Followers

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

KEEP ON, KEEPIN ON!

1000 MILE MARK (PCT is 2,650 miles total)
Not much to report this time. I rarely hear from him since he has no phone service. I just continue to get the pre-set messages via satellite - morning, mid-day and night. So I know he's alive and well. No weather events or injuries. He's just enjoying this beautiful part of the PCT. He hikes about 25 mile days from dawn to dusk and keeps up with the younger hikers. They stop and take time off to go into towns to eat, he bypasses the towns and keeps on moving. He leaves his boots on and sloshes through the water crossings and they stop and take off their boots and cross in sandals. Next thing they pass him again and then he passes them when they stop. He calls it leapfrogging.

ONE MORNING THESE TRAIL ANGELS (Patty and Maurice) HOLLERED AS HE
WAS HIKING BY, "HEY, WANT SOME BREAKFAST BURRITOS?"
HIKERS ENJOYING SOME TRAIL MAGIC (chairs even provided)
He has met several Trail Angels. This is how someone described Trail Magic in an article I read on-line "It can be a moment of extreme beauty, feelings of connectedness or a remarkable wildlife experience that becomes trail magic when a hiker really needs it to continue."  Dick says, to him, Trail Magic is when he's hiking along and hikes by someone cooking and offering him food."

MY BROTHER, JOEL, RELAXING AT THE CAMPGROUND (Photo by Wendy)
One special time of Trail Magic was when my brother and his wife drove their pickup camper 90 miles from their home in Newcastle to meet Dick at Echo Summit, where the trail meets hwy 50. They took him to a campground on south Lake Tahoe for two days and treated (fed) him royally. He needs to be fattened up. He's looking a bit thin.







Had to share this photo of a PCT HIKER NEEDING A LIFT

A BLAST FROM THE PAST: Photo taken 1979. When my brother, Joel, was around 15, 
he traveled with us several summers to different National Parks. This was a backpacking
trip in the Grand Tetons. (Looks like Dick is carrying most of the gear).
Joel still doesn't like backpacking but loves the National Parks. 
Meanwhile, I'm staying busy here at home. Lots to do here (work and play), although I do miss my best friend and handyman. One day while I went biking, I returned home to my friends mowing my yard. Thank you again Kyle and Joe - I appreciate you.


BEAUTIFUL WHEN IT'S MOWED!
THESE TWO WORKED WHILE I PLAYED! (YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY  PART OF THE SUPPORT TEAM)
BOO HAS THE RIGHT IDEA IN THIS HEAT WAVE
Just before sending this, I noticed these photos came across my email. Must be his phone has a connection! I'm assuming these are views of Lake Tahoe and the trail.







.....and as the happy hiker would say, "Keep Smilin"!


Gaunt and thin but a happy camper.






Friday, June 29, 2018

HE'S AT IT AGAIN!



BACK ON THE TRAIL AGAIN
As many of you know, Dick is back on the Pacific Crest Trail. He flew to Bakersfield, CA mid-June and took a shuttle to the town of Lake Isabella where he picked up his cooking fuel, shipped ahead of time to the post office (not allowed on the plane). He slept behind a church and caught the 5:30 a.m. shuttle to Walker Pass and began hiking north. He hiked in triple digit temps the first three days to Kennedy Meadows, the gateway to the Sierra Mtns. Fortunately, it's cooled down to 80s and 90s in the mountains.
HE HIKED 8 MILES OFF TRAIL TO REACH THE TOP OF MT. WHITNEY
AND SAID THE VIEWS WERE AMAZING AND WORTH THE EFFORT.
(
It took him 11 hrs to hike the 16 miles up and then back to the PCT) 

MODELING HIS NEW HAT MADE BY PATAGONIA
HE SAYS HE LOOKS DORKY BUT THE FLAPS PROTECT
THE SIDES OF HIS FACE MORE. (
Health before handsome).
For this trip I convinced Dick to purchase a satellite communicator. This was a very good investment. Out of his first 12 days on the trail, he only had a phone connection twice (he has Verizon. He noticed the hikers with ATT were talking on their phones). His first call was from the top of Mt. Whitney and the second when he made it to Red's Meadow Camp near the town of Mammoth Lakes. It eases my mind to receive his pre-set messages via satellite morning, mid-day and evening, and what's really fun is that I also get a map of where he is.


