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Archive for May, 2006

Destination: Adjacent to Aqueduct
Starting Location: Red Rock Water Tank
Today’s Miles: 22.00
Trip Miles: 525.30
Red Rock Water Tank (503, 5660) Adjacent to Aqueduct (525, 3100) ascent (2103) descent (4570)
When we started out this morning we saw a note from Tree Hugger that she had seen a mountain lion. I was hopeful but all we saw were some fresh tracks on the trail. The early morning was glorious as we descended through a Hansel & Gretel oak woodland full of hollows in the trees complete with owls hooting. And then the first real Mojave heat and the craziest route for the trail as it went west then east in an effort to avoid the largest ranch (Tejon) in California. We finally crossed Highway 138, checked out Hiker Town (another very hospitable trail angel who allows hikers to get water, use an outside shower, & camp on his lawn), & met Dad who shuttled us to the country market for ice cream & soda. We sat out the afternoon heat (95 degrees) & organized our gear for the next several days.
At 6:00 pm we headed down the California aqueduct which carries water from the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada to the increasingly thirsty and arid southern California. Ultimately the open canal goes underground and as we walked on top of it, we could hear water rushing beneath us as we toll across the Mojave. I personally like the Mojave because I think Joshua trees are really neat, but the next few days are likely going to be tough.
Once again, my wonderful wife Liz came through and secured me some supplements that may help my stomach by improving liver function. Hope they work.
Also got a new pair of New Balance 907’s. The old pair was shot after about 400 miles and the support in the new shoes feels good. I once again added a metatarsal pad to my Superfeet insoles and that is keeping the pain down to a no Vitamin I level.
I feel really good tonight. We are camped beside the aqueduct, under a bright star night with coyotes yipping in the distance. I am a lucky guy.
Destination: Adjacent to Aqueduct
Starting Location: Red Rock Water Tank
Today’s Miles: 22.00
Trip Miles: 525.30
Red Rock Water Tank (503, 5660) Adjacent to Aqueduct (525, 3100) ascent (2103) descent (4570)
When we started out this morning we saw a note from Tree Hugger that she had seen a mountain lion. I was hopeful but all we saw were some fresh tracks on the trail. The early morning was glorious as we descended through a Hansel & Gretel oak woodland full of hollows in the trees complete with owls hooting. And then the first real Mojave heat and the craziest route for the trail as it went west then east in an effort to avoid the largest ranch (Tejon) in California. We finally crossed Highway 138, checked out Hiker Town (another very hospitable trail angel who allows hikers to get water, use an outside shower, & camp on his lawn), & met Dad who shuttled us to the country market for ice cream & soda. We sat out the afternoon heat (95 degrees) & organized our gear for the next several days.
At 6:00 pm we headed down the California aqueduct which carries water from the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada to the increasingly thirsty and arid southern California. Ultimately the open canal goes underground and as we walked on top of it, we could hear water rushing beneath us as we toll across the Mojave. I personally like the Mojave because I think Joshua trees are really neat, but the next few days are likely going to be tough.
Once again, my wonderful wife Liz came through and secured me some supplements that may help my stomach by improving liver function. Hope they work.
Also got a new pair of New Balance 907’s. The old pair was shot after about 400 miles and the support in the new shoes feels good. I once again added a metatarsal pad to my Superfeet insoles and that is keeping the pain down to a no Vitamin I level.
I feel really good tonight. We are camped beside the aqueduct, under a bright star night with coyotes yipping in the distance. I am a lucky guy.
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Destination: Red Rock Water Tank
Starting Location: San Francisquito Canyon Road
Today’s Miles: 24.40
Trip Miles: 503.30
San Francisquito Canyon Road (4786, 3385) to Red Rock Water Tank (503, 5660) ascent (4652) descent (2477)
I think we were all dreading today because it was reported as a 30 mile waterless stretch and we assumed incorrectly that we would be fully exposed. Instead we found ourselves walking into and out of some truly beautiful live oak forest with an occasional cedar cluster thrown in. We also found a fair amount of water and we are camped overlooking the Mojave adjacent to a 10,000 gallon concrete fire water tank. Now this is a water cache.
I was able to clean up with water and we stopped early enough to allow the sun to dry my previously filthy body. I sleep so much better when I am clean.
Our group (Sugar Daddy, Weed, Cadence & I) dynamics have changed since Lucky Liz got off the trail as planned at Agua Dulce. It is not better or worse just different as everyone takes on slightly new rules consistent with the new dynamic. I am sure this will change again when Weed leaves us at highway 178. I am hopeful that our group stays together at least through the Sierra because I have confidence in this group and I know what to expect from each member & I know they are capable of making it & helping others make it as well.
I did much better on my food selections this leg. I went for maximum variety after the great nut debacle last leg. What happened was that I had bought way too many nuts and figured “oh well” I will just eat a lot of nuts instead of other stuff. Let me tell you, it will be weeks before I eat another nut and if Weed had not given me 3 oz of tuna and Luigi had not given me some M & M’s I would have certainly overdosed on nuts. There was even talk about changing my trail name to nutcase.
My food strategy for this leg was to basically not eat the same thing more than twice. It has been good with the exception that I think really fatty foods are contributing to my stomach being upset and thus my cheese & salami burrito was not very appetizing but I gagged down the needed calories regardless.
Starting to think about our Sierra strategy as it is getting close. We have several viable options with each having advantages & disadvantages. I am hopeful that I do not have to come out of the high mountains to resupply. However that could mean carrying 11 days of food and that could be problematic. We will figure it out in the coming weeks.
Destination: Red Rock Water Tank
Starting Location: San Francisquito Canyon Road
Today’s Miles: 24.40
Trip Miles: 503.30
San Francisquito Canyon Road (4786, 3385) to Red Rock Water Tank (503, 5660) ascent (4652) descent (2477)
I think we were all dreading today because it was reported as a 30 mile waterless stretch and we assumed incorrectly that we would be fully exposed. Instead we found ourselves walking into and out of some truly beautiful live oak forest with an occasional cedar cluster thrown in. We also found a fair amount of water and we are camped overlooking the Mojave adjacent to a 10,000 gallon concrete fire water tank. Now this is a water cache.
I was able to clean up with water and we stopped early enough to allow the sun to dry my previously filthy body. I sleep so much better when I am clean.
Our group (Sugar Daddy, Weed, Cadence & I) dynamics have changed since Lucky Liz got off the trail as planned at Agua Dulce. It is not better or worse just different as everyone takes on slightly new rules consistent with the new dynamic. I am sure this will change again when Weed leaves us at highway 178. I am hopeful that our group stays together at least through the Sierra because I have confidence in this group and I know what to expect from each member & I know they are capable of making it & helping others make it as well.
I did much better on my food selections this leg. I went for maximum variety after the great nut debacle last leg. What happened was that I had bought way too many nuts and figured “oh well” I will just eat a lot of nuts instead of other stuff. Let me tell you, it will be weeks before I eat another nut and if Weed had not given me 3 oz of tuna and Luigi had not given me some M & M’s I would have certainly overdosed on nuts. There was even talk about changing my trail name to nutcase.
My food strategy for this leg was to basically not eat the same thing more than twice. It has been good with the exception that I think really fatty foods are contributing to my stomach being upset and thus my cheese & salami burrito was not very appetizing but I gagged down the needed calories regardless.
Starting to think about our Sierra strategy as it is getting close. We have several viable options with each having advantages & disadvantages. I am hopeful that I do not have to come out of the high mountains to resupply. However that could mean carrying 11 days of food and that could be problematic. We will figure it out in the coming weeks.

