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Archive for May 11th, 2006

Destination: Just before Snow Creek
Starting Location: Strawberry Junction
Today’s Miles: 22.50
Trip Miles: 205.00
Strawberry Junction (182.5, 8100) Just before Snow Creek (205.0, 2250)
ascent (1939) descent (7674)
With a fair amount of apprehension we headed to the infamous Fuller Ridge. This section of trail has been the first major concern of our hike. We have heard through the grapevine that the snow on the ridge can be treacherous. Not. The walk across the ridge was uneventful if you had any snow walking experience. I loved it as I bounded down the trail. Navigation could have been difficult but those who went before us laid down a clear path in the snow. During the crossing I kept thinking about John Donovan who presumably lost his life in this area last year. His body nor his gear have been found. The trek down the ridge was tough as we descended 7,000 + feet over 19 miles with no water. We tried to reach Snow Creek which was a mistake as we got caught on the descent after night fall. We knew this was a possibility and given we had a nearly full moon we pressed on. Ultimately I spotted a small bare spot adjacent to the trail and we stopped at 9:15 p.m. We were beat as we traveled down all of the ecozones except alpine, in one very long day. We had been on the trail for over 15 hours. When we stopped I realized I had pushed too far and was rewarded with dime sized blisters on both heels. I was really filthy and cleaned up as best as I could with one baby wipe and one precious ounce of water. We decided to cowboy camp (no tent) and I was a bit nervous because of the numerous rattlesnakes. We could tell we had lost a lot of altitude because the temperatures were so hot we slept on top of our bags.
Destination: Just before Snow Creek
Starting Location: Strawberry Junction
Today’s Miles: 22.50
Trip Miles: 205.00
Strawberry Junction (182.5, 8100) Just before Snow Creek (205.0, 2250)
ascent (1939) descent (7674)
With a fair amount of apprehension we headed to the infamous Fuller Ridge. This section of trail has been the first major concern of our hike. We have heard through the grapevine that the snow on the ridge can be treacherous. Not. The walk across the ridge was uneventful if you had any snow walking experience. I loved it as I bounded down the trail. Navigation could have been difficult but those who went before us laid down a clear path in the snow. During the crossing I kept thinking about John Donovan who presumably lost his life in this area last year. His body nor his gear have been found. The trek down the ridge was tough as we descended 7,000 + feet over 19 miles with no water. We tried to reach Snow Creek which was a mistake as we got caught on the descent after night fall. We knew this was a possibility and given we had a nearly full moon we pressed on. Ultimately I spotted a small bare spot adjacent to the trail and we stopped at 9:15 p.m. We were beat as we traveled down all of the ecozones except alpine, in one very long day. We had been on the trail for over 15 hours. When we stopped I realized I had pushed too far and was rewarded with dime sized blisters on both heels. I was really filthy and cleaned up as best as I could with one baby wipe and one precious ounce of water. We decided to cowboy camp (no tent) and I was a bit nervous because of the numerous rattlesnakes. We could tell we had lost a lot of altitude because the temperatures were so hot we slept on top of our bags.
Destination: Just before Snow Creek
Starting Location: Strawberry Junction
Today’s Miles: 22.50
Trip Miles: 205.00
Strawberry Junction (182.5, 8100) Just before Snow Creek (205.0, 2250)
ascent (1939) descent (7674)
With a fair amount of apprehension we headed to the infamous Fuller Ridge. This section of trail has been the first major concern of our hike. We have heard through the grapevine that the snow on the ridge can be treacherous. Not. The walk across the ridge was uneventful if you had any snow walking experience. I loved it as I bounded down the trail. Navigation could have been difficult but those who went before us laid down a clear path in the snow. During the crossing I kept thinking about John Donovan who presumably lost his life in this area last year. His body nor his gear have been found. The trek down the ridge was tough as we descended 7,000 + feet over 19 miles with no water. We tried to reach Snow Creek which was a mistake as we got caught on the descent after night fall. We knew this was a possibility and given we had a nearly full moon we pressed on. Ultimately I spotted a small bare spot adjacent to the trail and we stopped at 9:15 p.m. We were beat as we traveled down all of the ecozones except alpine, in one very long day. We had been on the trail for over 15 hours. When we stopped I realized I had pushed too far and was rewarded with dime sized blisters on both heels. I was really filthy and cleaned up as best as I could with one baby wipe and one precious ounce of water. We decided to cowboy camp (no tent) and I was a bit nervous because of the numerous rattlesnakes. We could tell we had lost a lot of altitude because the temperatures were so hot we slept on top of our bags.

