Oddly enough, I woke up early. Adrenaline running and knowing this is finally the day. Time to smash out my last errands and fully commit. Still gathering all my Needed belongings and putting them in piles. Packed up my last 5 food drops and headed off to the post office. Labeled them up “General Delivery.” 2 different post masters didn’t know how to send them that way. There can’t be any ‘Maybes’ for getting these packages. But I really can’t do anything else but hope as my flight leaves today. Thinking I’d have more time the previous day’s, I started putting all my videos together of my Appalachian Trail Speed Record in 17’. Only got thru editing about 6 minutes of the rough hour long length. Found out completing that project would have to wait till I come home. Sister made juicy delicious burgers for LUNCH! Been getting a lil spoiled lately. Brother in law asked me when the flight left. I said, “ That’s a great question. 4 something, I should probably check that out eh.” Time flew by as I slowly gathered and packed my belongings. Like always, pushing time, hopped in the car and headed to the Minneapolis airport. Traffic was slow on Cedar Avenue, so my sister shot around cars and a police officer in the crappy slow lane. Thankfully no one was in the SunCountry line and the security line. Perks of flying on a Wednesday. As I made it to the gate, they were calling out boarding class 3 already…. Perfect timing : ] Hopped on and say next to 2 people that were from close by my hometown. Bemidji and Walker Minnesota. Older lady had plenty of interesting stories. She was coming up to visit her son for a month. The guy was coming up to fish for a handful of days. Edge of British Columbia and Alaska, I started hitting some major mountains. To be exact we flew right by Mount Saint Elias. Believe it’s the second highest, coming in a little over 18,000 feet. Finally dropped into Anchorage, getting those Montana vibes up here. It’s not too shabby. It was crazy to see how many people are coming up here to fish. When I got to the baggage claim, I kept seeing endless amounts of coolers dropping onto the never ending conveyor. Must be all the fishermen flying in. Clark picked me up and let me crash for the night. Headed straight to rei to pick up my paddle. Walked in 5 minutes before closing time. PERFECT! Headed back to his place and he made Pounds of spaghetti. The sauce he made was there best I’ve ever had. Perfect jalapeno kick with the best mix of other herbs and spices. Was harder than expected to get use to light at midnight.
1296 – 1330 mile
The day was going perfectly till I went they a shrubby section. I came out the other side and saw a massive Grizzly less than 15 get away. I started slowly backing away hoping it wouldn’t notice me. With the shrubs hitting my pack he glanced over. Moved about ten feet back and could barely see him. I turned and started running back down the trail. The massive bear ran after me and was gaining fast. The only thing I could do is stand my ground. I stopped and faced him. He got about 5 feet in front of me and then I woke up from a bad dream. What a way to start the day. Must be from all that Alaska talk. Slow going day, stopping a handful of times to dry out the toe. Also carrying 22 miles of water dropped the pace a bit. Finally rolled by the PCT halfway marker . Made it past the road into Chester and posted up for the night. No rush to get to Old Station when everything opens up late.
Waking up temp is just amazing right now on this hot section. Perfectly painted sunrise while breaking camp. Dry section has led to a bit of a hike off trail to get water. Bomb campsite wayyyyy up on top. Ran into Justin, talked building off grid cabins, Montana, Alaska, and stuff like that all night.
1203 – 1239 mile
Fully recovered, early start with amazing sunrise. Enjoying the dwarfed trees up on top. Brings the excitement back into bonsia. Something feels just really old about northern California.
1193 -1203 mile
Easy 3 miles into Sierra City. Hung out and talked to Corona and a dude hiker(forgot his name)behind the church camping area. Didn’t know if I was going to see any hikers in town, it’s getting late in the season for nobos. The Sobos haven’t made it quite this far south yet.
Foundout my cousins from Australia are hanging out in Portland. Possibly going to meet up and hike a couple days with them in northern California. Eventually the store opened up, snatched my packages and ran back to the church. Trying to make this town stop as short as possible. Shower came along with clean clothes. Cold shower, but it’s the first one since I’ve been back on trail. Felt AMAZING!!! The locks were getting quite dirty.
