Pacific Crest Trail (NOBO) Part 2/10?

Miya

Because I am able.
Joined
Dec 31, 2017
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1,342
Days: 21 - 47
Miles: 208.5 - 565.4
Zero Days: 3

Thru-hiker trick, always wash your socks several times before you put them in the washer. If you can spare the money, wash your socks in a different machine completely. If you don't do this, the chance of your sock funk contaminating the rest of your clothes is almost an absolute certainty.

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This rattler joined me on my snack break. He was super cooperative, but I couldn't manage to get an in focus shot while I was backing up.

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This section from Banning to Bear Lake, was stunning, but for some reason there were no other thru hikers. It was going to be a hot one and there was flooding a couple years prior that was supposed to have left the trail difficult to navigate (it wasn't). From what I would find out of the majority of other hikers on trail, I can now safely assume they waited for cooler temperatures or they SKIPPED this section. Yes, it was extremely rare to come across other hikers who hiked the entirety of the trail. I never considered myself a Purist, but turns out I am.

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When I could find Spam singles I never settled for cold. I always took my pot lid, put it directly on my burner, and very carefully seared it. Other thru hikers lost their Spam to the dirt trying to do this maneuver, so proceed with caution if you try to attempt yourself.

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The desert section of the PCT is actually a lot of ups and downs. It is not flat. You ascend and descend all day, everyday. Sawyer and I drank some...maybe vodka? and used the cooler temps to climb. By this time, I was no stranger to night hiking. I struggled with the heat and so most of my days started at 10 or 11 AM, lots of breaks in between, and ended at midnight - 02:00 AM. We saw a mountain lion, watching us not too far away, but it left and so did we.

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This life, not wasted. Maybe eaten by an animal, or maybe just consumed and returned to the earth.

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In the earlier miles, there are more '50' mile markers. Probably because hikers are still so excited!

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No Face and Yubaba made an appearance.

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My most cramped hitch, lying on top of STUFF in the back of a van with our resupply.

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Food seemed to be of interest to people. I would always repack my food into Ziplocs. I know some thru hikers are trying to use less plastic and that might be something I attempt my next thru hike, but I sure as heck didn't think about it this time around.

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Eh, my hair just looks good. No trail name yet, but it would come.

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NightRyder was not a purist. He got off trail due to another injury for 80 miles, but met back up with us. We were reunited and enjoyed some English Muffin sandwiches. English Muffins ended up being something I would try to always have in my pack.

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300 Miles down

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Shortly after mile 300, we would reach McDonald's. I walked to Subway instead and someone tried to give me $5 because they thought I was homeless. I returned it. I would leave NightRyder and Tom Sawyer here, since they wanted to stay and zero in their home town. We would meet back up at the next resupply in Acton.

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I got to be above the clouds!

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I would reach my first trail closure. Lucky me, there was a PCTA approved 22 mile highway walk around. Since I would be road walking, I put on my trail runners, only to discover they no longer fit. By the end of this closure, my feet would be wrecked, and it would take nearly 200 miles before they felt normal again. The alternate was extremely unsafe as the highway was used by little sports cars who would race up and down it. I would leap frog with PCT hikers that decided to hike the trail closure after almost getting hit by one of the cars. I managed to survive and made my own mile marker when I was able to rejoin the PCT. This experience would make me question future closures and some of the PCTA approved/not approved alternates.

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I was getting pretty tan.

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Wished I had been at this pink house during a cool sunset!

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Vasquez Rocks were neat.

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Happy to be back with my Tramily (I did not graffiti the pole)! Another part of the PCT that follows a busy, fast road.

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This was still early enough in the season that the PCT wasn't too crowded. I was able to take a nap on trail and no hikers came by.

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We would come to another PCT closure due to fire from the previous year. There was no approved alternate and the PCTA was not recommending roadwalking. Considering some of the PCT is actually on a road/highway and the previous approved closure was on an extremely dangerous highway, I decided I would roadwalk anyways. It ended up adding some miles onto the hike, but I think only a few.

We ran into other thru hikers along the road and someone even pulled over and gave us cold Gatorade!

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We camped when rejoining the PCT and got to talk to all the people who went ahead and just hiked the closure. They said there were some downed trees but barely any burn. Shucks. Wished I had just walked the closure haha Made my own marker again.

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Heading to the LA Aqueduct!

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Made it! We resupplied at a small shop, took a nap at Hikertown and then around 17:00, headed out to tackle this long exposed section.

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'Oh...that fire looks pretty close. Hopefully I am not walking to it.' Indeed, we did walk closer to it as the night lagged on, but it was small and we could see firemen working to put it out. I don't like to turn around...I suppose this would mark the beginning of mine and my Tramily's close call with fires and fire closures. Oooh yes, this was only the beginning.

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My folks met us in Tehachapi and took us all out for dinner and drinks! I NEVER thought I would be in a laundromat with my family. Funny how life can surprise you!

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Tropical Starbursts have always been a favorite of mine and I NEVER got sick of them on trail. Off trail, I am low carb. On trail, I carried a 3-6lb bag of candy for EVERY resupply.

