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Begins: Jul 1, 2011
Date: Thu, May 26th, 2011
Start: Los Angeles, CA
End: Los Angeles, CA
Daily Distance: 11
Trip Distance: 37.0
Entry Visits: 781
Journal Visits: 3,491
Guestbook Views: 179
Guestbook Entrys: 0
Pacific Crest Trail Map
Another try at waking up at 5:30 AM left me tired and I slept in through 8:30. Snow reports in the northern Cascades are discouraging and suggest a late start to the season for southbound throughs, and I may leave the PCT for 2012 in the hopes of a tamer season and encountering saner conditions.
Donning a pack with 3 L of water, a triple-decker PB&J sandwich, sunscreen, a gilligan hat, and my Montrails, I started an 11-mile RT hike out of Temescal Canyon at about 10 AM. Temperatures were warm but the weather was excellent. The trail runners are still not broken in, and I had loosen and tighten the laces after the 4th mile and then after every two miles to make them comfortable. After finding the right tightness, the shoes became very comfortable and performed well. Several joggers and a scant number of bicycles were on the trail. Unfortunately, at about mile 3, I noticed that one of my water bottles was leaking all over the pack, so I took everything out, turned the pack upside down to empty the water, and then set off to the hub junction (halfway point).
Once at the junction, I looked for a shaded area as the sun was getting intense, but there was no natural cover and I ended up sitting on the ground under a large trail sign. I immediately took off my socks to check for blisters and was lucky to find none, although the wool oversocks and cotton undersocks I was wearing were both damp. After eating my sandwich, I spent about 10 minutes waiting for the socks to dry. Feeling impatient and not wanting to be engulfed by building winds, I decided to put the socks back on before they were completely dry. However, my high spirits were partially dashed when I found out that my stopwatch had fallen into the bushes while I was "dehydrating" my pack several miles ago.
On the way back, I felt some hot spots in my calves and on the bottom of my feet. I must have fiddled with the shoelaces 10 times before finding a comfortable fit, and both my feet and legs were telling me that 11 miles was my limit. Although I remembered the exact place where I had lost the stopwatch, it was not there, which means someone probably took it. Too bad. Once at the car, I knew that 10 miles was my magic number and this should be a good baseline.
Plans to hike the PCT seem to be buried in snow; I may hike over to the Appalachian Trail section soon (an AT attempt is certainly possible) and continue there.
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