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David "Trooper" Brook
City: Santa Clarita
Begins: May 11, 2016
Date: Sun, Jun 5th, 2016
Trip Distance: 13.0
Entry Visits: 1,629
Journal Visits: 4,470
Guestbook Views: 138
Guestbook Entrys: 9
Pacific Crest Trail Map
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It's Sunday and a Nero day for me at a host home on wrightwood, I came into town yesterday after a monstrous day before hiking the 5000 feet up mount Wright. The week has had tremendous heat and many hikers are taking to hiking at night, my only attempt at this gave me my scariest moment on the trail as I got overextended myself to reach the goal of finishing the climb in the dark and pulled out my headlamp to find it was low on battery power. No problem I have extra batteries I thought, but could only find two of the three needed and it was already too dark to fumble with changing things out in a pitch black wood with no moon. I may give the night hike another shot next full moon cycle! Managed to catch a church service today and feel like s normal traveler and my great friend Riad came out to resupply me and gave steaks with me last night, for the second time, a real blessing. Couple of days back I passed through Cajon pass and the hiker paradise of macdonalds where Bernice totally surprised
me by walking in and spending a night with me. I head out in two hours to start the 100 miles to reach Santa Clarita on Friday, something I am greatly looking forward to, the plan is to day hike each day and be home for time with family and friends four four days. I have thought about what I want to blog about as I have walked and feel like you might be interested in hearing about some of the less obvious aspects of the trail life?
About pain - it always comes, you never know where, but you do know it's going to be present. Ankles are the most common ailment, followed by feet, knees, hips, shoulders and back. For me, I have struggled most with ankles, after 10 miles they throb continuously, ibuprofen and ankle supports and maybe new insoles are my solution as well as not hitting too many big 15 plus mile days. It's reassuring to talk with other, usually much younger, hikers and hear the same complaints and ailments though!
About people - there are amazing people on the trail and an exceptional sense of community and support around the whole experience. Their are trail angels who deliver gallons of water each day to water caches along the way and every town along the way is very hiker friendly, with discounts, easy rides around town and to the trail and hiker boxes where we all dump and restock each other's packs. On a really hot and long stretch to Silverwood, I came across a cooler in the woods with cold water and apples, and after my horrible ordeal with night hiking, I got to my camp area to find the most amazing apples and oranges which became dinner for the night. The hikers are mostly experienced people, have interesting stories and lives, are open minded and confident people who are looking to grow themselves I done way through this journey. It's enriching to be around such people.
About pace - the nirvana of pcters is 20 mile days. But they are tough to achieve. I am comfortable right now with 12 mikes a day with occasional longer days, it seems like I keep bumping into the same folks along the way so perhaps not do any have achieved nirvana yet! To get to Santa Clarita, I have to pull two 18 mile days because of water supply. The challenge is do too many miles risk injury/ do too few risk running out of water or needing to carry tremendous weight. 18 Mike dsy is a 6 liter day or 12 extra lbs.
In closing, this is an amazing experience that perhaps isn't felt at the time but in reflection, these are challenging days getting my body ready for the Sierras. I can't say it's fun, but do know I am being changed, in a positive way, both physically and mentally by the trial. Wishing you blessings I water trial you may also be facing. Trooper on the PCT.