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Before trail, I used to have Starbucks 5-6 times a week (granted it was 1 shot of espresso), but I figured I would crave it a lot more on trail. I definitely liked to have it in town, but it wasn't what I craved most.

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I feel like I do a disservice by being so vague. Just know that not EVERYDAY had something amazing or special. Most of the days, you just walk. But, when I look back at my journal and read each entry for each day, I REMEMBER each day. There is something special about having so little and experiencing so little. Through these miles, there was a Jack in the Box delivery, another mountain lion encounter, more intoxicated hikes (which is how our Tramily name became the Intoxicated Night Ascenders), a pizza delivery mishap, my worst tent pitch, a side trail from hell, and many more anecdotes!
 
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Jackson

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From what I would find out of the majority of other hikers on trail, I can now safely assume they waited for cooler temperatures or they SKIPPED this section. Yes, it was extremely rare to come across other hikers who hiked the entirety of the trail. I never considered myself a Purist, but turns out I am.
I'm no thru hiker, and I'm all for everyone hiking their own hike however they want, but it seems to me like people who completely voluntarily skip a section can't really say they "thru hiked" a trail. So I'm with you on this one haha.

Really cool how you can remember each day pretty clearly for what spanned a decently long time. I can't even remember last Tuesday all that clearly. Haha. Really enjoying these reports!.
 

Miya

Because I am able.
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I'm no thru hiker, and I'm all for everyone hiking their own hike however they want, but it seems to me like people who completely voluntarily skip a section can't really say they "thru hiked" a trail. So I'm with you on this one haha.

Really cool how you can remember each day pretty clearly for what spanned a decently long time. I can't even remember last Tuesday all that clearly. Haha. Really enjoying these reports!.
Yeah I was actually shocked how few people I met that were willing to hike the entire trail and not skip around. Maybe 10%? I could talk for hours about my theories of why this is, but I won't bore everyone haha. I don't mind if people skip around, but yeah, makes me a little bummed knowing some of them probably lied and added themselves to the PCTA 'completed' page. But oh well, I know I hiked it :)

Yeah I normally don't remember anything. My friends and family are always having to remind me of trips or events that apparently I was at, but I don't know...I think maybe because there are less distractions on trail? I am not sure.
 

Jackson

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Yeah I was actually shocked how few people I met that were willing to hike the entire trail and not skip around. Maybe 10%? I could talk for hours about my theories of why this is, but I won't bore everyone haha.
Wow seriously? I just assumed nearly everyone actually did it from start to finish unless they bailed early for whatever reason. That makes me very cynical about a lot of the thru hikers I see pop up on my Instagram suggestions. Haha.
 

Ugly

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@Miya I am loving these. Being brief with so many details and events has to be tough.
Plus so many good macro shots, where maybe you were baking in the sun, perspiring and shaking, but still pulled them off :)

Once you cowboy camped the once, did it become a regular thing?
Hiking til 2am does not always seem to me that I would be motivated to actually put up a tent.
Did you mostly hike in those Xero shoes?
 

Yvonne

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I love your journey and flower pictures.
But that food would never fill me up and wouldn't be enough for me. I always eat the two-portion freeze-dried dinners alone and usually need an additional dessert.
But I also have to admit that I'm very big and heavy and need the extra calories.

I'm surprised there aren't so many real thru-hikers. I assumed there are more as it seems like everyone is doing it these days.
I'm not one of them and would never attempt it.
I would rather do some long-distance walks/hikes like these ultra-runs if I had someone handing me out some food and water along the trail, lol.
I always wanted to do ultra-hikes like these 50 or 100-mile events, but I do not have anyone for food and water support to make it happen.
 

LarryBoy

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Off the top of my head, I can't think of too many hikers I know who outright skip sections. Though, it's worth noting that I typically hike in the early season so perhaps the dregs of the bubble contains more yellow-blazing hikers. More common in my mind are hikers who take lame shortcuts (e.g. walking a terrible road instead of hiking scenic trail) because they're just done-with-this-crap and ready to get to Canada or wherever. I recall one guy who literally roadwalked around the Winds, only to get on a plane and cross an ocean to pick up his Triple Crown award the next year. Doesn't particularly bother me, but those out-of-whack priorities were certainly amusing.
 

Miya

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@Miya

Once you cowboy camped the once, did it become a regular thing?
Hiking til 2am does not always seem to me that I would be motivated to actually put up a tent.
Did you mostly hike in those Xero shoes?
Nope. I love the false security of a shelter. I did cowboy camp a handful or so more times, but with the possibility of rain, snow, mosquitos, I just didn't do it often. Also, I liked to use wipes to clean myself and always changed into my clean base layers so I just preferred having my tent.

I did my entire thru hike in Xero shoes. I only used the Xero sandals for maybe 600-700 miles. Then I wore Xero Mesa trail runners for the rest of the hike. Because they are minimalist and hurt ALWAYS, I only had to order 3 pairs total, instead of most people replacing their Altras 5-6 times.
 

