Ten by Ten

PCT mile 228.0 to Whitewater Preserve (10 miles, +1,200/-1,900 feet). Thankfully, the wind died down last night around 8pm and it was calm and warm and not-too-uncomfortable in my sleeping-padless tent.  I slept well. BarnFinder and I packed up and got ready right after daybreak this morning.  I ate my last piece of pizza (it’s…

Pizza Time in Gorgonio

Onyx Summit (mile 252.1) to PCT mile 228.0 (24.1 miles, +2,000/-6,500 feet). Time for another adventure on the PCT!  My buddy BarnFinder and I were originally going to do a section near Mount Baden-Powell, but part of Highway 2 was still closed this week due to snow (what a crazy wet winter we’ve had in…

Pretty Little Desert Flower

Bow Willow and Rockhouse Canyon Loop (8 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet). On Friday morning I heard a story on KPBS that this year is supposed to be the best wildflower season in Anza-Borrego since the late 1990s.  So that sealed the deal — Barnfinder and Rockit Man and I would head to the desert. We arrived at…

A Deep Creek

Holcomb Crossing Trail Camp (PCT mile 294.1) to Hwy 173 (mile 314.3) (20 miles, +2,700/-4,800 feet). Last night was COLD!  The thermometer said 18 degrees.  My toes said numb!  I need to remember my extra sleeping bag on these winter expeditions…. At daybreak we packed up quickly and headed into the morning light. There were…

An Icy Traverse

Cougar Crest Trailhead to Holcomb Crossing Trail Camp (PCT mile 294.1) (19 miles, +1,700/-3,000 feet). So here’s the thing. My pal Barnfinder loves the PCT so much that he has a personal goal not just to section hike it, but to travel each section both northbound and southbound.  Meanwhile, I have been trying to thru-hike as…

Smugglers Cove

Scorpion Ranch to Yellowbanks Overlook and back (10 miles, +1,600/-1,600 feet). Today was our last day on the island.  We broke camp before the sun rose and took our packs down to Scorpion Pier.  We then packed water and our remaining food for a day hike out to Smugglers Cove. Today’s hike was much easier, taking…

Montañon Ridge

Del Norte Campground to Scorpion Ranch via Chinese Harbor (16 miles, +3,000/-3,700 feet). After 13 hours on our backs (winter nights are long!) we were very ready to get started with our hike across the island.  Since it was only 11 miles total and we had the whole day, we decided to add a 4…

And Now For Something Completely Different

Prisoner’s Harbor Pier to Del Norte Campground plus Navy Road loop (10 miles, +2,700/-2,000 feet). MixMaster, BarnFinder, and I have had some tough luck getting a trip together lately.  Trips on the John Muir Trail and PCT were both cancelled due to at least two of us being injured or sick!  So this time we…

Island Pass Perfection

Marie Lakes to Agnew Meadows (14 miles, +1,200/-3,700 feet). After our terrible, terrible experience on Rush Creek yesterday we all agreed that we should not do a there-and-back hike back to Bloody Canyon.  So today we hiked to Agnew Meadows where we could get the bus down to Mammoth.  It was another great day on…

Marie Lakes

Parker Creek to Marie Lakes (16.5 miles, +3,500/-3,500 feet). Today was two truly spectacular hikes that sandwiched a relatively miserable one.  I guess it’s not a coincidence that my emotional energy mirrored the topographical profile of today’s trip…. We awoke energized and ready to tackle the switchbacks headed up Parker Peak. The climb wasn’t bad at all….

Bloody Canyon

Bloody Canyon to Parker Creek (10.5 miles, +3,000/-300 feet). This was an accidental trip. I originally thought about organizing a different hike but I discovered that on the Inyo Wilderness Permit site you can enter a date and group size and it shows you all available trailheads.  I had never heard of many of the ones I saw, so…

A Morning Stroll

Doble Trail Camp (mile 268.6) to Cougar Crest Trail (mile 277.7) (11 miles, +1,500/-1,700 feet). Last night was windy!  There were some power lines above us and they made an eerie low hum every time the wind blew.  I eventually ignored it and went to sleep. This morning we got up before the sun, which is…