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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: Thu, Jul 21st, 2011
Start: 1701
End: 1727, Ashland
Daily Distance: 26
Trip Distance: 1,290.2

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,294
Journal Visits: 387,740
Guestbook Views: 167,248
Guestbook Entrys: 482

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Use the road

Use the Road, Luke. Use the Road

It was chilly up here and hard to get started but I was on the trail by 6;30. Not too much vertical today. According to the profile, only 2,972. Funny. There was a time when 3,000 was a lot of vert. Now it is 5,000. OK, 4 is tough too.

Then there was the snow. A mile up trail I hit it. At first, it seemed to be the nuisance snow but it started getting uglier by the moment.

I came to a big drift, one of those angular types that you could not walk over. It had iced over last night as well and my Katoolas were gone, shipped home. I looked down at the trail and someone had put in a rock arrow pointing downward. Ok, I would walk down through the scrub and navigate around this big mess of snow. I dropped down about 100 vert feet and found a way to get around it. There was more ahead so I stayed low for awhile and worked around it as well.

Then I climbed back up to dry trail. It lasted for about 1/4 mile. I was now confronted by another steep mass of snow. There were some trees popping out at the base. Could I work myself through these trees and get around it? I busted into the mass of pine brush. More like fought my way through it. Took all of 5 minutes to go about 30 feet. Back on the trail again, oops, more snow ahead. And this one was daunting. A big wall.

Something Tarzan and Zelda told me when they hiked this section. "Use the Road, Luke" "Use the Road"

I looked at my halfmile map. Sure enough, there was a road that parallelled the trail. It was just up and over the top of this hill and had a southern exposure. I went for the road. What a glorious sight.

I followed the road for a bit then the PCT intersected it. The trail seemed to be on the right exposure so I left the road and went back on the PCT. Well, the trail was good for about a half mile then it turned and in the trees got ugly once again. ENOUGH! I turned around and backtracked (I think we have a rule about backtracking so now I must write a new rule, "It is ok to backtrack when you are confronted with ugly snow"). Now, back on the road, I was one happy camper. I got back on the trail a few miles up and had no big snow issues for the rest of the day.

At about mile 1715, you start your descent. "Ladies and gentlemen, please put your seats in an upright position..." The descent will take you from around 7,000 to 4,000 feet. It is relatively gentle and takes (duh, forever!) 12 miles. It was an opportunity to make good time. There was water everywhere,... and people! And Trail Magic. At mile 1716 there were two coolers set in place by Brad and Dick with a welcome to Oregon sign. They were loaded with sodas. I had a root beer.

Near the end of the hike, I took the Callahan's (a resort near the trail) short cut through all the poison oak. Well, I didn't expect all the poison oak when I started. The trail is mostly overgrown but they have small orange flags pointing the way. Near the end, the flags petered out and I got lost. George told me that the I-5 freeway was just over there. But I had to (again) fight my way through some tough brush. I ended out at a deserted train building and train tracks and soon found my way to Callahan's.

Callahan's Resort is very hiker friendly but I was heading to Ashland. I went in and checked the place out. The owner was very friendly and greeted me. There are some good hiker package specials here and it looked like a very nice place to hang. I looked for Bob and Tweener who were in the area then headed out to the on ramp. There was no traffic. I stood there for 15 minutes, not one car. Not looking good, I thought. But I did form a friendship with an ultrarunner at the bar and he said that when he headed out, he would pick me up if I was still there. (remember people, every person is a potential ride). Eighteen minutes, first SUV comes up, my thumb is out. He stops! Woo-Hoo. Thanks for the ride Nick. Right to the door of the Ashland Hostel.

I'm checked in here. PCT special rate, $ 20. Laundry, internet, kitchen, bunkbeds, nice place, nice people. Found a great pizza place just up the street. Got a personal (10 inch) Grizzly plus a house salad plus a draft beer. Life is good.

Entry 133 of 210
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Jack And Barb Take On The PCT

Sir Edmund Hillary, first to summit Everest (1953) "It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." View our trail images here See our uploaded movies here. contact us at


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