Saturday, April 30, 2011

Warner Springs Ranch

Just a quick update here guys, I'm currently at the Warner Springs Ranch at about trail mile 110. Did my biggest day yet on thursday, 24 miles! Now I'm taking a full zero and will hit the trail again early tomorrow. I've been eating some great food and drinking lots of cold beverages. Good stuff. I hope to get some pictures posted when I get to Idylwild in 3 or 4 days. I'll be climbing into 8-9,000 foot mountains so snow is definately a possibility and worries me a bit. Well I'm off, miss home tons! Cya guys...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Well needed half day off!

Hey guys, I'm sitting here at the library in Julian, CA. I got an early start today, leaving camp at about 6:15am. I wanted to get out on the trail while it was still slightly cool, due to the long descent into the desert valley. However, after about an hour, the sun was up and it was already blistering hot. My knees really began to hurt yesterday as I dropped lower and lower out the mountains. Today wasn't much better and it makes every step very tough. I guess the good news is that the blisters on my feet are getting a little better and not so painful. Honestly, my whole body aches, but I've gotten good at ignoring the pain as I move because if I didn't, I would get nowhere. The knee problems are slightly hard to ignore though!

Once I reached the valley floor, there was about a 2 mile walk through exactly what I'd picture a desert to be. Lots of cacti and other prickly plants hanging out over the trail trying to grab at my legs. It was so insanely hot, I'm glad it wasn't any longer. So I got to HWY 78 and I knew I was probably going to hitch into Julian because I am out of suncreen (somehwhat essential out here) and I also wanted to get a few other things. I came up on two other hikers I'd met earlier and we managed to get a hitch within about a half hour, not bad! She was even nice enough to give us a full tour of small, but very pretty Julian CA. The guys talked me into splitting a hotel room (it wasn't hard), so I could take the rest of the day off and shower, eat real food, and ice my knees. I thought I was quite tan, however most it scrubbed off in the shower haha!

It has been really pretty so far in the desert mountains. There is a lot more vegitation that I had imagined and all colors of beautiful wildflowers. Plus, the cacti are just starting to bloom which is a real treat! There was a huge border patrol presence the first day or two and I never saw any illegals, just discarded clothes from them. There are all sorts of birds, lizards, insects, small mammals, and snakes (no rattlers, yet). Although I have yet to see anything large, I did wake up to the terrible screams of an animal for about 10 mins, on the 2nd night. We discussed it in the morning and decided it was probably a bobcat making a kill, possible even a mountain lion.

I have met a ton of really nice people out here, most of which I've leap frogged with the last 3 or 4 days. I usually hike alone which I actually enjoy and always try to camp with others. It's funny, I find I talk to myself quite a bit while I hike and sometimes try to have conversations with the hundereds of skiddish lizards that scurry away when I approach. There has been a lot of very low, overgrown, prickly brush that scrapes the back of my sunburnt legs while I walk down the trail. If these mountains could talk, they'd probably say I have quite the potty mouth haha! Hey, I've got so deal with the pain somehow.

Well I'm off to wander this touristy town and spend some time relaxing before I make the huge climb into the very menacing looking San Felipe Hills tomorrow. It's some 19 miles to the next water source from there, so my pack will be heavy with fluids. I think about home constantly and how much I miss everybody. The next time you hear from me, I should be in Warner Springs taking a FULL day off and relaxing in the pools. Love you guys!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Hello friends and family! Day 4 and Im camped at about mile 69, 10 miles from Scissors Crossing which is near Julian, CA. Day 1: 21 miles, day 2: 18 miles, day 3: 15 miles, day 4: 18 miles! Longest mile days Ive ever done and my feet hate me for it. Many blisters and today my knees began to really hurt. Tomorrow we descend to the Anza Borrego Dessert Valley floor which will be hot as hell. The dessert mountains have been very beautiful with lots of water and wildflowers. I am so dirty and already carry a distinct odor haha. Didn't sleep much last night due to extremely high wind, very scary. Camp is calm tonight and I look forward to some Z's. I miss home a lot, but even with the constant pain Im still loving it! Love you guys, Ill be in touch...

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Monday, April 18, 2011


WOW! 4 days till I leave for San Diego and I really can't believe this is happening. There is just so much still to do in such a short amount of time. I entered panic mode today and began second guessing all the decisions I've made prior to this last week. All in all though, I know I've got my bases covered and it's under control. However, to make a lifestyle change this big I think you'd be crazy to not be going crazy the last week haha.

I got my gear all packed and ready to ship to San Diego. I still feel like I have entirely too much stuff and could make more cuts. But I'm constantly debating with myself over what I need and don't need. I supposed it will just take some on-trail time to determine the true necessities and send the rest home.

My resupply packages are still coming along. That is my biggest chore to finish this week before I leave. I have all my food ready and separated, I just need to portion it out and pack it into boxes so my Mom can send them out when the time comes. I'm having the same problem with my food though: I just think I'm trying to bring too much. It's hard trying to get as much food as I think I need into each resupply box. I've always eaten way more food than normal when I'm backpacking, but yet on the other hand I always still have leftover food at the end of the trip. I really don't want to carry extra food if I can't eat it and I really don't want to be hungry because I didn't bring enough! I may just go crazy before I even leave.

So Friday is the big day to leave home and Saturday will be my first day on the trail. I am so excited!!!