Day 35

Dy: 35

Date: 14 May 2018 10:55PM PDT

Location: Camping near mile 672.8

Today's Miles: 20.7

Total Miles: 672.8

Slept in this morning since I couldn't leave until the post office opened. Looked out my tent and most of the other hikers were gone. Packed up my stuff, walked into town, hit up the coffee shop I've been singing praises of since I first heard about it.

Had myself breakfast and some coffee while I chatted with two other hikers. It was pretty incredible, cheap, and super friendly.

Headed over to the post office to check on my package, which was supposed to be up the road in a smaller town closer to the trail. Turns out everything was OK, so I walked on over to the road leading out of town and stuck out my thumb.

Took a little while to get out, and my first hitch only took me a portion of the way. Managed to get to the post office in the end, where I had to unpack, pull a part of my tent out, put it in a box, and swap it out with a replacement piece.

Shortly thereafter a trail angel was on her way up to the trail and she graciously offered me a ride back. Made it back to the trail before the bus that leaves town even left, so it all worked out in the end.

Mostly up hill all afternoon, ended up climbing over 4500 feet and descending almost equally as much throughout the day. Took a risk on a lone tent site on a big climb at the end of the day, ended up someone was already camped there. Grabbed my headlamp and hiked on into the night.

Couple miles later managed to find a spot. Fell asleep writing this so I ended up finishing it in the morning.


Day 34

Day: 34

Date: 13 May 2018 09:35PM PDT

Location: Camping near mile 652.1

Today's Miles: 0.8

Total Miles: 652.1

Unintended zero day today.

Arrived in Lake Isabella earlier than I expected, have to wait for the post office to open tomorrow to grab a replacement piece of gear.

Ended up getting a hitch in from an older gentleman who is section hiking the PCT. He's super old, from Pennsylvania as well, and has an awesome section hiking plan that involves him leaving his van at one trailhead, and riding his dirty old sport bike of a motorcycle to the other trailhead. Super awesome idea, no idea why I never thought of it myself.

Sat in his van with him while he finished up his oatmeal to stay out of the cold. Ended up chatting for almost an hour before driving into town.

Had really anticipated hitting up a local cafe that apparently loves hikers and has awesome food to boot. Unfortunately they're closed on Sunday, so I wandered next door to another local establishment  and had food there instead.

Busy place, Mother's Day was in full swing. By the time I was finished eating there was a line out the door, so I moved myself to the counter and drank a few more cups of coffee.

Sidled over to the grocery store and grabbed some minor resupply items while also stocking up on sparkling water, vegetables, yogurt (in lieu of rice pudding), and a cheeky bottle of Mountain Dew.

Spent the afternoon hanging out with some pretty cool and eclectic hikers at the local RV Park. Which, surprising or not, was a pretty amazing place. Everyone bought some food at the grocery store to share, and we ended up having a delicious potluck of cooked meats and veg on the grill.

Tomorrow will be breakfast, post office, and back walking.

Two days to Kennedy Meadows South, mile 700, and the gateway to the Sierra. 


Day 21

Day: 21

Date: 28 Apr 2018 08:46PM PDT

Location: Camping near mile 404.2

Today's Miles: 23.7

Total Miles: 404.2

Cold, cold night last night. Sleeping above 9,000 feet and it definitely dropped below freezing. Luckily there wasn't too much wind, but even so the gusts beat my tent up a bit.

Up at first light, but it was still wicked cold so I hung out in my bag for a bit, letting the sun warm everything up.

Relatively light day today, twice as much downhill as up.

About 1030 I arrived at a road crossing up in the mountains, a bit of a forest service rest stop / trail head with a bunch of cars parked, trash cans, and pit toilets. As I was sitting on a bench eating a snack I saw off near the trail something big, like a tree branch or something, fall off and down a hundred foot cliff embankment, landing down hard on the road.

Knowing something wasn't right, I jumped up and sprinted over to find an approximately sixty year old man had fallen off the steep drop, hitting his head multiple times on the way down.

Old dude was a wreck, barely conscious, bleeding all over the place. Needless to say, my training kicked in and the rest was a blur.

Organized some people standing around to stop the bleeding, cut his pack off, hold his head and neck and provide treatment for shock. Flagged a few cars down and sent them down the hill to try and make an emergency phone call.

Managed to actually get a phone call through, gave them a latitude and longitude since the dispatcher was somewhere in Los Angeles and did not know the mountains very well, cleared some cars for an landing zone, and waved in a helicopter.

Provided assistance to the two Los Angeles Sherrif Department medics who showed up, moved the hiker onto a stretcher, carried him to the helicopter, and off they went.

After that, I was a bit in shock myself for much of the day. Too many memories rushing back, and I don't remember much of the day after.

Late afternoon I came across a small ski lodge that does trail magic on the weekends when they're doing repairs and labor to prepare for the winter. They offered up chips and soda, pretzles, and general conversation. Sat and listened to a few other hikers chat before heading back out into the wilderness.

Hiked until sunset, found a spot overlooking the valley on one side, backed by the mountains on the other. Appears this is a popular section of trail for weekenders, someone is very close by partying it up at another uneateblished campsite, blasting music and otherwise being obnoxious.

Fifty miles to Auga Dulce.