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Dazzle - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2016

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Journalist
Begins: Mar 5, 2016
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Dec 31st, 2015
Start: Muir Woods National Monument
End: Marin headlands (north of Golden Gate), CA
Daily Distance: 18
Trip Distance: 18.0

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 454
Journal Visits: 2,400
Guestbook Views: 19
Guestbook Entrys: 0

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Pacific Crest Trail Map

Training - Muir Woods to Golden Gate ... and a lesson in food

I've been backpacking since '97 but never longer than 1 week, so I decided to take summer off and hike the PCT. Winter is still winter north of San Francisco, but the temps are relatively mild though wet. Started to prepare over Christmas with a backpacking trip up and down the area of the Marin Headlands to Pt Reyes, and back, passing Mt Tam (state park) and the Muir Woods, which was packed with holiday visitors. The second last day was in a constant drizzle. I encountered while going through the forest of redwoods (?). My pack for this trip was my black Zimmerbuilt ZB-2 custom to blend in resupplying from the San Francisco/Marin Cty Bay Area but with food,stove, and some cold/wet gear, it wasn't being mistaken for a day pack. Stopped in the full concession stand for a tuna steak sandwich after a week of pasta, then left via the visitors center. Filled up water and then road walked downhill to the Miwok intersection. Starting that part of the Miwok was constant switchbacks but gaining elevation, it looked like a foggy Japanese painting with trees outlined. The Miwok them flattened and a trail runner passed me twice as she ignored the now sprinkles. I was hungry but looking at the time, also motivated to get into camp before sunset at 5:30 ish. Then there were plenty of trail intersections going down to my camp at Haypress (free but reservations ... and water required). The road to Muir Beach would act as a handrail if I chose wrong but every minute was pressing!! (Good training for the PCT according to the blogs I've read)

About a mile of road walk (past the blockade to regular cars and what I assume are ranger residences), the trail to Haypress is a dirt road. Passing the bathroom (plenty in all these hinterlands due to population pressure) it reeked pretty bad so I got the far camp near the trees as the winter sun set. A hearty soup and a packed beer after setting up my tarp meant I was ready to sleep. Woke up a couple times with a wierd sensation in my stomach, but passed it off. Waking up I had to use the restroom and congratulated myself in not throwing up on my expensive down. Walking back to camp and contemplating coffee, I went into the tree and immediately threw up. Couldn't eat anything besides an industrial honey bun I kept, so I first went down to Muir Beach just to see it and then hiked the section of the Coast Trail going straight up, stopping every 1000 ft for a small bite of honey bun. It was brutal in the cold wind, but the reward was seeing the Bay open up to the Pacific.

Spent NYE huddled in a bunk at the Marin Hostel, shivering and regaining my strength, before going into San Francisco. The problem was probably lying down soon after I ate ... so will try to hike a bit after dinner as my original plan.

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Pacific Crest Trail - 2016

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

 

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