Day 32 – Zeroed in Oxnard

Cleaned my nasty sleeping bag which seems to take 2 days to dry.   That is such a hassle.   Got resupplied and re hydrated.   Interesting all day I was drinking and eating and drinking and drinking.   I have to be careful about this in the future.   I need a lot of water on the trail and I need to stop cutting that short.  

Birthday party with Francine at a lot of pizza and talked about pooing in the woods.   That seems to be the first question everyone wants to talk about, lol. 

Showed off my hat which I haven’t washed for 3 weeks.   It has a pound of sweat-salt on the rim.   Yumm.

Plan is to hit the trail late tomorrow and do some serious night hiking.     

Day 31 – Wifey!!!!

Packed and scooted early.   Can’t wait to see my wife!

I think a lot of these tents have hungover hikers

There was a small hot climb then down to a valley that crossed under the 14.   This portion of the trail enters Vasquez Rocks park.   Turns out that this is pretty neat place.   I’ve seen it from the highway for years, but never stopped here.   I need to go back some time with Alice.

And Down

There is a drainage tunnel under the 14 that we cross through.   It was long, dark, wet and full of horse shit.   But… was soooo cool.    Every hiker came through here and sat down in the muck to get out of the heat.   Met up with Wing It again and we talked about this.   Our families would never understand how wonderful this is….sitting next to a pile of horse manure.  

Anyway, after cooling down we headed out together again.  Got some cool pictures of Vasquez Rocks area as we climbed up.

I think Jesus could do a little better than this

And out of the park

The last 1.5 miles looked like this on the map:

When you see straight lines like this, it can be certain we’ll be walking on the highway.   That sucked, but the bar at the end of the line didn’t !    Burgers, smoothies, 3 jars of water later I was pretty happy.   Meanwhile Alice was driving around trying to find me. 

I was sitting on the porch of the grill half-asleep with some other hikers when I saw this red truck drive by with my wife at the wheel.   I called her and waited while she passed by the other direction yet again, then finally she figured out where to park.   OMG.   The hikers I was with got a little laugh out of it all.  

But it was a happy ending!   Time to go home for a couple days !


Day 30 – Acton

Woke up early and packed.   Dexter was still in her tent getting ready, so I took off.    Nice to be beating someone to the trail 🙂    Blasted lower and lower.   It got hotter and hotter.

I was down to 1 litter of water when I passed a small running stream at 431.    I only added another liter thinking I’d find more….but that was not to be.   All the other streams were dead.  

Made it to a fire station and fortunately they were angeling some water and sodas.    A lot of us stayed there through 2 drinking, eating and sleeping.   Including myself. 

Didn’t realize it, but my water deficit was building up from yesterday.   I’ve been trying to hike with less water to reduce weight.   It was starting to snowball on me though. 

Got back on the trail around 2:30.   Just another 6 miles to go to Acton KOA.

If you look in the distance, Flame is standing on that rise.

Hotter and more exposed sun.   I think it was close to 95 while I was hiking this bit.

That green spot is where I’d like to go
But this is where the PCT says I’m supposed to go

This part sucked.   4 miles of switchbacks.   Ups and downs over crappy scenery when I can see shade and water below at every turn.   Talked to some others later and we all thought the same thing.   This was torture. 

Finally made it to the campground around 5.   That makes 19 miles today (mile 444).   Guzzled two 12 ounce cans of some kind of juice while waiting to pay for them at the mini-mart.   Almost passed out waiting in line.   Then it was two microwave cheeseburgers, a couple of rainbow popsicles, and bottle of gatoraid.

The campsite was hiker crazy.   Here is a pic

Hiker Madness

Ran into a bunch of folks here who were all sharing beers.   Then I saw this dude walking around with a cooler who looked familiar (not a hiker).   Wasn’t sure, so I followed him to the office and discovered it was Alex, a guy I with whom I ride off-road motorcycles.   

He was hauling some beers as well.   Had been following my dot and saw I was pretty close to his house so he bounced down to say hi.    It was great seeing him!    Wish I had a picture.   Here is Alex with his sister (who is also a good rider).  

