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Chrisaleksunas - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2010

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Chris Aleksunas
City: Walnut Creek
State: California
Country: USA
Begins: Jun 30, 2010
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Mon, Sep 13th, 2010
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 1,025.3

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 448
Journal Visits: 14,710
Guestbook Views: 850
Guestbook Entrys: 25

Gear list

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Home and readjusting to real life

After leaving the trail at Kennedy Meadows General Store on the 2nd of September, I made it home to Sacramento at 11:30 P.M. on 09/04/2010. I apologize for not giving any update as to the fact that I had made it home. As we left Kenney Meadows our adventure continued as we searched for our way back to Sacramento. From Kennedy Meadows we were able to get a ride from some contractors for the military that were staying in the military town of Ridgecrest, CA. Yeah, we had never heard of it either. We spent the night in a motel and tried to find out information about the bus system. While in the motel we decided to dive into some of our left over food. We decided of quesadillas. I fired up the stove outside the room and began to do a little cooking. I couldn't really smell it, but I guess the sap that is on the bottom of my cooking pot from cooking over fire was putting off the smell of smoke. A guy came franticly around the corner and asked me if I smelled smoke. I looked at him, my body kind of blocking his view of the stove and began to respond when he said "oh ok" and took off around the next corner. I whispered to Ryan and we were able to get all the evidence inside our room before it was discovered that it was us. The next morning we began our journey north up HWY 395. We both decided that we would try our luck at hitchhiking. We were both weary of the idea, but we figured that we were mostly in hiker towns and with our look and backpacks we would be picked up by other hikers. After a handful of hitches mostly from other hikers we found ourselves back in Lone Pine, CA. We were thumbing it in Lone Pine when we possibly got the luckiest hitch ever. We got into this guys car and began to talk about our adventures and where we were headed. It turns out Jeff, is a firefighter in Chino, CA. He was headed up to his house in Mammoth to do some mountain biking. As soon as he learned that I was a firefighter as well, he offered us a place to stay. We accepted and upon arriving at his house he showed us in to beers in the fridge and a shower. He gave us a tour of the Mammoth area and then we all shared yet another mexican meal together. Ryan and I stayed out and visited a couple bars and Jeff went to hang out with some friends. Jeff told us that he wasn't going to sleep at his house, but that the door was open and to make ourselves at home. I couldn't believe the hospitality! He also invited us back in the winter if we needed a place to stay if we want to get some snow in Mammoth. We continued our hitchhiking home and then took a couple of buses through Yosemite and then to Merced, CA. Ryan stayed in Merced with some family and I got on the Amtrak train to Sacramento. I arrived at 11:30 P.M. and was picked up by Leah and Buddy. Buddy was a bit confused. I think he might of thought that I had died and he had gladly accepted Leah as his new affectionate master. Buddy and I have had some time together over the last week and it seems like things are back to normal. I was warned by Kiros and a few others to watch out for food when I get home. Wow! Home has a bottomless food bag that doesn't have to be rationed. I tried to not over indulge, but it has proven to be difficult. As a little time passes I am feeling as though it is getting a little easier for me to resist the temptation to eat everything in site. I have kept busy with driving to the bay area a few times and I just to back from a road trip with Leah down to Orange County and the San Luis Obispo area. I am excited to share that Ryan has fully re-entered life. In a very short week he got a job working with disabled adults, a car, and a cell phone.
It has been good to be home and visit with family and friends. At times I have missed being surrounded by beauty and the simplicity of life on the trail. Now that I have finally given my body the opportunity to rest it is taking advantage of it. It seems as though my body has forgotten how to run and the miles have been going slow and sometimes painfully on the bike. Hopefully with some more rest I will be able to ease back into things. As I look back on my experience over the past two plus months, it is hard to sum it up into words. I don't feel as though I radically or drastically changed. I think I can say that my favorite aspect of the trip was being able to have a lot of time alone and a lot of time to think without the distractions of everyday life. I was able to see a lot of California and see how amazingly beautiful this place is. I have been on multi-day backing packing trips in the past, but it was almost like I was being given a gift to be able to spend a long amount of time day after day in areas that have to a degree been untouched by man. It was, in the true sense of the word "awesome" to walk through God's creation, in land that for the most part hasn't been paved over, built on, lived in, farmed, hunted, or in other ways changed from the way that it might have been hundreds or thousands or even more years ago. As I re-enter everyday life I definitely have come to appreciate more, some of the comforts that we have at home. Even after only being off the trail for less than two weeks I can look back and see that I am glad that I was able to experience a degree of discomfort that allowed me to find comfort in things that I might of not before like a thin pad on the ground, a nap on a smooth piece of warm granite, a night when it stayed above 30 degrees F, or a small trout to add to dinner so my stomach wouldn't be eating itself in the early morning. My experience has been a good one and one that I will never forget and one that I hope to have many more of. Thank you to those who helped me through my journey and to those who enjoyed the journal.

-Chris

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