Not a brilliant sleep wind and a brilliant bright moon so it was daylight when it should of been dark But up and on the trail it’s a gorgeous day I want to push early before it gets hot as i hiking Juicy catches and passes me See you in Etna, for the footy
I haven’t looked at the terrain. So it will be a surprise, i feel good as i make my way along the trail with fantastic scenery Water i need water ,Oh a spring great, I stop and top up my water, then but i have to keep stopping to take shots of this fantastic scenery. The trail is being fairly kind with nice terrain too. maybe i spoke to soon as i begin to descend the surface changes to shale .Next minute I’m laying on my back looking up at the sky.
I lay there for a few moments, i’m in pain, I struggle to get up them check myself over My ankle is not happy maybe a twist or sprain as it hurts. There’s a stream nearby ,I waddle over and strip off my shoe and soak my foot I leave it in the water although it looks okay .Im hoping just a sprain as i put my shoe back on Its hurts ,but I can cope with the pain ,I hike on but not so fast until I come to a road. As I cross it I notice that there is a campsite here, We’ll that will do I decide to I wander through the park .There is a guy duping ice from his ice box. I ask if I could have it and explain about my ankle . sure he says putting the ice into a Ziploc he then offers me a beer for the pain.
I take my beer and ice and look for a spot to camp. I drop my pack sit down and ice my foot until the beer has gone I put up my tent and lie in the sun ..I’m oddly very relaxed. I guess I must of been tired as i must have dozed off waking at 3 PM My foot feels a lot better, hopefully icing it quickly has done the trick and another days rest won’t hurt .
Several families come and go, a Labrador comes over to say hi . I’m chilling in the sun when another hiker appears .I met him in Castella he is just hiking for six days and its now over. We chat for awhile , then he heads off and home . I cook my dinner and then relax before giving my gear another sort. I am just about to turn in, when I hear a loud buzzing . Its a humming bird just hovering out side my tent. what an amazing little animal. Then behind my tent a fawn appears gorgeous I watch him for several minutes before he wanders off .zzzz
10th July I set the alarm for 4.30 then snooze but I forgot to enable the other two alarms so woke with a panic at 5.30 I wanted to be on the trail by then. So mad rush .how the he’ll am I going to fit all this extra food into my pack I pushed and squeezed.its in But omg it freaking heavy am I sure !! I left the camp and made my way down a side trail that will lead me onto the PCT. I wandered down this trail it was well laid out and the air was cool I passed another campsite with benches and fire rings and drop toilet. Soon the trail met The PCT great I knew three things .It was going to be a big climb. It was going to be hot and there wasn’t going to be a lot of water. A great day then. I wasn’t going very fast due to the ridiculous weight I was carrying in my pack plus 5 litres of water. I trundled on then caught up with Darren from the campsite who had stopped for Breakfast. .See you up the trail. I crossed a small creek and then the trail began to climb and climb. I hope it’s sheltered I thought minutes later Darren passed me I doubt that I will see him again. I carried on climbing I was heading for Castle Crag which towered above me Am I going up that? I guess I am. The shade decided to leave and although it wasn’t even 7 am the sun beat down on me.i was roasting and still u climbed and climbed higher. But wow the views were amazing. .I then began switchbacks okay maybe I’m not going up there then the switchback went the other way .mmm maybe I am .its such a guessing game with the trail as to where it will take you Yes I’m going past Castle Crag and it was amazing simply stunning A huge outcrop of rock that towers high and looks like a castle The trail seemed to wind it way around son you could see it from all angles them I was leaving .oh a sign for watery. I needed water all ready. I followed the dry stream bed down for .2 miles until I could see water
