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Flora.aux - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2008

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City: New Haven
State: CT
Country: USA
Begins: Apr 27, 2008
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Sat, Oct 18th, 2008
Start: Anchorage, AK

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 3,848
Journal Visits: 44,401
Guestbook Views: 5,368
Guestbook Entrys: 76

Gear list Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Statistics! Questions answered!

*Almost* 100% of my photos are up here now:

Thank you George for letting me use your server! :)


2,663.5 miles of PCT

~177 miles skipped due to fire (27 + 100 + 50)

~2486.5 miles of PCT hiked

2 state lines

2 country borders

123 days (April 27 to August 27)

8 zero days (Agua Dulce, Tehachapi, Kennedy Meadows, Independence, Old Station, Ashland, Skykomish x 2)

6 days over 0 but under 10 miles (Agua Dulce, Mt. Shasta, Seiad Valley, Ashland, Bend, Cascade Locks)

51 miles longest day

~20.2 miles/day overall average

4 pairs of shoes

26 showers

19 times doing laundry

23 town stops (Warner Springs, Idyllwild, Big Bear City, Wrightwood, Agua Dulce, Mojave/Tehachapi, Independence, Bridgeport, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Sierra City, Chester, Old Station, Shasta City, Etna, Seiad Valley, Ashland, Bend, Cascade Locks, Trout Lake, Snoqualmie Pass, Skykomish, Stehekin)

28 resupplies (Warner Springs, Idyllwild, Big Bear City, Wrightwood, Agua Dulce, Mojave/Tehachapi, Kennedy Meadows, Independence, VVR, Tuolumne Meadows, Bridgeport, South Lake Tahoe, Truckee, Sierra City, Chester, Old Station, Shasta City, Etna, Ashland, Crater Lake Mazama, Shelter Cove Resort, Big Lake Youth Camp, Timberline Lodge, Cascade Locks, White Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, Skykomish, Stehekin)

~4.4 days per resupply overall

6 established trail angel houses (Agua Dulce, Andersons, Hikertown, Pooh Corner, Heitmans', Dinsmores')

11 times sleeping in a real bed (Warner Springs, Big Bear City, Wrightwood, Tehachapi, Independence, South Lake Tahoe, Bridgeport, Bend, Trout Lake, Snoqualmie Pass, Stehekin)

4 black bears, 2 of which ran away, 1 of which lumbered away casually, and 1 of which ran *towards* me

7 rattlesnakes

9.89e+39 mosquitos

0 mountain lions

0 wild peacocks (as opposed to 2 seen on the AT)

<10 days of rain (most of them in Washington)

<10 times being rained on in my tent (most of them in Washington)

1 time being rained on while cowboy camping (between Agua Dulce and the Andersons')

1 day of hail and rain and lightning and the Wrath of God (into Sonora Pass)

1 day of honest-to-goodness snow (2nd to last day of the trail!)

1 night of being snowed on in my tent (last night on the trail!)

Paul's questions for Stilts, as answered by me:

(1) Where was your favorite campsite?
Bighorn Plateau in the Sierras, about 5 miles past the trail up Mt. Whitney. Big flat open area with a pond, surrounded by Sierra mountain awesomeness. Fantastic sunset, moon, etc.

(2) What was your favorite national park?
Hmm, not sure I had very good track of whether I was on National Park vs. National Forest vs. other land ... so I don't know. But I do love Yosemite ...

(3) Your favorite trail town?
Wrightwood, CA
Ashland, OR

(4) What food/drink did you crave the most?
Sour gummy worms, nutella. Mostly food. I just craved food.

(5) Did you ever think you wouldn't make it to Canada?
Yes, for quite awhile I was always afraid that the problem I had with the overpronating arch of my right foot would force me to stop somehow by getting way worse. But it never did.

(6) Most embarrassing moment?
I dunno ... Squealing like a little girl and generally being useless when Sweetfish and I were charged by a bear?

(7) Funniest moment?
Sarong attempting to shotgun a beer at Kennedy Meadows? Olivier and Justin running from the sprinklers in Chester?

(8) Most appreciated act of "trail magic?"
All of them ... I know it's a cop out, but what can I say?

(9) Best beer on the PCT?
Mmmmmmm .... beer. Probably the (I think it was a) MGD that was in a cooler maybe 15 miles before Ashland? Not because it was an MGD, but because it was an unexpected beer in the middle of nowhere at the end of the day when I was by myself.

