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State: WA Washington
Begins: Apr 10, 2014
Date: Thu, May 8th, 2014
Start: Nance Canyon Mile 140
End: Highway 74 Mile 151.9
Trip Distance: 108.1
Entry Lat: 33.749944
Entry Lng: -117.009438
Entry Visits: 596
Journal Visits: 12,694
Guestbook Views: 627
Guestbook Entrys: 18
Pacific Crest Trail Map
I woke up excited because Don would meet me this afternoon and I would take a couple of zeros with him at an RV Park in Hemet. I was looking forward to a shower and some fun down time.
I heated water for tea to make the Mini Wheats a little more interesting. I broke camp and left first, knowing that The Wolf Pack sans pancake breakfast would catch and pass me today.
It was a pretty climb out of Nance Canyon with smoothed boulder and low shrubs making another of Mother Natures rock gardens. About 3 miles up trail I got a text from Don wanting to know what I wanted for dinner. I actually was able to get a call out so we could make plans.
About then a German fellow passed and shortly after, a Hispanic fellow zoomed by and asked my trail name. He and his gear were spotless and crisp as a newly ironed shirt. Not sure what he was up to, but it wasn't thru-hiking. No one can stay that clean. He spent a lot of time looking at a dozen new shot gun shells in the sand as the trail crossed a dirt road. He seemed more like undercover Border Patrol.
Then I hit the water cache and caught up with German whose trail name was Blanco which seems to mean 'in the moment'. Soon the Wolf Pack was there and we chatted, took pictures, and signed the log book while we drank a liter or so of water. I for one wasn't going to carry any more water. I just wanted to tank up on the spot.
I was the last to leave and would not see another hiker until late that afternoon. I stopped at a beautiful campsite at mile 144. It was filled with big boulders; I found a long flat one in the shade and decided to eat, air my feet, and rest. This would be my last rest for the day. I had about 7.5 miles to go, but it was through areas with illegal pot operations and I wanted to be moving at all times so that no one could mistake my actions.
That put me in position to have to do 3 hard switchback climbs in the heat of the day. But hey, when you are motivated you can do it. And I did. As I was coming to the Highway for my pick up, I thought I had finally come through all the scary sections. I was past the point of Border Patrol choppers and drug cartels. Nothing to worry about now!
And yet another danger was being pointed out. A laminated sign was posted " beware solo hikers". What now you say? Mountain lions! A biologist listed names and ages ( from 2 to 62) that had disappeared in the area with no weather or adverse conditions to explain the disappearances. The biologist stated that CA allows deer hunting during mating season when the deer are most vulnerable, hence the population had dropped dramatically from 27,000 to 4,000 leaving less food for the mountain lions. I should add that the dozen disappearances were since 1988.
Well if you are hiking anywhere in the west, even Badger Mtn, you need to be aware and prepared for mountain lions. Be aware of their hunting times ( dawn and dusk), be aware of their hunting style ( stalk from behind), make yourself look as big as possible, and be ready to be aggressive if needed. I've been told by a reliable source that they hate whistles. I have two whistles at the ready. I am not going to worry about it; I will take precautions. I appreciate the heads up.
I did pass the 150 mile mark! I am now at 151.9 miles.
Don and I stopped at Paradise Cafe and had a burger, signed the log book, and met up with The Wolf Pack. All of us are taking a zero day or two to get ready for our first 9,000 ft mountain. Legs don't fail me now!
Sent from my iPhone
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