The Unbearable Lightness of Morning

Maxwell Trail Camp Guzzler (PCT Halfmile 493) to San Francisquito Canyon Road (mile 478.2) (14.8 miles, +2500/-3500 feet). Last night the wind came on strong a little after sundown.  I was camped in a thick wood so there wasn’t too much breeze at ground level, but the trees flailed around wildly.  I was glad to…

Gnat Attack

Hikertown (PCT Halfmile 517.6) to Maxwell Trail Camp Guzzler (mile 493) (24.6 miles, +5500/-3900 feet). For this hike I originally planned to drive to Hikertown and get an Uber around to my starting point at San Francisquito Canyon, hiking north on the PCT.  But I woke up at 2am last night and couldn’t get back…

Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks (PCT Halfmile 453.5) to Indian Canyon Trailhead (PCT 444.2) (9.3 miles, +2,000/-2,300 feet). One thing I didn’t realize about my campsite last night: I was about a mile from the 14, which is busier than many interstates I’ve travelled.  It wasn’t too bad, but it did remind me of what it sounds like…

Agua Dulce

San Francisquito Canyon Road (PCT Halfmile 478.2) to Vasquez Rocks (PCT 453.5) (24.7 miles, +4,000/-4,900 feet). Time to continue my adventures on the PCT! Except for the Mountain Fire Closure, I have completed everything up to Acton KOA, so ideally I would have started from there and headed north.  But I only had two days…

San Gorgonio Pass

PCT Halfmile 201.7 to Whitewater Preserve (17.5 miles, +2,000/-5,000 feet). I was so worried that it would be windy last night, given how much it howled during the day.  But the wind disappeared at sunset and it never came back, giving me a perfectly calm night and a great sleep. My knees ached from yesterday’s…

Icy Falls

Deer Springs Trailhead to PCT Halfmile 201.7 (22.3 miles, +4,300/-6,700 feet). As I have slowly creeped my way north on the PCT, there has been a missing section that has nagged at me.  On past trips I have explored all around San Jacinto Peak and the San Gorgonio Wilderness, but I never connected the dots,…

Bulletproof PCT

Wrightwood to Cajon Junction (24 miles, +3,500/-6,700 feet). Today I had the opportunity to finish up the part of Section D that Half Cookie and I missed when we had to leave trail early last May.  It was a gorgeous day starting out in the low 30s and peaking somewhere in the 50s, and I…

Back in the Saddle

Vincent Gap to Wrightwood (14 miles, +3,500/-4,200 feet). Ever since Half Cookie rolled her ankle and we had to get off trail at Vincent Gap, I’ve had my eye on the part of Section D of the PCT between there and Cajon Junction.  Today I got a chance to hike some of it with my…

Not 30

PCT Halfmile 424.4 to Indian Canyon Trailhead (PCT 444.2) (19.8 miles, +3,000/-6,400 feet). Today was…. interesting. I’m not sure I would do it again.  In fact, I know I wouldn’t.  But sometimes it is useful to have certain experiences because they are novel and they help define the lines within which we color our future…

Trail Gorilla

Mill Creek Summit (PCT Halfmile 418.6) to PCT 424.4 (5.8 miles, +2,200/-1,400 feet). Over the last two and a half years I’ve hiked about 15% of the PCT.  It’s such a beautifully-designed and well-maintained trail that my buddies and I often use it as a baseline to rate other trails (as in “hey, this is…

Eclipse!

Forest Road 797 to 395 and back (1.5 miles, +300/-300 feet). Okay, so this is kind of a fake entry. True, Pasta Jay and I got up early and took a nice walk down the forest road near where we camped in the Malheur National Forest.  We even turned it into a loop with some…

Indian Creek Loop

Penny Pines to PCT to Pine Mountain Trail to Indian Creek Trail to Noble Canyon Trail to Penny Pines (11 miles, +1,500/-1,500 feet). Half Cookie and I are getting ready for an August trip to the Sierra and she has been struggling to find a pair of shoes that work for her on longer hikes….