It was roasting hot so I topped up. I was just leaving when two hikers arrived there names were marathon and dog They were about to have lunch so I pressed on still climbing climbing climbing in the sun but now i had water. The trail now began to span mountains and looking back I could see my old friend Shasta the mountain and in front a whole new set of mountain which I am sure we will be walking over shortly. I was doing good miles with this dead weight in my pack but I wanted more .problem was I was told and hot. The two hikers then came past me .I tried to keep up for a while .But they were young with small packs. I was aiming for the spring and camp at 2539 I can do that .Yes I can but my legs were not that convinced. But the miles were falling I may be able to do it .The next goal was the trail head 3 more miles and maybe water Come on snail I said to myself. And pushed on at last the trail head I hoped someone may of left water Hah ha oh well I pushed on the other two hikes had stopped and were cooking .Dam I need to push on I need water and my bed I passed another hiker going southbound and asked about the spring. It’s good he shouted I then came two a couple of cars parked I fancied putting my tent by them and calling it a night but I exalted on .A sign spring 800 yards. Great that will do I dropped my pack and you all my bottles to fill. I actually had more water in my bladder than I thought but spring water is the best .I wandered down the path till I heard water it was icy cold the BEST I filled up and then staggered back to my pack and set off. I just need a flat spot now. Several yards and there I dropped my pack when I heard voices it was the two hikers. I thought that they had camped bur no they needed water Then a old lady called Polly came by and gave us some fruit. A lovely lady Tents up and tea then zz
4th July woke early but it was still warm I needed to finish this before j burst into flames. But before setting off i had Breakfast very unusual Then off it was already warm at 5.45 And with no breeze my head was soon leaking. God it’s hot, did I say hot The views were fantastic , but the trail dusty and as I walked i tore up huge plumes of dust nice. At last some breeze thank you On I plodded watching the lizards scurry in front of my feet. And looking our for snakes as I was still half asleep or rather on autopilot.
Soon I was approaching the fish farm and fresh cold water hopefully I could see it getting nearer .The water source was s huge hosepipe with far too much pressure but it was water wet cold water As the day wore on I was getting nearer to Burney. I was hoping to get my pack swapped out for a new one but with our phone service I was running blind I was now descending and it was bloody awful lava or jagged and sharp and unsteady it also seemed to magnify the sun into your body making you even hotter oh my god it was worse than walking the rim .get my off of here before it wrecks my trainers .I pounded down the inclines making sure my foot was firm before taking another step. Again so easy to trip or slip or both at last a dusty trail. And in the distance traffic. I emerged into a busy road and was immediately picked up. as we drove into town my phone got service. Osprey can’t get it to me until Castelle,as we drove along there was a massive range American flag hanging across the road attached to a huge Grove crane ( my dad used to make those cranes).
Its for July the 4th, the size of the flag was amazing. The guy dropped me off at the post office. I quickly did my chores before I grabbing a sub from subway and as much soda that I could drink. Back at the trail, it seemed even hotter as I plodded along I was going to try and get to the state park and water. I had gone a few miles when I came to an Aladdin’s cave, beer, Soda, Food, showers every thing I could have wished for. I grabbed a cold beer signed the book and their the table before taking a selfie . I then plonked myself down into one of the camp chairs and relaxed I was still chilling when the trail angles appeared. Apologies I’ve forgotten their names all ready . They didn’t seem to want me to leave we sat chatting for hours drinking beer and laughing finally I had to move . I got up and made for the trail possibly not in a straight line lol I hiked for about d two more hours before setting up my tent. Now why can’t I just be left alone to eat if it’s not the mosies it’s the ants or the midges .well tonight it was bloody wasps. I put some sugar in a Ziploc and before bed it had almost 30 dead wasps in
2nd July No hurry to get up as i need the post office but it does not open to 10.30 then I needed a wee so had to emerge. Trail dancer had long gone. Think he’s on the trail by 4.30 am Possibly a good idea if the temperature keeps rising. I got back into my tent and had a tidy of my gear.then tried to add a couple of days from my missing blog. It was now getting hot.too hot to be lying in a tent so I got up and packed I strolled back to the store jawbone and freckles who were there going through their resupply box..I stuck my phone on charge and walked to the post office. Hi I said I think you may have a few packages for me? Mr roger Robinson she said .I said yes thank god she said there are six for you. I have to say when I first started the trail i wasn’t organised and sent random packages to random post offices. .I checked my packages. My old boots they can go in the hiker box. My current boots ill bounce them. My maps I need them. The rest was food so I bounced that and finally my bounce box.i unclipped the cable ties.
