Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mountains and The Mojave

My work schedule the past couple weeks had prevented me from posting the latest from our hikers on the PCT.  I also wanted to mention the fact that I've neglected to mention that once on the trail, one is dubbed with a trail hiker "name".  Amy, whose trail name is "Legs" was given due to her ability to set the hiking pace for the other hikers in her group.  Allan, has been dubbed "Powerhouse" because he packs all the necessary "solar" equipment to keep everyones electronics energized.  Hiking pal Austin's trail name is Treble.  Perhaps it's because he's always snagging his gear on brush along the trail? lol.  Anywho, my last post had them descending from the Angeles National forest mountains with my last pic being that of the Los Angeles basin.  At that point they were at approximately 373 miles into the trail.  Since then, they've reached mile 400...

They've hiked through the barren hills on the northeast side of the Angeles forest where the trail had been rough with temperatures reaching triple digits.  

Little streams like this creek named Little Jimmy Spring allowed for replenishing canteens and a cool drink.  Barely noticeable in the  picture.

Time for a quick stop and photo at Grassy Hollow.

A lone cedar stands trailside.  This one with a massive split in it's trunk.

The last 30 miles of their descent off the mountain proved to be the roughest having to work their way through plants called "Poodle Dog" bush that are similar to poison ivy.  It truly slowed the hike down to that of a crawl.  "Legs" was never happier to have completed this section.

Little rewards like these wild flowers helped to soften the trail and allowed to forget about harsher sections.

This image of "Powerhouse" shows how warm it was as they continued on their descent towards the Mojave desert.  The Southern California heat holds no mercy and the terrain provides minimal shade.

Critters like this lizard have a hard time finding shelter from the sun.

The descent.

Leaving the North Fork Ranger station at Agua Dulce, CA.

Just north of Vasquez Rocks state park, our hikers find "Hiker's Haven".  A hiker's retreat created by The Saufley's that provides clean clothes, shelter,  internet, and all the comforts of home.  Here, "Legs" is pictured with Hiker Haven owner Donna Saufley.

"She is the BEST trail angel"

Here are a few of the many amenities they provide...

Trailers like these are provided free of cost to PCT hikers.

After our hikers left the retreat of Hiker's Haven, they continued on to the point where they were to cross an 80 mile stretch of the Mojave desert.  Determining the daytime temps were to hot to hike in, they decided to hike by night and try to find shade to sleep in the day.  This proved to be a good move, but made for a tough time sleeping.  Very few pictures were taken.

Oasis cache like this one is found along the trail at night.  Trail angels secretly drop off refreshments like, water, soda, and beer.

Friends of the night greet them along the winding trail.
A scorpion


This creature.

Treble and Powerhouse ready to head out on another night's hike.

and yet another.


At last our hikers arrive in Tehachapi, CA where they get to take in a hearty breakfast at Denny's
All you can eat flapjacks for 4 bucks makes for three happy hikers!

After a night and days rest, our trio carry on into the evening...

and on their way up into the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Spot tracker currently has them located in the foothills inbetween Wylers Knob and Skinners Peak on Robin Bird Spring Canyon Rd at mile 631.5.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Pops

Dearest Pops

Although you've passed
your memory shall last
not only in my heart

Your memory instills
what I have to provide
that you've layed out and defined

To uphold your promise
bear the weight
with all true conviction

Wake each day and profess to mine
all that lends to no contradiction

Dearest Pops of mine
you've lent me so much
for me to make the distinction

Youve taught me a way
never give up a day
take full and make no self mention

O Pops of mine
if only i could
say to you how divine

That your life has led me to good
I would kiss you
and say that because you had cared

I told you I'd show you I would.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wish I Were There

Little Bear Creek San Bernardino Mtns.

Long shadows are cast as our hikers head north the morning of 5.29.12

The sun peaks above the San Bernardino Mountain range looking south and provides the shot of our hikers shadows above.

The mornings cool air lends to some entertainment.

The hike between Big Bear Lake and Silverwood Lake was extreme in that the temps ranged in the triple digits.  Here they take a break in the shade before they continue on... 

and water sources like Grass Valley Creek provided much needed hydration.

They reach their destination at Silverwood Recreation area about 8:00 pm on 5.29.12 and set up camp at the base of Cedar Springs Dam.

Onto the trail on 5.30.12 Amy called as she was so excited to find this wonderful surprise of fresh fruit, bottled water, and a carton of hard boiled eggs.  You just gotta love those trail angels!

They reach the top of the Silverwood Lakes rim and Amy is excited as she know a cool dip awaits her.

After a dip, laundry, and some eats, it's back to the trail and another trail greeter.  A very long greeting I might add!

Here's a beautiful panoramic shot of Amy and Silverwood Lake just before they leave it behind on their descent to the valley floor.
After miles of trail they near the valley floor at Cajon pass.  Ahead in the distance and just right of center is I-15 the Mojave Barstow freeway to Vegas.
The sun high in the sky and headed NW.  Ralston Peak, Lytle Creek Ridge, and Mt. Baldy provide a stunning picture and lends to what awaits ahead.

Centuries old wind carved walls help guide them.

Rock formations near Cajon.

After a brutal 18 mile hike through the Cajon Pass desert two welcoming sights emerge.
Interstate Freeway 15...
and this sign.  Yes, that is a McDonalds restaurant!

The heat, sweat, and constant rubbing of her backpack took it's toll through the desert.
Now they take a well deserved break.

5.31.12 am

Our hikers now have behind them 332 miles and have but a mere 2326 to go.  Welcome to PCT.

Thinking 22 miles until the next drink, 5 miles into the mornings hike, trail angels again surprise with Calistoga Sparkling Water.  A special thanks go out to Trailratz of the Swarthout Canyon, John, Dave, and Steve.

A look back at I-15 and Cajon Pass as they begin to ascend the San Gabriel and Angeles mtn range.

6.1.12 am

Looking east as the sun rises at 5:00 am.  Not a cloud in the sky.

Our hikers wanted to make ground before the heat set in and about 6 miles from Wrightwood a local by the name of Peter stopped to give our hikers a ride...

and drove them to a nice little place called Pines Hotel and these wonderful cabins...
into and around town.  What a Guy!

Here are some random pics taken along the trail...

Amy and Austin

6.1.12 pm


We leave you with this...
373 down and 2277 to go as they sit...
high atop the Angeles National Forest.