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JackandBarb - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2011

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

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, May 21st, 2011
Start: Messenger Flats, Mile 430
End: Agua Dulce, Mile 455
Daily Distance: 25
Trip Distance: 455.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,420
Journal Visits: 387,844
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Guestbook Entrys: 482

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A tree root takes out Jack's shoe

Almost a Marathon

We made a decision last night to try to push through to Agua Dulce today. We will see how it goes. Mostly, the trail is downhill and if it is in good shape, we can make time (read Bart-Speed!)

We were up just before first light and on the trail at 6:30 (ok, we are slow packing up and fiddling around). To get to Hiker Heaven (the Saufley's at Agua Dulce) we would have to go 25 miles, almost a marathon.

The trail wasn't too bad. There were sections where we had to slow down, trees down, landslide areas, and one spot with lots of poison oak. Everywhere you looked for about a mile was poison oak. Yikes. We were super careful not to touch it. And we decided to rub down our trekking poles with an alcohol swab when we got to the next water spot.

We made good time to the Ranger station at mile 436. Loaded up with water and ate an early lunch at 10:30. Off we went.

About 5 minutes in, Barb realized she had loded her pack wrong and something sharp was poking her in the back. We stopped to unload everything and reload it properly. Meanwhile, Jack was just standing there, hanging out, eating a PayDay bar. When all of a sudden, he started howling: "Something is biting me"

YOW!, he lifted up his pant leg and a big juicy red ant was locked in on his ankle. Swat. Another was cruising up his other leg, biting him along the way. YOW! Did he nail them both? Nope, one had found his way up to his back and was biting at will.

The only solution was to strip down, rip off the shirt, Barb spotted the nasty critter and swatted him away. Zip off the pants, no more ants to be found. Good there was no one else on the trail, it would have looked a bit odd, an almost naked man standing there with some babe swatting away at his back. HA HA

Today's stats would be interesting: Vertical Up, 2,936 vertical feet. Vertical Down, a whopping 6,207 feet. You can see why we figured we could do 25 today.

At about 1 pm we reached Acton and there is a KOA campground just up the road from the trail ( to the right). Great stop! Super hiker friendly management and a store with ICE CREAM!

Barb had an ice cream sandwitch. Jack had a Nestles Crunch Bar. He also had a Root Beer and we added a tin of Pringles Potato Chips to eat on the next segment (Salt delivery system).

We reloaded with water in the side office at the KOA. Jack spotted a popcorn machine off to the side with POPCORN. Could he Yogi some popcorn? He walked over to the kind girl at the desk. "Can I buy some of that popcorn in the back room?" She had a puzzled look for a second then said, " No, but I will give you some". So we both got a popcorn to munch on (more salt delivery system). Yes, these are very nice people at the KOA. We would have stayed there if it was later in the day.

The trail out of the KOA was so much better. The fire did not burn this area. We were finally out of the burn area. It was hot though. We had water. We had Pringles. What more did we need?

After crossing under the Antelope Valley Freeway (Hwy 14) through a very long, erie tunnel (again, with river flowing through it, but no dead rats). We came into a very beautiful park area (Vasquez County Park). Many of the plants were identfied by signs, the trail followed a nice little river loaded with tadpoles - Many, many tadpoles. These guys weren't endangered! And the rock formations in the park were nothing short of spectacular! We chatted with a day hiker named John who someday wants to do the PCT - gave him a hiker card and some trail beta for thru hiking.

Agua Dulce was within our grasp. We were tired. We were sore. Boo Boo's feet were killing her. She even switched from her boots and was hiking in her Tivas. Do be careful Boo.

We rolled into town at about 5:30. We had been moving (except for an hour at the KOA and about 15 minutes for the Ant fiasco) for 11 hours, better than 2 mph total average. That was good.

We saw a pizza place on the left and stopped for chow. Two Coronas now and we will decide what to eat next.

Ice cold Coronas with a lime - We have died and gone to heaven!!

Ok, a big salad with Blue Cheese dressing on the side. And one of those special pizzas with all the fixings.

What size? 12 inches looked too small, 14, hmmmm, maybe. Ok, we went with a 16 incher.

The pizza came. Jack was running his finger in the blue cheese cup, trying to eek out the very last bit. Wow, 16 inches is one big pizza.

We couldn't eat it all - hard to believe but we didn't want to stuff ourselves and get sick so we boxed up the leftovers and asked the kid at the counter how far it was to the Saufley's.

Turned out that he lives right next door and was just getting off work. "Want a ride?" Barb with here sore feet says "That would be wonderful!" Then she turns to Jack and says "Can I kiss him?"

The Saufley's live about a mile off the PCT up Darling Road, it is up hill all the way. We were sitting in the back of this Pizza Kids big F-350 diesel pickup truck watching the mile fly by.

We are just so lucky and so fortunate that there are so many people out here who help us along the way.

Now at the Saufley's and low a behold is WRANGLER! Dude! Tell us the story about your epic on Baden Powell! To make it short, he thought he was going to die but he survived. He will be taking off tomorrow and again will be a day ahead of us as we are spending tonight and tomorrow night here. This is such an awesome place! Donna and Jeff Saufley are trail angels extraordinaire!

We easily unloaded our leftover pizza on Wrangler and two other hungry hikers. We were lucky to snag the old camper truck to sleep in - the Waldof Astoria!

Entry 72 of 210
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Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

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