2017 PCT blog. hiking Pacific Crest Trail. Idyllwind hiking

Week 1: Desert snow and other trail magic

In Neil's PCT adventure, Overnight adventures by runhikelaugh

Neil’s Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, blog

7th – 12th May 2017: 110 miles from Campo to Warner Creek.

Neil’s given me his trail notes from his first week and I’ve typed them up into a blog. I hope I’m doing justice to his grand adventure! – Maria.

The first section is done and he’s off to a great start! Doing more miles than planned, but his body is holding up well. Apparently he doesn’t have a single blister!

He started the hike with support from Scout and Frodo. These guys sound amazing – they’re a couple who open their home up to PCT hikers the night before the hike starts. They pick up, feed and shelter about 30 PCT hikers everyday. They also transport the hikers to the start, which is out in the middle of nowhere. They’re just amazing people who are committed to giving back in a big way. 900 people so far have gone through their house.

The first day was cold with wind and rain.

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Ready to start the trail!

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Group photo! This is everyone who stayed at Scout and Frodo’s place the night before.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Mile 1 mark. Just a little way to go!

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Some beautiful trees with distinctive bark.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Good morning! Bring on Day 2!

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Nice and easy to follow trail.

There was even snow about 20 miles north of the Mexican border!

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Day 3. 20 miles from the Mexican border and we had snow.

It sounds like there was quite a ferocious storm in that area, and they kept seeing remnants of snow for the next 2 days as they headed to Mt Laguna. Mt Laguna is a town of ten people. Apparently there was an Aussie Olympic running team in town for a training camp.

The next few days were full of stunning scenery as they left Mt Laguna and headed to Warner Springs. He saw his first coyote and first rattle snake.

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Camping out in the boulder fields.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Camping out in the boulder fields.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Full moon rising over the boulder fields.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs

Cactus flower.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs. Desert section . Southern California

Great views

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs. PCT Rattle Snakes

First rattle snake.


PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs. camping

Cave not quite as big as we hoped.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs. Cowboy camping

Camping out under the stars.

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs. First 100 miles

100 mile mark! Yay!

 

PCT blog 2017. Hike Pacific Crest Trail. Hiking US. Campo to Warner Springs. Eagle Rock

Eagle Rock!

 

One night they had “tent city” with 15 hikers camped under a bridge, before finally making it to Warner Springs for a bucket-shower and laundry stop. It sounds like they’ve had a lot of support from the local communities along the way.

Neil’s formed into a good group with some others who are walking about the same speed, with random nationalities represented. They’re pushing 20 miles or so every day! The first weeks pace has seen quite a few drop off behind, but so far going good. Warner Springs is little bit of a disaster zone with walking wounded everywhere but at the same time such great trail spirit.

On we go…

Trail magic

One of the most extraordinary things about the PCT is the “trail magic”. Random strangers – called trail angels – help the hikers out, expecting nothing in return. Neil had his first bit of trail magic when a man named Bob gave him a burger! The local communities seem to rally to support the hikers as well. On one of the long stretches without water, a local volunteer group maintain a cache of water for the hikers.

Trail names

Apparently everyone who does the PCT ends up with a “trail name”. The names often result from an interesting incident along the trail. The best I’ve heard include Cookie Monster, Roadkill, Make Do, Pants on Fire, Mr President and Kit-Kat. I guess it’s easier than remembering everyone’s real name!

Neil’s had his first signs of a trail name after someone thought he introduced himself as Neo. Neil said “It may end up sticking and since I like the Matrix it ain’t so bad!”

Maps

Where the bloody hell is he?

Progress – Week 1 of 2017 PCT blog

Day 0: 6 May 2017 –  PCT Eve at Scout and Frodo’s home
Day 1: 7 May 2017 – Mile 0 to Mile 20, Campo to Lake Morena, 8 hours of hiking.
Day 2: 8 May 2017 – Mile 20 to Mile 37, Lake Morena to a random creek just before Mt Laguna, 8 hours of hiking.
Day 3: 9 May 2017 – Mile 37 to Mile 56, random creek to Mt Laguna then onto another random creek, 11 hours of hiking.
Day 4: 10 May 2017 – Mile 56 to Mile 77, random creek to Scissors crossing (near the town of Julian), camping under a bridge, 8 hours of hiking
Day 5: 11  May 2017 – Mile 77 to Mile 97, 12 hours of hiking
Day 6: 12 May 2017
Mile 97 to Mile 110, 5 hours of hiking. At Warner Springs at 11:30am for a beer and burger!

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