(11) Favorite thru hiker trail name?
I think I might have to go with Paul and vote for "Naughty Eyes"

(12) Most annoying song stuck in your head?
Phil Collins "Against all odds" ... which I got stuck in my head for days after overhearing a couple people discussing how it's fun to try to get Phil Collins songs stuck in other peoples' heads.

(13) What changes do you want to make to your life when you get home?
Have everything be awesome all the time like while hiking? Hmm.... at least get more exercise. Somehow make it so I can do a desk job while hiking 20-30 miles per day??

(14) What makes a successful thru hiker?
Really liking thru-hiking, as opposed to doing it for some other reason.

(15) What one piece of advice would you give future PCT thru hikers?
Just do it.

State your preference between the following:

(1) Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail?
Can't do it. Like asking me to choose which one of my children I love more. Though I don't have any children ...

(2) Uphill or downhill?

(3) Desert or snow?

(4) Mexico or Canada?

(5) Mosquitoes or rain?
Mosquitoes ... I was a bit under-prepared for rain.

What is your personal record for:

(1) Miles hiked in one day?

(2) Food consumed in one sitting?
I don't know, but I was proud to finally accomplish the half-gallon challenge!

(3) Longest time without a shower?
Hmm ... not sure when that would be ... at least a week. I think it must have been Etna to Crater Lake, because I actually didn't shower in Ashland because the woman we were staying with didn't have a shower. I tried to take a sponge bath in her giant paint sink, but that was only partly successful. So I think that would have been about 9 days.

(4) Longest time without seeing another person?
Hours. I never went long without seeing people. I never even went that long without seeing other thru-hikers.

Some questions going around on TrailJournals, as answered by me:

Favorite expected trail angel experience - The Saufleys. 'Cause L-Rod let me come inside the house and use her laptop for four hours to take my last law school exam. And then I threw away my casebook in their trash. And then I was done with law school work forever. Can't beat it!

Food I ate the most of on the trail - Mac & cheese ... or maybe bagels? Or gorp?

Food I got the most sick of on the trail - I don't think I got sick of food on the trail. Mmmmmmm ... food. I stopped liking beef jerky as much for some reason though.

Food I never got sick of - The food kind

Worst pre-hike planning mistake -- not going to a podiatrist and dropping $ 500 for custom orthotics before the hike

Best views -- Mt. Whitney, Goat rocks

Best water -- While it's not as if I can't taste the difference between tap water, aqua mira water, lake water, spring water, etc, I really don't care that much what my water tastes like.

Best cowboy camp spot that turned out to be the worst cowboy camp experience -- I had very few bad cowboy camping experiences. One bad one was when Sarah and I camped in a wash in Southern CA and it was really windy and we were also nervous that we were somehow going to get flash flooded (as if it rains in CA ... ha). Another bad one was when I woke up to rain on my face at about 4:30 am ... but at least it was late enough to just get up and start hiking!

Best bakery -- Stehekin. But really I think my favorite baked good was this giant greasy maple donut I had at the Charburger in Cascade Locks

Best hitch -- Best? How about "most miraculous"? It was rainy in Washington and I was grouchy about it, so Sweetfish and I hiked 37 miles to a road where we could hitch into Trout Lake, an unplanned stop. It was like 7:30 and getting dark when we got to the road, which was a tiny road and it really seemed like nobody was ever, ever going to come by. I just sat down in the road and massaged my feet, pretty sure we were just going to end up camping there all wet and tired and unhappy. And then these nice church ladies came by, on their way back home to Trout Lake after a cruise in Alaska. Miracle! Another similar miracle -- Sweetfish and I made it to the trailhead where you have to yogi a ride into Independence at around 8pm, and had no prospect of a ride, but then Gordon, the famous support guy for Nimblewill Nomad, was there with his van! And gave us a ride into town even though it's a long drive and he just had to drive back up to the trailhead after dropping us off! Thanks Gordon!! Miracle!

Craziest thru-hiker -- Uh, Scott Williamson and Tatu Joe? Not that I met them. But aren't we all a little crazy?

Best book read on the trail -- Oops ... didn't read any!

Amount of weight I lost - no idea, probably none

Amount of weight I've gained since finishing - I don't wanna know!

Entry 57 of 57
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Journal Photo

Laura, Aka Truant, Hikes The Pacific Crest Trail

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:


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