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Destination: San Francisquito Canyon Road
Starting Location: Agua Dulce
Today’s Miles: 24.20
Trip Miles: 478.90
Agua Dulce (454.4, 2530) to San Francisquito Canyon Road (478.6, 3385) ascent (4560) descent (3517)
I am totally spent. Dave gave us a ride after we arranged for my dad to pick up some of our Sierra stuff, and food for beyond Highway 138 (on Wednesday). We started hiking with heavy packs and moved like slugs as we traveled down a lengthy road walk. Fortunately trail angels Dean & Daniel had offered to meet us at Bouquet Canyon Road which allowed us to only carry three liters of water versus six. When we met them we not only got water but juice, soda & chips. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We hiked on a long way and found more magic as we rounded a corner in the heavy chaparral to find the Casa Oasis. Complete with a plastic skeleton and a pink flamingo, eccentric and lovable Joe & Terry Anderson have carved out a tunnel in the vegetation where we found chairs, soda & beer on ice and a trash can. As we were scratching our head while enjoying a soda (beer for Weed), in walks Joe Anderson. We had a fun time joking around and talking about the trail. We were caught in the vortex and did not leave until 4 pm with another 7 miles to water. Those were really tough miles.
When we got to the road, Terry found us and offered us an all you can eat dinner and breakfast at the Casa de Luna. We were tempted, but want to ensure we get out early for our planned 25 miles tomorrow. I hope I recover over night as I am totally exhausted. My stomach has been acting up a lot and that is taking a physical but more significantly a mental toll. I got a message to Liz to try and reach the nutritionist I was working with to prior to the hike in an attempt to try some nutritional options that may help.
Destination: San Francisquito Canyon Road
Starting Location: Agua Dulce
Today’s Miles: 24.20
Trip Miles: 478.90
Agua Dulce (454.4, 2530) to San Francisquito Canyon Road (478.6, 3385) ascent (4560) descent (3517)
I am totally spent. Dave gave us a ride after we arranged for my dad to pick up some of our Sierra stuff, and food for beyond Highway 138 (on Wednesday). We started hiking with heavy packs and moved like slugs as we traveled down a lengthy road walk. Fortunately trail angels Dean & Daniel had offered to meet us at Bouquet Canyon Road which allowed us to only carry three liters of water versus six. When we met them we not only got water but juice, soda & chips. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
We hiked on a long way and found more magic as we rounded a corner in the heavy chaparral to find the Casa Oasis. Complete with a plastic skeleton and a pink flamingo, eccentric and lovable Joe & Terry Anderson have carved out a tunnel in the vegetation where we found chairs, soda & beer on ice and a trash can. As we were scratching our head while enjoying a soda (beer for Weed), in walks Joe Anderson. We had a fun time joking around and talking about the trail. We were caught in the vortex and did not leave until 4 pm with another 7 miles to water. Those were really tough miles.
When we got to the road, Terry found us and offered us an all you can eat dinner and breakfast at the Casa de Luna. We were tempted, but want to ensure we get out early for our planned 25 miles tomorrow. I hope I recover over night as I am totally exhausted. My stomach has been acting up a lot and that is taking a physical but more significantly a mental toll. I got a message to Liz to try and reach the nutritionist I was working with to prior to the hike in an attempt to try some nutritional options that may help.