Miya

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But that food would never fill me up and wouldn't be enough for me. I always eat the two-portion freeze-dried dinners alone and usually need an additional dessert

I'm surprised there aren't so many real thru-hikers. I assumed there are more as it seems like everyone is doing it these days.
I'm not one of them and would never attempt it.
I would rather do some long-distance walks/hikes like these ultra-runs if I had someone handing me out some food and water along the trail, lol.
I always wanted to do ultra-hikes like these 50 or 100-mile events, but I do not have anyone for food and water support to make it happen.
Yeah, I definitely didn't eat a normal amount of calories. I just never got super hungry? Through the Sierras became the big concern. I burned so many calories and lost so much weight in the span of one resupply, it was apparent even to me. I forced anything I could take down, but was usually left feeling ready to vomit before I went to bed. Eventually I did manage to eat an entire backpacker meal every night. But mostly I would eat one Ramen before bed and feel full.

I just watched someone on my Instagram do a 100 mile event! Took so much out of him but he is so happy! So amazing what the mind and body can do!
 

Miya

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Off the top of my head, I can't think of too many hikers I know who outright skip sections. Though, it's worth noting that I typically hike in the early season so perhaps the dregs of the bubble contains more yellow-blazing hikers. More common in my mind are hikers who take lame shortcuts (e.g. walking a terrible road instead of hiking scenic trail) because they're just done-with-this-crap and ready to get to Canada or wherever. I recall one guy who literally roadwalked around the Winds, only to get on a plane and cross an ocean to pick up his Triple Crown award the next year. Doesn't particularly bother me, but those out-of-whack priorities were certainly amusing.
Out of the few people I did meet that hiked the entire trail, or planned to (of course I didn't meet everyone) it was the fast people! Haha
I was in no rush, had no budget, and took my time and so yeah, most of the people I was around or passed, skipped sections that were steep out of town, skipped overgrown areas, or areas that were supposed to be boring. I was pretty surprised. But MOST people were honest and open about their intentions to skip or take shortcuts and that it just didn't matter to them. They just wanted to have fun and make their way to Canada. Which is still a journey, for sure
 

ImNotDedYet

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Well done! Congratulations on doing the entirety of the trail! I would always resent myself if I allowed myself to skip any of it, so I can understand where you're coming from. To each their own though.

And your photography skills have definitely gotten better! Well documented both with the written word and photographic words.
 

Miya

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Well done! Congratulations on doing the entirety of the trail! I would always resent myself if I allowed myself to skip any of it, so I can understand where you're coming from. To each their own though.

And your photography skills have definitely gotten better! Well documented both with the written word and photographic words.
Yeah, that was my personal thinking. I always have to finish things even if I don't want to haha books, movies, tasks.

Thanks so much! I had lots of time to practice out there!
 

Janice

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Your descriptions are so interesting and entertaining. Thanks!

I really love your close-up flower shots. Beautiful!
 

scatman

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Part II did not disappoint @Miya. :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup: I'm glad to see No Face out on the trail with you.

I like the burros shot. I am assuming that they are wild? The wind farm shot is cool too.

Did your zero days equate to days after you resupplied? If so, does that mean that you resupplied three times in the twenty seven days of this leg of your journey?
 

Yvonne

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Yeah, I definitely didn't eat a normal amount of calories. I just never got super hungry? Through the Sierras became the big concern. I burned so many calories and lost so much weight in the span of one resupply, it was apparent even to me. I forced anything I could take down, but was usually left feeling ready to vomit before I went to bed. Eventually I did manage to eat an entire backpacker meal every night. But mostly I would eat one Ramen before bed and feel full.

I just watched someone on my Instagram do a 100 mile event! Took so much out of him but he is so happy! So amazing what the mind and body can do!
I just wondered about the calories you burn on such a trip.
And you're so tiny!! I can totally see that you had a hard time getting all the calories in.

I recently had to up mine again as I burned way too much on my trips. And I'm eating quite a bit.
I just need to find stuff that has a high calorie and high protein amount
 

futurafree

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NUTS! I know they're heavy, but for 2 of us we bring one snack-size ziploc with a different kind of salted nut for each day. Yummy, filling, and full of protein.
Nuts are actually the lightest of all solid foods. The only way you could get more calories per ounce is by drinking olive oil, which probably won't end well. I'm not a thru-hiker, but I'm endlessly fascinated by the backpacking nutrition series on Youtube by the highly left-brained Gear Skeptic channel. Calories per ounce, optimal fat/carb/protein ratios, electrolytes and hydration, end-of-day recovery fuel, etc. I find it incredibly useful in order to carry less weight, hike more efficiently, and feel better the next day.
 

LarryBoy

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Nuts are actually the lightest of all solid foods. The only way you could get more calories per ounce is by drinking olive oil, which probably won't end well. I'm not a thru-hiker, but I'm endlessly fascinated by the backpacking nutrition series on Youtube by the highly left-brained Gear Skeptic channel. Calories per ounce, optimal fat/carb/protein ratios, electrolytes and hydration, end-of-day recovery fuel, etc. I find it incredibly useful in order to carry less weight, hike more efficiently, and feel better the next day.
Can confirm, drinking olive oil doesn't end well
 
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