Thursday, May 31, 2012

PCT - Day 25

Motel's new ownership is making lots of improvements and is hiker friendly.  It's a good spot to stay and  Wrightwood is a nice town to spend an afternoon.

Red Pines Motel
Left Wrightwood this morning having hiked 375 miles.

PCT - Day 24

Matilija Poppy

PCT - Day 22

The hike along Deep Creek is easy, with no need for by-pass.  Trail is intact with definitely no need to skip.  The hot springs are amazing and the people are quite interesting too, but keep an eye on your pack.

Deep Creek

Deep Creek Hot Springs
Endangered Arroyo Toad can still be found in the Deep Creek Hot Spring area

PCT - Day 20 and 21

Camped at a USDA, Forest Service, horse camp called, Little Bear Springs PCT Camp.  It was cold, cold, cold with morning snow and frost.    

A cold morning on the PCT - Day 20


PCT - Days 18 & 19

Brad - Big Bear Area

The Crew
Big Bear Hostel

Friday, May 25, 2012


"High Wind Warning!

San Bernardno County mountains (does include Big Bear Lake)."

A message on my phone earlier today from Brad, on a ridge, a few hours hiking from Big Bear Lake, informed me it looked like a storm.  Yep.  A storm it is and pretty darn cold.

Ben's Weather Forecast (updated Friday, May 25th @ 7:00pm © 2012):
A late season trough of low pressure moving through the area will bring us gusty winds and unseasonably cold temperatures starting off the Memorial holiday weekend with even a few snow showers possible tonight with little to no accumulation expected as low dip into the 20's. Cold Saturday with northwest winds 10-20mph as highs struggle to get up near 50 degrees. A little warmer Sunday with highs creeping back into the 60's, nearing 70 on Memorial Day, as lows continue drop into the 20's. Fair, dry and warmer weather returning throughout next week. 

When it's just a tarp between you and the weather, a dip into the 20's is significant.  Let's hope that new light weight sleeping bag is not only light weight but warm.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

PCT - Day Seventeen


Kitty kitty wanna play
Multi tool with bolt cutters
Dogs hike why not cats

I didn't do it
The 3 legged dog stopped me
This is my cat spot

PCT - Day Sixteen

Hanna finds a BIG tree to hug

Charlie & Hanna at Camp Ridge

Hanna & Charlie

PCT - Day Fifteen

Charlie, Tripod, Aaron, Brad, Hannah

Paradise at lunch
Water shade relax for hours
Eat sleep, will hike later
Quick dash to Glen &Tracy's coming from ridge near Mt. San Ysidro 

Ziggy and Charlie

The Bear & Aaron
A blurry-eyed 5:30 start from Ziggy and The Bear's trail angel camp

Charlie and Dirt Ball (Hannah)

Add caption/Iron?

Tripod (Steve)

PCT - Day Fourteen


Fuller ridge today
Hold on, that was yesterday
Days like cheese fondue

dbbrad loving the stunning rock formations
photo by dbbrad
Drop dead beautiful
photo by dbbrad

PCT - Day Thirteen


Idle wild camp ground
A state park just 3 dollars
Comparing stories

Function over form
Ounces miles hours pain we all share
Soon another day

PCT Hiking Friends - Idyllwild

Idyllwild Camp Ground

PCT - Day Twelve


Some ridge in so cal
The trail goes up down up down
Silently I march

PCT near Idyllwild

PCT - Day Eleven


Eleven miles
Where has the time gone: vanished
Bed down with the ants!

Sarcodes saguinea or Snow Plant
photo by dbbrad

Nature's art seen through a photographer's eye
Photo by dbbrad
dbbrad on cool, cold, white, beautiful snow

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hoping for Smart Phone Magic on the PCT

Logistics can be challenging!  Let's hope for phone service when you need it.  Your permit just arrived, and here's a copy.  I've also sent copies to Bear Lake City and Wrightwood Post Offices and sent another copy via e-mail.  That's four shots at getting this in your hands -- one of these methods should reach you -- I hope!  Fran

PCT Permit
Here's a great site for resupply, by the way.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

PCT - Day 10!


18 miles but even hotter and dryer
Guzzler cistern sucks
Come on nay parks let's get it together with real Water tanks and some shelters

PCT - Day Nine!

20 miles and hot and dry

PCT - Day Eight!

Day Eight Hike-U

Camping on golf coarse 
Retention pond bathing muck
Sprinklers at midnight

Photo by Brad

I hiked only 6 miles to Warner Springs but Community Center was closed, as
was Post Office.  Oh well a day off.

Warner Springs

From Warner Springs to Idyllwild

PCT - Day 7

Day 7 - 23 Miles


PCT hiker
Exhausted lays in the sun
Death AwAits, hike more

PCT - Mourning the lack of huts

Huts!  There are hundreds of them of the Te Araroa Trail in New Zealand.  In fact, the Department of Conservation maintains about 900 huts throughout New Zealand, with a large number available for trampers on all the trails.  Huts are wonderful for tramper gatherings, drying clothing, cooking, and staying warm and dry, or dying out. 

Norway too has lots of huts for trampers and skiers.

But, in the US. the PCT, a 2700 mile trail, for example, has less than a handful of huts.   I would love more huts in the US!   Perhaps my build-design background is just what the US hut system needs.  Is the Forest Service hiring?  Doubtful given our economy.  But, I'll keep dreaming about huts, recycled materials, small shelters and the companionship and safety afforded by a good hut system for back country folks.

Friday, May 11, 2012

PCT - Day Six!

PCT "Hike-U"

New cacti

Long gradient up to ridge
Water at scissors

Desert Cactus

Sunburned, Big-Grinned Brad


Signage.  I've been thinking alot about signs, ever since my first week on the Te Araroa trail wishing there had been more.  It has generated a lot of discussions about the nature of signage, what is appropriate or inappropriate, what is helpful, what is graffiti, and if there was a code for signage, what would it be.   How often should a trail be marked and if a sign is broken or missing or incorrect, is it okay to modify it as a user to help other hikers?

dbBrad aka Freestyle poses next to a hand made sign, an asset to the trail and helpful for hikers.
Here I have shown two signs, both made by users of the trail, thus non official, and at both ends of the spectrum.  Clearly the hand painted sign at the top is as official as one can get with salvaged metal plates and enamel paint done by hand; and it is helpful to all users. I would say it's an asset to the trail.
An official sign that has been graffitied- defined by me as markings of a personal nature and of no value to others.
This one was a good sign but has been ruined by people marking it not with intent to help hikers but in a more personal 'i was here' manner consistent with most graffiti.  This is an example of vandalism.