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Destination: Agua Dulce
Starting Location: Agua Dulce
Today’s Miles: 0.00
Trip Miles: 454.70
Agua Dulce – Zero
Had a really nice day at Hiker Heaven and enjoyed cookie after cookie that my mom, sister Sheri, nephew Ryan and snow shoeing marvel Cathy baked and sent to us. After we had our fill & reserved some for hiking tomorrow, we put them out and watched the feeding frenzy.
Our buddy Dave Fleischman, who is the section D & E PCT volunteer maintenance chief, helped us out immensely during our Agua Dulce stay. He shuttled us around to secure supplies and took Cadence on a work party to hopefully show her down as we go forward.
We enjoyed our second BBQ and understood why it can be hard to leave.
Destination: Agua Dulce
Starting Location: Agua Dulce
Today’s Miles: 0.00
Trip Miles: 454.70
Agua Dulce – Zero
Had a really nice day at Hiker Heaven and enjoyed cookie after cookie that my mom, sister Sheri, nephew Ryan and snow shoeing marvel Cathy baked and sent to us. After we had our fill & reserved some for hiking tomorrow, we put them out and watched the feeding frenzy.
Our buddy Dave Fleischman, who is the section D & E PCT volunteer maintenance chief, helped us out immensely during our Agua Dulce stay. He shuttled us around to secure supplies and took Cadence on a work party to hopefully show her down as we go forward.
We enjoyed our second BBQ and understood why it can be hard to leave.