Mm about time I got new underwear as these two pairs have lasted me half the trail..so two new pairs.nice.. I then gave it a shuffle dropped some items onto the hiker box and put other spare items into it . resealed it up and sent it on its way. I felt really pleased. I’ll let you onto a little secret ages ago in Kennedy meadows I posted my tent up the trail. Now it may of been because I was drinking amnesia IPA But I’d actually forgotten where I sent it (old station) so all sorted now so I can relax. I made my way back to the store brought a lime soda and a coconut ice cream really tasty. Then organised my maps the next few days are going to be challenging and extremely hot hot hot and hot. I refilled my water. .rechecked the hiker box for any thing tasty then headed for the trail. Walking the rim is going to be mega hot it’s a old volcano so no natural water. Hopefully some fantastic angels have put out water.. I was heading for the caves to fill up with water ready to attack the rim before I melt Then i headed up to the rim it was actually cooler now with a gentle breeze but the terrain was hard on my feet and I was worried about cutting g my lovely comfy shoes to bits can’t a Ford to buy any more just yet I was making good time and the miles seemed to be rushing by maybe because I zoned out maybe I’m all excited about my new pack it may be waiting for me in Burney. It was almost 7 PM I don’t normally walk this late but I was fling good so pushed on at 8.30 I began looking for a camp. Perfect your do .I made hot chocolate and cooked rice night all
17th June woke refreshed ready to begin. As I was packing Raggedy man came through we chatted for a while then we too were on the trail. We hadn’t gone far when Smokes was having foot problems. He suggested that we both went on and he would catch us up.Off we went our first climb of the day switchback after switchback higher and higher till we got to the top.we waited here for Smokes.but wow what a fantastic view. Tahoe lake was glistening in the early morning sun light . Smokes arrived but I could tell he was in pain.he had a blister on the pad of one foot and his Achilles was hurting on the other.he was going to struggle today so suggested that he would see us at camp.so off the two of us went. In the distance I could see several large mountains. Guess we are going over them!! As You could see the faint line of a trail.Luckily the climb up wasn’t that steep and the higher we got we could see that it was one of the ski slope minus the snow !.After admiring the view we carried on to the next ski slope before dropping down into the forest. It was light and airy in here and I looked for a place to stop and take a break. As we rested a hiker named plant came and joined us.then “Not a chance” came by followed by Gufry hi snail they called see up the trail as they continued on to the creek. A little later we continued down to the creek also nobodies friend took water but I had sufficient. .The other hikers were lying g in the sun and making lunch.we carried on and began to climb a steep hill up and up it went It was getting hotter and hotter. I was hoping to get to the top before taking a break but it was no good I needed to stop. Was had lunch under the shade of a tree.and rested before resuming the climb.The rest of the afternoon seemed to be one long climb and it was hot I need water so stopped at the first stream I came too.As I was filling up Twinkle and Gufry came past hiya snail called Twinkle er stopped and chatted and then they were gone. Both are ultra lite hike and fast . nobodies friend and I re Resumed our climbing and eventually came out on another ski centre. Sat on the run was twinkle and Gufry. What a great view down the Valley
Again it was slightly surreal seeing the ski lifts and no snow. We carried on trying to make our 20 miles . were doing good but again time for a break. Because of the ski centres I had service so managed to renew my phone contract whoop.but shit somehow I’ve lost 10 days of blog PANIC!! SHIT BOLLOCKS and stuff it’s local so should be on my phone right!!!!! I will worry about it later. We are still climbing heading for something knob but as we get to the ridge the wind comes and it’s cold. .We head for a clump of trees to shelter and take break We are at mile 18 so we decide to find camp.we walk on and typically the trail heads up and as we walk the wind picks up and black clouds roll in. Looks like rain! Then it rains .We shelter under some trees while I rummage through my pack looking g for my rain jacket. .It’s raining and hailing but luckily not heavy.we want to move quickly but the terrain is very slippy slate and a steep fall down the mountain so slow it is .slow is safe.safe is slow. We both scourer looking for a suitable camp…Nothing nothing nothing. … Down there! It’s a bit off trail we leave markers on the trail in the hope Smokes sees them and can see us ..We quickly put up our tents just in case it pours. Then cook supper. We decide t to start late tomorrow to give smokes time to catch up