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Destination: Tamarack Road
Starting Location: Just before Snow Creek
Today’s Miles: 4.60
Trip Miles: 209.60
Just before Snow Creek (205.0, 2250) to Tamarack Road (209.6, 1360) ascent (245) descent (846)
Immediately after hiking a few minutes we realized we had nearly made our destination the previous evening. Within 20 minutes we were at the Snow Creek water fountain, which is provided by the Desert Water Authority. Thank you! We had a hiker reunion at the fountain as everyone else was just rolling out of bed. After tanking up on water & visiting we headed across the blistering four miles of sand to our meeting place with Gottago. At 8:30 in the morning we were sweating and our feet were burning. When we got to I-10 we saw our buddy Gottago and immediately heard that some lost hikers had discovered John Donovan’s camp and they used his gear to survive and start a rescue fire. We quickly compared notes on the location of his camp and noted we had gotten misplaced there also for an hour or so. What was odd however was that he apparently headed east as an escape route when Idyllwild was clearly to the west. He would have had to climb first however and going up is difficult when on a mountain during weather and all of your instincts are saying, “go down”. Regardless while I never met John, we are kindred spirits and I hope he found peace on the side of Mt San Jacinto.
Our first stop was the tiny town of Cabazon where we bought sodas and junk food. I also had a banana. Then we headed to Gottago & Ray’s home in Rancho Mirage where we were treated to incredible hospitality. We had to do a fairly major resupply here as we were out of sunscreen and other critical items. I had a good case of what hikers call monkey butt, walking like a crab or chay chay. Big miles, and hot temperatures equals moist skin rubbing itself raw into debilitating chafe. So I went on the offensive and decided to carry the weight in search of a cure. I bought some Gold Bond Powder and some Bag Balm. Ray also took me to the store and I picked up a pair of lycra like shorts that are reported to help. We will see.
We went to the all you can eat buffet at the Agua Caliente Casino and they lost money on our group. We ate for about an hour. When we left I noticed the casino tables were full so I am sure they are doing well. Liz & Gottago headed back to the trail to pick up a hiker who had gotten in trouble with the heat. Everything worked out fine but hiking midday in this heat is risky business
Destination: Tamarack Road
Starting Location: Just before Snow Creek
Today’s Miles: 4.60
Trip Miles: 209.60
Just before Snow Creek (205.0, 2250) to Tamarack Road (209.6, 1360) ascent (245) descent (846)
Immediately after hiking a few minutes we realized we had nearly made our destination the previous evening. Within 20 minutes we were at the Snow Creek water fountain, which is provided by the Desert Water Authority. Thank you! We had a hiker reunion at the fountain as everyone else was just rolling out of bed. After tanking up on water & visiting we headed across the blistering four miles of sand to our meeting place with Gottago. At 8:30 in the morning we were sweating and our feet were burning. When we got to I-10 we saw our buddy Gottago and immediately heard that some lost hikers had discovered John Donovan’s camp and they used his gear to survive and start a rescue fire. We quickly compared notes on the location of his camp and noted we had gotten misplaced there also for an hour or so. What was odd however was that he apparently headed east as an escape route when Idyllwild was clearly to the west. He would have had to climb first however and going up is difficult when on a mountain during weather and all of your instincts are saying, “go down”. Regardless while I never met John, we are kindred spirits and I hope he found peace on the side of Mt San Jacinto.
Our first stop was the tiny town of Cabazon where we bought sodas and junk food. I also had a banana. Then we headed to Gottago & Ray’s home in Rancho Mirage where we were treated to incredible hospitality. We had to do a fairly major resupply here as we were out of sunscreen and other critical items. I had a good case of what hikers call monkey butt, walking like a crab or chay chay. Big miles, and hot temperatures equals moist skin rubbing itself raw into debilitating chafe. So I went on the offensive and decided to carry the weight in search of a cure. I bought some Gold Bond Powder and some Bag Balm. Ray also took me to the store and I picked up a pair of lycra like shorts that are reported to help. We will see.
We went to the all you can eat buffet at the Agua Caliente Casino and they lost money on our group. We ate for about an hour. When we left I noticed the casino tables were full so I am sure they are doing well. Liz & Gottago headed back to the trail to pick up a hiker who had gotten in trouble with the heat. Everything worked out fine but hiking midday in this heat is risky business

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