By the time he reached Mammoth Lakes (where he took a "NERO" to regroup) he'd hiked approx 255 miles out of the 6 or 700 he plans to hike on this trip. A total of 905 miles since the border of Mexico. There has been a lot of snow at Muir, Forester and Mather Passes and he ONLY fell twice. On one fall he tore his hiking pants, and on another he lost his favorite knife that he's had for nearly 40 years, plus both water bottles came out of their holders and slid down to no-man's land. He also broke a piece of camera equipment. He sent one message to me through the satellite communicator that read, "Send spare pair of hiking pants to Mammoth Lakes. Ripped the ass out of these and they are sewn together with dental floss."  See - I knew that thing would come in handy.

GRUMPY BEARS at Kennedy Meadows

GREAT TO MEET UP WITH LINDA MOORE
(Kennedy Meadows is a place where many hikers stop and get food and water. )


We have been following a friend on Facebook (above) who started hiking the PCT in mid-April. Dick said there would be no way he would meet up with her because she would be way behind him. When he arrived at Kennedy Meadows there she was. She had skipped ahead because of the triple digit heat.

When Dick finally got a phone connection, he told me all of his woes about falling and losing things and the heat and mosquitoes and another small leak in his sleeping pad etc...  I made the comment that I thought he sounded discouraged and wasn't enjoying the hike. He quickly pepped up and said, "Oh no, it is fantastic. It is so beautiful out here and especially on the John Muir trail and I'm loving it."
DICK AND GEORGE
(I'm sure there was a lot of blarney going on between these two Irishmen)
I coordinated a meetup with a friend (above) we met in 1981 while working in Alaska. When I saw on Facebook he was hiking the John Muir Trail and heading south in the same area at the same time Dick was heading north, I messaged George and sent him a picture of Dick and told him to watch for a bearded 68 year old (not many out there that fits that description). George told me to tell Dick what to look for. Dick would have normally stayed on the Pacific Crest Trail but took the John Muir Trail cutoff so they could meet up. George sent the above photo and said, "Surprise, surprise, at 7 pm, who comes strolling in and finds us. What a fun hour we had with him, regaling us with all of his adventures! Truly a wonderful cap to our fun day!"

DICK ENJOYED HIKING A BIT WITH MANNE WHO IS FROM SWEDEN
(photo taken at Crabtree Meadows)
People ask me all the time if he is hiking alone. Yes, most of the time, but there are so many people on the trail. He passes at least a dozen a day. There is estimated to be over 3,000+ on the trail this year. Not all will make it to the end.

LOTS OF BEAUTIFUL LAKES AND GLACIER CARVED VALLEYS

PARK RANGER WITH MULE TRAIN BY RAE LAKE
(King's Canyon National Park)

CAMPING IN SOLITUDE

MUIR PASS SHELTER 

ANOTHER GREAT CAMPSITE


HE TOOK A 45 MINUTE PONTOON BOAT RIDE TO VVR  (Vermillion Valley Resort)
HE WANTED A HAMBURGER AND WIFI
(This is only the back half of the boat)


LOVE THIS PHOTO - COW PIE CAIRN

He is now at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. The only reason I know this for sure is I see food purchases coming through on our credit card. To be continued...

Friday, March 30, 2018

651 MILES OF THE PCT CONQUERED

A view of Weaver's Needle
FROM GAILA: 
When Dick finished the hike he took a shuttle from Big Bear Lake to Ontario, CA. to catch the 11 pm train. It was a 6.5 hour ride to Maricopa, AZ where mom and I picked him up. He was happy to be back. After a shave and a haircut he's beginning to look less of a mountain man! We will be heading back to Michigan soon.