15th june I must of slept well as I needed waking up. It was a cool morning as we packed up from our “No CAMPING spot ! And continued around Echo lake. The trail was all rock so navigating over it was slow and painful .on this surface it’s so easy to turn an ankle or stumble and the trail was up so I huffed and puffed my way along.once at the top the views were stunning. The lake is so beautiful. Around its edges scattered lodges and cabins which can only be reached by boat . gorgeous location except for the mosies! . We moved on passing many day hikers. More snow to cross perfect! !.I thought I had seen the last of it grrr After the snow it was back to rock stone gravel and shale. So our speed reduced especially down hill as it was like walking on marbles. We rounded a corner and OMG Lakes Lots of crystal clear lakes as far as you can see. They just amaze me.but as I got closer my freinds the mosies thought that I may like to party! !.Luckily I had my jacket on and a good dose of deet on my legs. .but as I passed beneath trees great clouds of the buggers shot up. On we went tripping and crashing along the trail till we pas. sed a stream. So we stopped grabbed water then all three of us did laundry socks and underwear. .Hold that picture. As we sat there a group of young children came by guessing they were scouts We were heading for Dicks Pass. Hopefully not too high but we were all getting fed up with this rocky terrain. Dicks Pass here we come..The path was steep and stepped. Which to me is hard to climb but I was able to walk up the edge. The path trailed up the mountain.halfway up I paused as the view was an OMG moment I stood and stared before moving on. At the top was a bit of snow to walk through but mainly mushy. .but again the views were amazing. Then time to go down the other side and there was snow a lot of snow lots and lots of snow..traversing the snow wasn’t too bad either except my poles went in deep and occasionally i would post hole. .But then the trail dived down the valley steeply. There were switchbacks but you couldn’t see them and my shoes were crap in the snow. Slippers have better grip or even my flip flops. so walking g down was suicidal. I glisaded down the first bit but the second was too steep and dangerous..so I carefully stepped down the edge. Phew down.the rest W’s fairly snow free. So we raced down as fast as we could on this rocky surface again we found ourselves at another lake .We stopped for a break and just enjoyed the scenery A few more miles then time for camp. We found a site quite early and made the most if the evening sunshine We were at mile 1111.1 Sweet
We slept well and it’s great to use a drop toilet in the morning. Davinchi set off first then I followed him the others two were not far behind us .It was going to be a morning of climbing . Davinchi was moving and because it was up I couldn’t catch him. Higher and higher I climbed puffing as I normally do. The trail was steep narrow and slippy and just for fun it was a long way down. The others soon caught me .break soon as I need to take my jacket off .Smokes stopped at the saddle to check his boots and I was going to take my jacket off but it was cold up here do it will be the next stop. Over the saddle there was more snow Smokes and nobodies friend seemed to power through the drifts but as my shoes had little grip I Was slow but caught up once across. The trail was also very wet due to the snow melts so I was hopping over stream after stream then I lost sight of nobody’s friend. Bugger and it was so snowy I couldn’t see the trail. Ah there it goes down there. I carefully walked down as it was so slippy. But then no footprints no sign of either of them. Footprints I followed them into the valley till they stopped. I’m lost I get out my GPS. Bugger I’m miles off .I head diagonally where I think the trail is but I’m worse off bugger so now I’m making a mess of this and decide to go back diagonally the other way At last the trail or bits of it but OMG it’s goes down a steep valley and it’s just snow. Too steep and dangerous to glissade down so I begin to walk very very slowly .but it’s exhausting it takes me about an hr and I’m so not and bruised by the time I am down