Got my new Bomb pack and tarp from ZPACKS. Super excited to lighten up my weight, get a better fitting pack, and learn new skills with the tarp. Swung in and sent my pack, tent, and extra junk home just before the post office closed.
Slowly accomplishing things it was finally time to resupply… They say don’t go to the grocery store hungry, so I cashed in on the 1 Pound Burger. Feel like you always gotta grab the 1lb burger, you don’t see that very often. Smashed the whole burger and half the fries with a couple Dr. Peppers. Cravings Crushed ! ! ! Pricey country store, but they go wayyyyy outta their way. Chatted with the only 2 hikers in town before hitching a ride back to the trail. Came across another late seasoned nobo. Jesse was his name, he was taking a break at the top after the massive climb outta town. He’s a web designer/developer from Canada. It was fun running thru the whole hiker talk. Gear, places to go, ideas, bike touring, people met, ect…
1271 – 1296 mile.
Back in thru hiker style, started rolling before 6am. Nice smooth trail up on top before it dropped 8 miles down into town. Hung out with five straggly nobos, downed tons of Pepsi, resupplied, and soaked my foot. Waited for hot part of the day to pass, last thing I need is hear exhaustion. Went by Rattlesnake Springs just before entering into Lassen NF. Stated seeing tons of smoke from all the fires up north. Must be getting close.
Stayed up all night planning and getting ready to head back out to the Pacific Crest Trail. Excited to finish up the calendar triple. Flights went smooth to Reno. Met up with Matt to pick up my pack. After his long day at work, he was still willing to drive me down to Carson. Next day, hitch hiking went super smooth. Highway 395 is the golden ticket at least if you wear pink Zubaz. First couple rides were just going to the next town. Couldn’t pass up anything headed in the right direction. All the hitches were very very interesting. Last hitch took me all the way. Getting on trail a day early had felt great.
Continental Divide Trail 2016 Finally came to the Wind Mill. Thankfully it was still function-able and windy to get the fresh stuff. Scooping outta the water tank wasn’t as clean.
Had a slow morning, hung out a little tooo late last night. Eventually got everything packed up and walked to the far side of town to hitch out. Called mom to update her on the San Juan’s situation. Planning on swapping out some gear in Pagosa Springs and getting more clothes sent out. Hitched a ride with a guy that just completed the AT Sobo. Solid eight months on the trail for the guy. Got dropped off at the trailhead and anxiously head out to catch up to DM. Had a nice climb back to the top. Passed by the biggest waterfall yet. My feet got soaked instantly. Caught up with a crew of ten people and took a break with em. Continued on and started post holing bad. Found the trail and kept climbing to over 12k feet. I walked over the ridge and caught the real San Juan’s off in the distance. It was unbelievably beautiful. Massive snow topped mountains off in the distance completely surrounding me. Had a couple fun glisades down steep slopes. Post holing kept getting worse and shattered my pace to nothing. It was killer tiring and smashed up my shins pretty bad. My left knee was bleeding and turned purple from how cold I got.
Had Double Magic wake me up, to keep hiking with him. He really surprised me on his pace. He hikes at a 2-2.5mph. With him being the first one to complete the PCT, I thought he’d be faster. Hiking at a slower pace helps out my knees and feet. Neither of them get as tired. We climbed out of a canyon to some great cliff views. I didn’t expect to see green grass covering the mountain tops. Also the rocks shot out of the ground in groupings by the trees. Accidentally got lost and followed the road up to Mogote Ridge. I thought about taking that way, but didn’t know if I would have enough water. On the way up the ridge I saw a bobcat or a mountain lion. I could only see her for ten seconds and she was about fifty feet away. Turned out the ridge was an awesome detour to take. Took a lunch break and didn’t see DM the rest of the day. Tons of elevation today which got me all the way up over 10k feet. Near the top, snow was melting from every direction. My feet became frozen as night fell. I quickly set up and swapped out the cold wet socks for some dry ones. Took over an hour to thaw out my feet. Once they warmed up, I was able to get some sleep.