. There was a nice patio in front and I got some favorable attention by a passerby. He indicated that backpackers were rare in Manton and that pleased me because I get satisfaction from doing things differently. I cleaned my feet and socks in the bathroom sink of the adjacent bar which had no customers at this time of day. There was a box of local apples, apparently abandonded which I got permission to take from. I had lunch at a restaurant a hundred yards further down the road. So far Im pleased with my diet so far apples, hamburger and soup. I walk down a road which by now has almost completely opened up into grassland with scattered trees. Midafternoon I come to an aquaduct crossing the road with a wide frontage path along it which is fenced off except for a very narrow zigzaggy pedestrian entrance. A regular road parallels it nearby that is fenced off but I dont see any trespassing signs only signs saying that it is dangerous to enter the water. I quickly squeeze through the entrance so no one sees me, walk till where I am just out of sight of the road and some shade falls and later take a dunk in the water. There were crawfish darting about in the canal so it couldnt have been too toxic. I have a very complete break there by the water doing all the things that one needs to do everyday in privacy, with water, and on flat, clean shady ground.
Much refreshed I emerge from my temporary haven without having been harassed. The road descends into a deep canyon where I see from up high a river and another aquaduct paralleling it. At the bottom I see that the aquaduct has a similar frontage path on it and that it is not fenced off. It would make an excellent camping spot and it is late in the afternoon but it feels like I had just got up from my last rest and I want to make some more miles. It seems like waterways are the hobos friend as they seem like they often have access. I cross the river proper which doesnt seem to have any camping along it and climb out of the canyon into a wide open grassy plateau with hardly a tree on it.
I should say something about this grass that Im seeing everywhere. Very beautiful. Very brown. And very inhospitable. Not only is it often fenced off but even if it werent I dont know that Id want to walk through it. Perhaps with special clothes but with what I have it would be unpleasant. Its kind of ironic, because this is the kind of terrain that I imagined walking through grassland dotted or forested with oak. Its so beautiful, evocative andfull of stickers.
When I get to a rise I hop over a closed gate, now blatantly trespassing, walk along a road a hundred yards to a clearing where there are some rocks bundled up for transport. There is one tree there and this is where I camp. No house is within sight and I get there in the twilight planning to get up before dark and leave at dawn. I am feeling very sneaky at this point learning a second hobo tip after the waterway one and that is to camp late and leave early.

Entry 15 of 18
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Pacific Crest Trail - 2010

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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