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Destination: Agua Dulce
Starting Location: Mattox Creek
Today’s Miles: 14.20
Trip Miles: 454.70
Mattox Creek (440.2, 2685) to Agua Dulce (454.4, 2530) ascent (2346) descent (2556)
Happy Birthday Lucky Liz!
A few miles of hiking and I felt great and happy to be alive. I took about 50 pictures and cruised into Agua Dulce and the Saufley’s “Hiker Heaaven”. It is hard to describe the hospitality of Jeff and Donna and the comfortable atmosphere they have created. Bicycles & cars, showers & shoes, beds & cots, BBQ & friends…amazing.
Donna got a Mohawk in preparation for her JMT hike, and we all sang happy birthday to Lucky Liz and enjoyed a wonderful evening with our hiker community

Destination: Agua Dulce

Starting Location: Mattox Creek

Today’s Miles: 14.20

Trip Miles: 454.70

Mattox Creek (440.2, 2685) to Agua Dulce (454.4, 2530) ascent (2346) descent (2556)

Happy Birthday Lucky Liz!

A few miles of hiking and I felt great and happy to be alive. I took about 50 pictures and cruised into Agua Dulce and the Saufley’s “Hiker Heaaven”. It is hard to describe the hospitality of Jeff and Donna and the comfortable atmosphere they have created. Bicycles & cars, showers & shoes, beds & cots, BBQ & friends…amazing.

Donna got a Mohawk in preparation for her JMT hike, and we all sang happy birthday to Lucky Liz and enjoyed a wonderful evening with our hiker community

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Destination: Mattox Creek
Starting Location: Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station
Today’s Miles: 21.50
Trip Miles: 440.50
Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station (418.7, 4910) to Mattox Creek (440.2, 2685) ascent (3045) descent (5256)
I am writing this entry after the fact because May 26th ended fine but was pretty scary around 6:00 p.m. After a long but relatively uneventful day we decided to camp at Mattox Creek. Coastal moisture was moving in so we decided to set up our tents. During the process I noticed some ants in the area but was not concerned as we had been coexisting for a month. These ants, however, were unhappy with our camp selection and they bit/stung me seven times. I was not concerned and continued with my evening chores until I started getting a nauseous headache and the stings began to swell. I could tell I was having an allergic reaction so I took two benadryl and forgot about it.
When dinner came around I commented that I was really hot, and Liz noticed I was turning red from the chest up. Two minutes later my head went completely foggy, my vision blurred and I got nauseous. I took a big breath and told Liz to get my epi-pen (synthetic adrenaline) because “I am going fast”. Then I had a clear thought that I was going to die. The next thought was “you have to be !@&*! kidding me”. Then I went black. Next thing I remember was the team getting ready to inject and Liz wondering if they should remove my pants. Then I felt the benadryl kick in and started focusing on controlling my breathing and told them to hold off on the injection. Ten minutes later I was sitting up but I started shaking violently with chills. With help, I got into my sleeping bag, took another benadryl and tried to relax. Liz gave me a bagel to eat and the sting started to burn like a branding iron. I fell asleep in about an hour and when I woke up the next morning I felt as if I got hit by a bus. But Mattox Creek was not meant to be my final destination.
Destination: Mattox Creek
Starting Location: Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station
Today’s Miles: 21.50
Trip Miles: 440.50
Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station (418.7, 4910) to Mattox Creek (440.2, 2685) ascent (3045) descent (5256)
I am writing this entry after the fact because May 26th ended fine but was pretty scary around 6:00 p.m. After a long but relatively uneventful day we decided to camp at Mattox Creek. Coastal moisture was moving in so we decided to set up our tents. During the process I noticed some ants in the area but was not concerned as we had been coexisting for a month. These ants, however, were unhappy with our camp selection and they bit/stung me seven times. I was not concerned and continued with my evening chores until I started getting a nauseous headache and the stings began to swell. I could tell I was having an allergic reaction so I took two benadryl and forgot about it.
When dinner came around I commented that I was really hot, and Liz noticed I was turning red from the chest up. Two minutes later my head went completely foggy, my vision blurred and I got nauseous. I took a big breath and told Liz to get my epi-pen (synthetic adrenaline) because “I am going fast”. Then I had a clear thought that I was going to die. The next thought was “you have to be !@&*! kidding me”. Then I went black. Next thing I remember was the team getting ready to inject and Liz wondering if they should remove my pants. Then I felt the benadryl kick in and started focusing on controlling my breathing and told them to hold off on the injection. Ten minutes later I was sitting up but I started shaking violently with chills. With help, I got into my sleeping bag, took another benadryl and tried to relax. Liz gave me a bagel to eat and the sting started to burn like a branding iron. I fell asleep in about an hour and when I woke up the next morning I felt as if I got hit by a bus. But Mattox Creek was not meant to be my final destination.