As I posthole a lot of times .I take a 10 minute break take off my jacket then try to find the trail again but the ground is soft mud and I’m sinking up to my ankles. Shit at last I manage to find the trail my mates are long gone and I’ll never catch them .perhaps I’ll find them at camp. But I felt good the terrain was level and so I our on extra speed not bothering to step across creek s I just ploughed on through them. The miles were whizzing by until it was time to climb and the sun was getting hot. Okay break .I sat under the shade of a tree. And relaxed. While there Rufiji came strolling past .good to see you. See you up the trail. I walked on singing to myself and enjoying the trail as I rounded a corner…The guys were there and Da vinchi wow guys didn’t think I’d see you guys to later. After chilling we set off but I was tired maybe my earlier pace was too fast. But I managed to keep them in sight. The afternoon was all about fording streams .large ones deep ones we crossed by trees others we had to wade across. .Da vinchi wanted to go fishing so he went back a different root. We were trying to get to small lake. As the day wore on the Mosquitoes got worse especially when you crossed water. They just swarmed over you so much so that it seemed safer to jump in. Come on camp. After the last river crossing I had had enough of the mosquitos so charged up the next hill till I heard “Snail” phew tents…Smokes & nobodies friend. .I put up my tent wearing my bug net .but they seemed to leave me alone while I cooked
It is cold again, but this time not freezing. I wake once to wee and stare at the amazing array of stars that twinkle overhead the skies here are so clear. But it is cold so I crawl back into my sleeping bag and drift off again, curled into my little ball. I wake at six and I stuff my things away- I’m ready to go by 6:25. A good time. I put on frozen shoes, yanking the laces to get them loose. I pour water and milk powder into my mug then pour in a handful of mixed breakfast granola nuts fruit and then it is time to hike.
I feel good today. I feel happy. I feel alive. No ache or pains yet. I push on I am hiking through dry pine forest, then I am climbing up the sides of mountains I begin to hear voices and then come across a family who are day hiking after the normal chats and wow you’re the hiking the whole trail they advise me to take this trail Duck Lake Pass. I make my way to Duck Lake Pass and I begin to climb, up and up, past a series of glittering blue lakes, their tops in ice. It is very snowy as I trudge along, post-holing in the noonday sun. But soon I’m coming down and I can see people, clean people nice smelling day hikers.
“Like birds! Like when you’re at sea and you see birds, and you know you’re nearing land.”
Taken from Carrots blog but just so true At last I am at the trailhead, I take an obligatory dump in a pit toilet, well it would be rude not too and a few minutes later there’s a road where a shuttle miraculously appears- the free shuttle to Mammoth Lakes., I wriggle out of my pack as the bus stops and climb aboard, amazed to be moving by means other than my two feet. The shuttle winds around several lakes and clean smelling day hikers get on and off. I am in Mammoth Lakes, warm sun beating down, a bustling town. I pass by the Brewery, this will do me an English man and beer I sat in the sun with other smelly hikes and a few familiar faces And began to savour my pint of Epic IPA 6.5% then ordered a burger and fries and another beer this was a stout and mmm very nice . Okay one more then I must make a move Okay I’m fed and water need to get out of here as I’m about to leave a lady asks me if I need a ride as she is dropping her son who is a ranger back up at the park! Yes please we drive up towards one of the mountains past numerous deserted but massive ski ramps ,lifts and chairs round and round we drive until we pulled into a parking bay I got out and thanked my driver. then walked over with Steve who was talking over on the gate house . There is a steady stream of car waiting at the barrier to be let into the park.. I had arrived at the Minaret summit entrance Steve tells me to continue down this road for about 3 miles keeping left and I will eventually re-join the pct. I thanked him slipped past the barrier and made my way down the road . It was fairly narrow in places and so I had to stand well in as cars approached I continued on pausing to take in the views of the huge mammoth mountains all around me . Down and down I plodded in the warm sunshine eventually I came tom a sign pointing to the PCT Hurrah I walked along a trail and there in front was a trail register Down and down I plodded in the warm sunshine, eventually I came tom a sign pointing to the Agnew Meadows and the PCT Hurrah I walked along a trail and there in front was a trail register mile I am at mile 906
As I wrote my name mobbed by mossies so quickly hiked on . I wasn’t gaining to go too far just to escape the town and then find somewhere to sleep