It's time to move on because these guys are moving in!

They are relocated away from the campground.

Thought BOO got out of the motorhome but this guy belonged
to the neighbors camped next door. They said they just let him
run free and he always returns at the end of the day.
 (NOT if a coyote or a snake gets him!) I was tempted to keep him.


She returns every year and nests at the Public Library.

Thankfully, the Saturn hung in there while Dick was gone.
The day before he left it had mechanical problems (long story)
so I was instructed to baby it until I got above 20 MPH.
We hope it hangs in there until we get home.

FROM DICK:
I hiked to Cajon Pass through tunnels under railroad tracks and Interstate 15. I was heading for the Best Western. This was where I planned to regroup and pick up my second resupply box (the first one was picked up in Lake Hughes). It was supposed to be my ONLY indoor stay on this hike, but due to all the wet and cold this was my fourth (counting the RV). 

Tunnel under the railroad tracks
It's fun opening my resupply box but it means a heavy pack again for a few days.

When I left the next day, the weather report said it wasn’t supposed to rain but by noon it started. It rained all day and all night - a cold wind-driven rain! I felt like a drowned rat! The next morning I put on my rain gear and packed up early to get away from the hill I was camped at in case of a mudslide. The Sierra snowpack has doubled since I left on this trip and the storm that came through added more.

By this time, I started meeting more northbounders, but many were miserable and quitting between Big Bear and Wrightwood. Hiking north from Mexico they had also encountered a lot of wet and cold weather. When I met up with them they hadn't even hit the bad snow yet except for the few miles across Mt. Jacinto. Many of them were light-weight minimalists and weren't carrying gear that would help make it a little more comfortable for them. They pack so light they don't have enough layers or good shelter. I just don't get some of the "gram weenies". I go as light as I can but I will add on pounds for comfort (of course, many of you don't get why I do what I do! ha)

Finally, towards the end of the day, the sun came out and it was beautiful. I found Deep Creek Hot Springs and had a nice soak while I let my gear dry out.

Camped next to the hot springs.

A much-deserved refreshing evening!

Every day from the Hot Springs the weather was cold but thankfully sunny. Prior to the springs there was plenty of water because of the two-day downpour. My water bottles were frozen every morning but things were fairly dry, besides condensation. 

On the trail south of Big Bear is this private zoo for Hollywood animals. I had read about it in other PCT hiker blogs.  Looks like this grizzly was being treated like a movie star. He was eating the biggest steak I’ve ever seen - or a PCT hiker.

Who says California doesn't have grizzlies?
Coming around Big Bear I could see in the distance Mt. Jacinto, the beast that tried to slay me last year.


A beautiful view of Mt. Jacinto


 I reached Mile 246 where I left off last March. Twenty-six days to hike 400 miles. I walked a FS road to the Heart Bar Family Campground. It was closed but I stayed the night anyway. The next morning, my plan was to hitchhike back to Big Bear Lake to catch a shuttle.  I stood three hours in the cold wind before finally a car full of four Russian kids gave me a ride. Only one could speak limited English. But in the 16 miles to Big Bear I was able to launder some money, found out who's going to win the mid-terms, and learned that next 3 elections Putin wins (I kept my mouth shut - I didn't want to talk politics).
A hiker box put here by the Big Bear Hostel
where hikers can discard things to lighten their load.
(Or find something they may need)
The Finish Line!

Area burned over last June around Big Bear

FROM GAILA:
It's been interesting writing these three blog updates on Dick's hike, especially with him so far away. He would talk/text me about his days on the trail and then I would try to put it as much as possible in his words. Now that he has returned, he has written a more thorough blog to share. Most of it is repeat but it is definately worth taking the time to read.
Click here to read Dick's blog: http://packtoterblog.blogspot.com




BOO is thinking he may want to be shipped home overnight via UPS rather than traveling for three weeks.



Followers