Welcome! To my friends, family, and colleagues who are interested, I invite you to follow along on what I hope will be a safe and successful journey over the next 5 months as I follow the Pacific Crest Trail over 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada. My goal is to update this blog with journal entries and photos as much as I can throughout the trip, so feel free to hit the "Follow Stone and Sky" button to automatically subscribe.
Pacific Crest Trail 2016
Two hours and twenty minutes. That's how long it took to travel from Seattle to Dan Diego today--nearly the same distance that will take me 5 months to cover on the trail. It's a humbling thought.
Today began at the oh-so-early hour of 4:45, when we woke up at Scout & Frodo's, packed, ate breakfast and were off to the start of the trail just before 6.
Just before 5:30, our little collection of thru-hikers at Lake Morena campground began to stir. A bit of a misnomer, Lake Morena is really a reservoir and one that had no water within sight of the campground itself. As Rich, Gazelle, Emily and I left at 6:30 the early morning light was beautiful and the cool temperatures reminded me of how wildly different the days and nights here can be.
We awoke this morning tucked on the edge of a meadow along with Rich, XC, and Gazelle. Three short miles up the trail was our first resupply at Mt. Laguna, and also an opportunity to address a couple of nagging problems, namely Emily's blisters and our failing pack frames.
Little known fact: it does, in fact, rain in Southern California. In what can only be described as hypothermia on a silver platter, the first half of our day was spent managing the 40ish degree temperature, rain, and wind while making our way down towards the Anza-Borrego desert. Not surprisingly, we stopped only for 10 minutes in the first 9 miles of the day.
With yesterday's weather having blown through, we found ourselves with the most favorable hiking conditions thus far and with an early start we tried to take full advantage.
XC rolled into our camp at Barrel Spring late last night, and we laughed until well after hiker bedtime, i.e. 9pm. I know, really letting ourselves go. It was great to see him and catch up on the news of where Gazelle, Beardoh, Sweet Pea and Lid were. It turns out they had all hitched into the town of Julian the day before, and so were now just behind us on the trail.
Just a short post tonight as we lay in our sleeping bags cowboy camping under a sea of stars. After picking up a resupply box from the Warner Springs post office with the rest of the crowd from the community center, our little hiker train of Proton, XC, Gazelle, X-man, Ace and I set off on a bit of cross-country travel to reconnect with the PCT.
After drifting off to sleep to the sound of Frank Sinatra at Mike's Place last night (true story), the gang was back on the trail at 6am this morning. Another perfectly clear sunny day and by 7, I was already getting hot as we climbed up. Today was a day of lengthy ascents and descents, all of it under a sweltering sun.