I set off across a fresh green meadow but a hill loomed in front of my the switchbacks very plain to see and so soon I was climbing , climbing but was struggling a little. I wonder if that has anything to do with the beer tasting . okay that will do I found a spot just off trail swept the area removing stones and sticks then my tent was up . Just behind there was a rocky outcrop which I climbed and watched an amazing sunset Before cooking my supper and sleep
My alarm screams at me at 5am fuck that’s early and cold just a bit longer at 6am I stir and stick my head out of my tent it looks like a great day I fire up my stove as I pack up It is cold but I will soon warm up especially when climbing .I top up water from the creek and set off it is almost Seven .I feel pretty excited about today as I make my way up Selden pass. The snow is solid and I’m making good time and it is not long till I’m sat at the top and wow the views are amazing and I can see lakes all around. Okay time to go down and yes there are numerous trails to follow I try to walk in footsteps but this person must be tail as I can’t stride that far so decide to make my own I’m soon passing a gorgeous beautiful partially frozen lake. It is beautiful on a beautiful day but a cold wind is blowing do I need another layer I ask myself but push on regardless
The lower I go the snow turns to slush and the trail becomes a small river. I slosh along as there isn’t really any other option, below I can see a forest which shortly I will enter.
The wind at last stops so I take off my jacket. It is hot as I make my way through the forest and I am soon climbing, climbing in the heat god it’s bloody hot.
As I descend back down into the dusty pine forest I suddenly hit a brick. I am completely devoid of all energy. Maybe I need food?, I grab a cliff bar from my belt pocket and much it as I wander along the trail . Just then a fellow hiker appears ( sorry I have forgotten his name) great as he tends to pull me along, I’m hiking on my own but it is nice to have some company if only for a few miles. Well it certainly helped me climb as we both slosh through the slush, mud and water. The trail is fairly easy to follow and soon we are at the top. “Catch you up the trail Snail “, He says
The other side is a blanket of snow but there are deep gouges’ where’re people have glissaded down My friend Jumps into snow and he’s away I gingerly follow suit but in shorts it is not the best but I’m soon zooming down the side of the mountain
I checked my maps I’m near to Bishops pass not bad could have been better. I make tea and try and put on my frozen shoes fuck but soon they are soft enough for me to get them on I eat breakfast well I need more fuel in my engine, as I’m getting ready I see several hikers come past but I didn’t recognise them. Okay back to the snow and Muir pass The snow is solid so I push on, I wouldn’t have been able to do this yesterday and so it is not long till I’m nearing the Muir hut a stone building. ASS I approach there are several packs lent outside and hikers posing for photos .I go in there are stone ledges around and a sort of altar to Muir , Above the bricked-over fireplace- a set of deer antlers, a plaque, and lots of trinkets that people have left. I sit and absorb its history for a moment
Then I wander around outside to admire the views, which are amazing
Time to hike as it is a five mile snowy decent down, my favourite I laugh to myself,
I begin my decent the snow is hard and it stretches away forever, I’m making my way down hill and I feel brilliant I’m almost running as I descend downhill towards the valley.
I’m running the Snail is actually running and I’m singing stupid songs and making up verses that I can’t remember, I am actually making good time as I’m going straight down as opposed to following the switch backs which are hidden beneath the snow. I see the tracks of someone who has glissaded or fell. I’m weaving to slow myself down as I don’t want to break anything .In the distance I can see a beautiful lake glistening in the sunlight that will do me for a lunch stop. I’m feeling happy much happier than yesterday. I stop and make salami tortilla squirt with mayo and onion yummy and brew up
I seem to be descending for most of the day and at last I’m out of the snow as I enter into a dry, hot forest, I take a break next to a clear, rushing stream top up my water. I’m doing well I am trying to get to mile 860 Sengar Creek or there about. I wanted to get close to Selden pass so I can climb it early or rather that is the plan I may go on depending on how much fuel is in my engine As I approach I notice a camp site that will do perfectly I soon have my tent up and I’m feeling good as I drink a hot cup of tea