Sunday, March 25, 2018



All is going well. There are so many areas where there is no phone connection for Dick to make contact with me. I haven't worried too much. A busy mind, is a happy mind and I've been busy. I am so thankful I could stay at the Lost Dutchman State Park while he was doing this hike. It's been great. This week more friends have camped here and I'm enjoying time with them.

I will miss this beautiful place.
Enjoyed a morning ride at Canyon Lake on the paddleboat "Dolly".

I love all my Canadian friends. They know how to suck the juice out of life. 

BOO is wondering where the guy is that used to live here!

I left the Acton KOA early because I wanted to start making time. The third part of the storm front was supposed to hit late in the day. I hiked 15 miles straight up before I reached snow at about 6200 feet. They sure got the weather report right! It started raining in the late afternoon. I had made it to my campsite and set up my tent before the downpour. I woke up in the morning to an inch of snow. Every day I hiked on snow-covered trails, and every night I camped in deep snow all the way to Wrightwood and beyond. 

Hwy 2 was closed because of snow so I walked the road around Mt. Baden Powell from Islip Saddle to Vincent Gap. The PCT crosscrosses the hwy several times. At one point I dropped down to a visitor’s center on Hwy 2 and from there continued walking the road into the town of Wrightwood.

Hwy 2 was closed due to snow so I walked this safer route around Mt. Baden Powell
I found an all-day breakfast place but they wouldn’t let me bring my pack inside. I decided to leave because I don't feel comfortable leaving my pack unattended. Then a couple with their 3 daughters said, “He can put it under our table and sit with us.” Which I did, and had a great time with them. Then when I went to pay for my breakfast, I found out they had paid without telling me. More "Trail Angels". I did see them as they were leaving town and had a chance to thank them again. The world is full of great people. 
I was told to go to the local hardware where they have a list of places to stay and to sign their PCT register which they’ve been keeping since 1966. Then they gave me a PCT pin. 

My first choice for the night was a place for $10 run by the local Methodist Church, but it wasn’t open yet, so I took a $30 room at a lodge just outside of town. Again, I dried out all my gear and soaked in a hot bath and I was so happy to be high and dry. 

For three nights it was freezing cold and I slept on several inches of snow. In the morning, my tent would be frozen to the ground, my boots were so hard I couldn't fit them on my feet, and my water bottles were frozen! So far, this has basically been a winter camping trip. I just can’t believe the weather change after all winter being so mild in the west.

The coldest night of all on this trip. 
I’m trying to get my 20 miles in a day. I get up early and deal with the cold, packing everything up and then walk until dark-thirty, but it’s slow going in the snow and trail finding. I have to say, though, I’ve sure given my gear a good testing. My 5 degree bag has been the best. My boots have been very comfortable. Even in deep snow my feet aren’t cold, as long as I keep moving. When I stop at night my feet hurt but as long as I’m moving they are fine. I get up in the morning and within a couple miles my feet warm up. My possum gloves have also been great, even though I’ve worn them out from wearing them 24/7 since I started this trek. I think what wore them out was hiking with poles. The thumb and palms have holes in them - but they still keep my hands warm. It’s hard to believe because I can see my skin through them. They are great because even in the freezing cold, I can tie my shoes, button my clothes, roll up my tent, snap my pack and still my fingers stay fairly warm. 
At one point I was thinking I needed to get therapy when I get home. No, not for an injury, but for my head - to find out why I do this s---! But then there are the rewarding experiences in between that make it all worthwhile.

The next morning I hiked out of Wrightwood after another huge breakfast at the Evergreen Cafe. This time the owners let me bring my pack inside. The restaurant just happened to still have their St. Patrick’s Day decorations up. Everyone inside asked me all kinds of questions about my hike. Of course, I entertained everyone with my blarney!

That morning I climbed 8200 ft, back up to the snow, but it was sunny and dry. I hoped I was looking at the last of the snow for at least 100 miles. 

Up, up up ......

Dick sent this photo with text saying, "I have been to the mountaintop
and I have seeeeen the other side

It was all downhill from there all the way to Cajon Pass through brown hills and grassy canyons. The trail serpentined all the way down and then I saw it in the distance - the golden arches and it wasn't a mirage!


  1. Enjoying the journey from my recliner. No way could I handle that cold.

  2. Had to have a large cup of hot tea with milk and sugar after reading your blog and seeing your pix. This desert rat will keep a saguaro or palm tree in sight at all times.

    Happy hiking,
    Dutchman aka Ed

  3. I mentioned to Gaila that Dickie should be committed and she immediately wanted me to sign the petition.... What do you make of that?

  4. Just so amazing ! My Dad loved Him !