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10X10

Destination: Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station
Starting Location: Camp Glenwood
Today’s Miles: 18.00
Trip Miles: 419.00
Camp Glenwood (400.7, 6400) to Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station (418.7, 4910)
Today we did our first 10 x 10 (10 miles by 10 a.m.) and loved the strategy. We were walking at 5:45 a.m. and before we knew it we had completed half our daily mileage. Our spirits were high and we were able to put yesterday behind us. We reached our destination at 2 pm and have been lying under the pines all afternoon. We contemplated going on but a water strategy suggested a 22 tomorrow and then 14 into the Saufleys at Agua Dulce. As we laid around the hikers kept pouring in and there are about 15 of us here now. Everyone here is setting up for Agua Dulce for Memorial Day weekend.
While laying here a hummingbird kept flying really close and we finally realized that a baby bird was lying in the grass. It was very small and had likely fallen out of its nest. We moved away but it was clear the bird would perish within a few hours. It is just biology but it was hard not to join the group and strategize on how to save the bird.
Yesterday gave me a good reality check on how the mental game can screw up your hike. It was so easy to get into a bad place, and that thinking was wreak havoc on your physical abilities as well as creating a “why am I here” thought process. I am glad I experienced this feeling early and really glad I got over it quickly. This allowed me to look at it objectively and compartmentalize the memory. Hopefully I will be able to draw on that in the future and help maintain context and remember to not make major decisions when in that place.
Photos have finally been posted. Hope you enjoy.
Destination: Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station
Starting Location: Camp Glenwood
Today’s Miles: 18.00
Trip Miles: 419.00
Camp Glenwood (400.7, 6400) to Mill Creek Summit Ranger Station (418.7, 4910)
Today we did our first 10 x 10 (10 miles by 10 a.m.) and loved the strategy. We were walking at 5:45 a.m. and before we knew it we had completed half our daily mileage. Our spirits were high and we were able to put yesterday behind us. We reached our destination at 2 pm and have been lying under the pines all afternoon. We contemplated going on but a water strategy suggested a 22 tomorrow and then 14 into the Saufleys at Agua Dulce. As we laid around the hikers kept pouring in and there are about 15 of us here now. Everyone here is setting up for Agua Dulce for Memorial Day weekend.
While laying here a hummingbird kept flying really close and we finally realized that a baby bird was lying in the grass. It was very small and had likely fallen out of its nest. We moved away but it was clear the bird would perish within a few hours. It is just biology but it was hard not to join the group and strategize on how to save the bird.
Yesterday gave me a good reality check on how the mental game can screw up your hike. It was so easy to get into a bad place, and that thinking was wreak havoc on your physical abilities as well as creating a “why am I here” thought process. I am glad I experienced this feeling early and really glad I got over it quickly. This allowed me to look at it objectively and compartmentalize the memory. Hopefully I will be able to draw on that in the future and help maintain context and remember to not make major decisions when in that place.
Photos have finally been posted. Hope you enjoy.

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