Southern California – the last stretch!

I can’t believe I’m so far behind in catching up this blog.  Why is it the holidays start taking over and then you’re playing catch-up with the rest of your life. . .

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Southern PCT starts around Kennedy Meadows, at this point there are only around 700 miles left of the 2658 hike.  So when we last left they were coming out of the Sierra’s and meeting Duncan’s dad and brother.

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October 26, 2018 Walker Pass – Mile 2008

Tehachapi Pass is one of the windiest places on Earth.  So now starts the sighting of wind farms, thousands and thousands.  As they climb Tehachapi, there are magnificent views of the Mojave Dessert and looking back there are views of the mountains they’ve been hiking. Also water will start becoming scarce.

 

October 31, 2018 Tehachapi – Mile 2092

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Got a call from Sarra today . . . they are getting into more dessert, not many trees.   She said they’re seeing more cool Joshua trees and rolling hills. IMG_6336

It’s hot, feels like 90 degrees  There have been long 20 mile water carries. Last water was Kennedy Meadows.  Sometimes there’s a water cash, where trail angels leave gallons of water for the hikers.  They have been doing a lot of night hiking since it’s so hot during the day.  They nap in the afternoon then after the sun sets around 6:00 they’ll hike until 9:00 or so.  She was telling me about all the wind mills, 2600 she said.  At that point there was a strong wind advisory.  They’re still rationing food, going longer stretches.  She said Tehachapi was pretty cool.  They had been advised not to hitch, but trail Angels have a coordinator to get rides so they had lots of offers for rides and places to stay. However, they ended up camping at a small airport!

 

November 8, 2018, Wrightwood – Mile 2295

The trail is great, out of the dessert and back into mountains.  It’s a little chilly when they were at 8,000 ft.  In Green Valley they stayed with a couple that had been hosting hikers for about 20 years.  They had a huge back yard where you could camp.

November 7, 2018  Palmdale CA – mile 2238

 

November 19, 2018 Borrego Springs CA – mile 2598

November 20, 2018 Boulder Oaks – mile 2633

Almost to the end.  They are excited and sad, all of the above! The weather has been beautiful and the dessert is cool.  Gonna be a great next couple of days!!

There ya have it – just like that on Thursday November 22, 2018 , Thanksgiving Day, Sarra aka ‘Mouse’, Duncan aka ‘D’ and Sean aka ‘Worm’ finished the Pacific Crest Trail.  July 4th – November 22 they hiked 2650 miles through 3 states, Canada to Mexico.

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From here, Duncan’s mom met them at the end and picked them up.  After a stay at a posh resort and a buffet for Thanksgiving Sarra caught a flight out of San Diego to our place to catch up with friends/family and rest up.  Then Duncan, Sean and Melissa traveled back up the coast to pick up their van, which was left at a friends in Seattle WA when they took off.

We had a great visit, did a few fun things and also just be together.  While she was home I asked a few questions that people had asked me about:

Best part – North Cascades because really big and seeing glaciers that shaped everything was really cool, Walking around Mt. Rainier and the Sierras were unbelievable.

Worst part – the water carries in the dessert

Favorite state – really enjoyed Oregon for the trees and lava fields and really nice warm weather and started cowboy camping plus all the bugs had died!

Animals seen – I saw some bears, lots of deer, couple cougars, cows, scorpion, a pair of animal eyes while night hiking, a tarantula  and a donkey, pot belly pig at a guys house

Hardest area – last 100 miles because all I wanted to do was camp, I didn’t want to hike anymore.

Would you do it again – yep

What’s next– snow sking all winter

How long without water? – I think 30 miles was the longest, How much did you carry? – carried 7 liters at a time through that 30 mile area

Did you have to ration food? – the longest was 10 days hiking when we planned for only 6 and after that we started carrying way too much food so we wouldn’t have to ration again.

Memorable hitch – Probably Bazooka Joe because there were 5 of us crammed into a little truck and he took us out for breakfast.

Favorite Town – Mom says Quincy CA because she was there, I would agree.

Did you see many other hikers? SOBO, NOBO? Not really, we met maybe 30 other south bounders and in Oregon I was passing like 30 a day, it was the peak of NOBO season.

How many zero days? – We were trying to figure that out, maybe 3 weeks or more.  We took one total week after coming out of the Sierras.

Scariest time – probably when I slipped in some snow and slid down a 60 ft snow field and couldn’t get stopped with my trekking pole.  I finally got my pole into the ground to stop me from sliding about 20 feet before I would have crashed into some really large boulders.

How much snow? up north maybe like a couple hundred yard stretches everyday for the first couple weeks.  Then a couple days in the Sierras when we got new snow.  I think we had a really good window of the time we hiked.

Were you close to any fires? Not that I remember, just remember it was super smokey in Oregon due to a fire,  then we had to detour in Northern CA due to a fire that closed the trail.

How many pairs of shoes? 4, but started with a pair I had been wearing a while, got a pair out of the hiker box, wore out a new pair and got the last pair a couple weeks before finishing. So really only 2 new pairs and one of those I only walked a few miles at the end in.

Favorite trail food? roman noodles or a ramen bomb burrito which is ramen, pack of mashed potatoes rolled up in a tortilla.

Favorite town food? pizza and root beer

Did you ever want to give up? Not really

What do you love about thru-hikes? the people you get to meet, the towns you get to see that you would normally never go to, sleeping outside every night.

So you’re all caught up.  What a great hike.  This one made Mama Mouse a little more ‘concerned’ during a few times.  But exciting to tag a long at home.  Sarra is going to try and keep you up on her adventures in Colorado or where ever life takes her. They are back working at Arapaho Basin, sking and living in the new van.  Life is as good as you make it.  We should all be so lucky to live each day to the fullest.