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MTN^alex - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2012

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MTN^alex
City: Hesperia
State: CA
Country: United States
Begins: Mar 17, 2012
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Apr 17th, 2012
Daily Distance: 20.3
Trip Distance: 154.9

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 302
Journal Visits: 6,659
Guestbook Views: 190
Guestbook Entrys: 2

Last PLB Location

Pacific Crest Trail Map

4/17

Day 30 04/17 300
Mileage: 20.3
Camp: 301.9

It got cold in the middle of the night. I woke up around two or three and my sleeping bag was covered in ice. The inside of my bag was dry and the sky was still clear, so I went back to sleep.
In the morning when the sun rose I was surprised to find not only was I coated in ice but my pack was too.
My water tube and boots ( wet from yesterday's snow) had frozen solid. It must have been the condensation from the stream right by us. Everything got covered in dew, which had then frozen. I was glad I had cowboy camped and didn't have to mess with drying off my tent.
I watched the sun light up the hill above us and inch closer to our camp. As soon as it did I hung my sleeping bag over the steel bars of the horse corral to thaw and dry.
I sat in silence on the picnic table and closed my eyes. I could feel the sun's radiant warmth on my skin.
Last night was cold. I definitely need to look into getting proper long underwear. Either that or a better down bag.
Dan started to stir and then Joe. They slowly got up and hung their bags next to mine. They wanted to know why I was sitting barefoot on the table. The ground hadn't thawed yet; neither had my shoes. They both carried flip flops for camp. I didn't want the extra weight and had gotten by without them. They would have been nice this morning, but Joe's boots dried the quickest so I put on his size 14's and clomped around in them like clown shoes while we packed up camp.
After each taking a turn in the completely overbuilt solar powered fortress of a toilet some boy scout troop had constructed (SO NICE) we booked it. We left all traces of ice behind and the snow turned into the gushing waters of Holcomb Creek. We followed it and a couple river crossings later the canyon walls were getting higher and the creek getting deeper. We were coming to the head of Deep Creek. We crossed a really cool bridge that was in the middle of nowhere and would have been extremely difficult to assemble on site. From the middle of the bridge I could see fish swimming in the waters below.
We passed Dan's camp as the sun was getting low. He'd found a good spot and it didn't look like there was gonna be anywhere else decent to set up. The trail was barely two feet wide cut into the steep rock walls above the river. He thought we were nuts for wanting to keep going, but we wanted to accomplish our goal.
Soon the sun was going down, and we were chasing it along the creek. It was like a game, walking as fast as we could around each of the giant curves of the canyon. Out of the shadow and into the light, back into the shadow, will there still be light around the next bend?
We weren't stopping til we hit 20. I wanted that damn merit badge and I could tell Joe wanted it bad too.
I don't know if I've explained the merit badges of trail goddom yet. It's a running joke between Joe and I based on Boy Scout merit badges where you earn them when you beat hard-to-get goals related to thru-hiking. Ill put up a list of all the different ones soon.
Getting our 20 meant we were out of our "easing into it" stage and we'd soon be doing a lot more mileage consistently. We didn't do the AT (Appalachian Trail) before this.
In fact I did almost no physical preparation for this trip at all! That's why I figured I'd start early, take my time and ease into it to avoid getting injuries like shin splints. 300 miles later and 16 lbs lost and I'm feeling good! But neither Joe nor I started this thing out doing 20 mile days like a lot of people do.
We saw a completely oblivious skunk, who I accidentally startled when I got close to film him. Oops.

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Journal Photo

Headnorth 2012

Alex

www.alexzinda.com

 

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