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JackandBarb - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

Entry 66 of 210
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Jack and Barb
City: Encinitas
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 17, 2011
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sun, May 15th, 2011
Start: Cajon Pass, mile 342
End: Mile 357
Daily Distance: 15
Trip Distance: 357.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,012
Journal Visits: 387,738
Guestbook Views: 167,248
Guestbook Entrys: 482

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Crossing under the train tracks

Climb On!

We woke up to blustery weather. It had rained last night and was still drizzly with very strong winds. Not the kind of weather one wants to hike in. So we decided on a late start or perhaps, if the storm strengthened, another day in Jacuzzi heaven.

The weather started clearing about 10:30 and although other hikers decided to stay an additional day, we decided it was a go.

To cross under the I-15, you have to go under a long tunnel. You cannot see light at the other end when you start in. It is a bit eerie. People tell us of all the grafetti under the pass but it was now all painted out. The area in the center was muddy and had a light runoff going through it. We saw two dead rats along the side. It was reassuring to make a turn in the center and see the light coming from the exit.

Then, we had to cross under the train tracks. One crossing was a huge Oval pipe. You could drive a car through it. The echos in there were superb. We had a great time yelling and screaming.

A bit further up we came to an above track crossing. We both cross the RR tracks near our house often and we know not to linger on the tracks. We got to the tracks, looked both ways and started across. Amost immediately a big roaring freight train came lumbering around the corner. We can't move as quickly with packs on but we did skedaddle off that track with time to spare. The engineer sat on his mighty horn, we waved and the incident ran up the ExcitementO'Meter to a 7.

Today, we would cross the great San Andreas Rift Valley. It occurs at mile 347. There apparently hasn't been any local activity there for a very long time so we could not see any evidence of the strike-slip fault but, as we climbed up in the mountains past it, we could look down and clearly see the rift valley.

It was another beautiful hiking day. It was cool, with scattered clouds. We were heavy again, carrying a total of 8 liters of water. Enough to carry us all the way to Wrightwood. There is no water to be found once you leave the rift valley. Right in the valley, we happened across a drink cache. We split an ice cold V-8 - Thanks! A bit further up was the Swarthout water cache. It was brimming with about 11 gallons - we took none but thanks guys for supporting us).

We climbed up and up - Quite the view - we could see the Cajon pass, the I-15, Victorville, Adalanto and all the train tracks heading down into LA. We passed by many beautiful wind sculpted sandstone formations, alternately illuminated by the sun and covered by the clouds. We would use little water today as the temperature was in the 40's with a wind chill probably pushing it into the 20's. Our guess was gusts up to about 35 mph. Things would blow away in a heartbeat here.

Since we started late, it would be a low mileage day. There are very few places to camp on this stretch. We were surveying our topo maps and, at about 5:30 pm, we found another great place, well out of the wind. There was a lot of climbing again today but we were close enough to easily make it to Wrightwood tomorrow.

There are more storms coming. We may be holding up in Wrightwood for a few days.

See the new video posted on May 1st entry - Thanks Kimo!

Entry 66 of 210
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Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

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