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.



autena said...

Oh I couldn't handle those critters, no sir! But what a blessing to have those trail angels.

NeverTooOld said...

Hi Autena,
The critters and hiking in the night, ugh! Yeah, it's a blessing to have peeps like that on the trail. Thanks for stopping by and hope you're having a wonderful Wednesday!!

nbrsspot.blogspot.com said...

They seem to be making good time and i agree with the temps being so hot during the day that hiking at night is the best for some. how long is the whole hike suppose to take? I know its over 2,000 miles. if I remember right you said something about Sept or late August they would reach there destination. Its been a while.

NeverTooOld said...

Hi Nicole,

Yes they are. On average 20 miles a day. It's been quite the scorcher with temps in the triple digits. Yup, it'll be Sept at the pace they're hiking. 2650 miles, give 'er take as they must sometimes trek off the beaten path. Thanks for stoppin' by as it's always a pleasure. Hope you guys have a great weekend.

kneesandpaws said...

Hi Dave! Sorry I have been awol for a while and missed most of your postings about this incredible journey. My husband would love to take this hike if we had time and resources. I love the pictures and the story of trail angels. Wouldn't that be a cool way to live? Just to be a haven for people? I love that idea.

NeverTooOld said...

Hi Jenny,
Nice to see you and thanks for stopping by! No sorry's that for sure as I know you've been on vacation and who blogs while on vacation?? hehe. Never too worry and you'll find my eternal posts here, so even if you travel to the moon and back, you'll find the lastest here! ha! It's been an incredible trip thus far and they are now ascending the Sierras and nearly to Mt. Whitney which will take them to elevations above 13,000 ft. They are taking a couple zero days (no hiking) in preparation for the ascent. They are currently camping in Kennedy Meadows just east of Sequoia National Forest. They opted the John Muir section there to save their reserves for Mt Whitney. Besides, the giant Sequoia's rest on the western slopes and they would not have trekked that far west. Anywho, the temps had been so warm that they've been hiking by night so pics have been limited. I hope to get more in the coming weeks to post. I hope you and yours have a nice week ahead and thanks again for stopping by!