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, indoor

Anyway, Alex got to chat with some of my hiker friends and feed his desire to hike the PCT some day.   Go Alex !

Got a shower, did some laundry.    Only 8 miles to Agua Dulce tomorrow and I get to go home with Alice for a few days !!!!!!!!


Day 29 – Last Day in the Woods

Today started better than the last.   Ate a Poptart and heading out.  

Goal was to do 20+ miles today to make up for my poor performance yesterday.   This should put me at about 5,500 feet.   Since I’m starting at 5,500 feet, should be easy, right?   Well no.   According to my app I get to go +4,700 feet and -4,700 feet today.   Awesome. 

I found this interesting.   The area I walked through in the morning was an old burn from 2007 (I think).   It is interesting seeing how the vegetation recovers.   You can see a few old dead trees together with some dense bushes and younger pine trees growing back.  I suppose in 20 years, this will again be a pleasant shady walk. 

This brought back some bad memories from yesterday….

Which way?

There were some small creeks still running.   Nice algae filled creek bed.   Delicious, slimy water. 

No English agrees, Algae water really hits the spot.
Some of these trees made it

Got to Mill Creek Fire Station and ran into a dozen hikers milling around.   The Station has an active staff who stayed inside while the hikers all spread out around the building seeking shade.    They must just look out the windows and shake their heads.   

Took a little nap here and updated my blog.   Dexter turned up and we decided to hike together to a campsite for the evening.   Was interesting to get to know her.  

She was a zoology graduate student in Wisconsin doing research into Sparrow hatchlings.   Apparently, these birds are unlike most in that they can survive as babies on either seed or bugs.   Most species of birds require a specific diet depending on their age, but these little guys can switch it up and still develop healthy.  

The theory is that there is an enzyme in their digestive system that allows them to switch between the two diets in 24 hours or less.   To prove this, Dexter and team gathered a bunch of hatchinglings, feed them certain diets for a few days, then killed them and immediately dissected their intestines.   Apparently she did this 191 times for the study over 3 years.   That is pretty gross….hence her trail name.   It is Dexter the serial murderer from the TV series…not the cartoon character.

Camped here for the night.   It was an old campsite that was trashed by the recent burn.

Home for the Night

Did a good 22 miles today (Mile 425).   Feel a little better now.

Day 28 – Terrible Day

It was a bit windy last night and somewhat cold. Protection in the campground was good, so had a nice nights sleep. Folks were milling around at 6 as I should have been, but instead fell back to sleep. By the time I woke up and got all my stuff ready to go, it was 7:30……Then I had to back track 2 tenths to get water. So it was 8 by the time I finally got out. Only person left in the campground was the cat lady.

I was still pissed that I wasted so much time getting started. At least the trail was downhill, but no…. more the trail delivers a nice hot 1200 foot climb with no wind. I run into this gal “No English” (apparently from Taiwan and actually knows almost no English). I pass her on the climb.   I can out hike a 90 pound Asian Girl carrying a 30 pound pack.  I’m such a stud.

At the top of the climb, I get lost and start up the trail to Mt Williamson which added another 300 feet before I realize my mistake. Turned around and back to the trail junction and there is No English sitting on a rock having some brunch. None for me, I get back on the trail.

Later I ran into Huntsman, his wife, Happy, and Hot Diggity. There is an endangered species by pass that we have to travel around. Some Frog again. So hwy walk 2 miles to Buckhorn campground, then down Buckhart Trail.  We split there and I was on my own after lunch. 

Took off again down Buckhorn to the PCT intersection and misread the signs. Carried on hiking Buckhorn for almost a mile before I realized it. Then I turned around, found the intersection, and got on the PCT…..GOING THE WRONG DIRECTION. I hiked .5 miles south into the endangered species area. The trail got worse and worse, but when I checked the App it said I was on trail so I kept going until the trail turned to nothing. Only then did it hit me.

Turned around, heading back, ran into No English. She was going to wrong way too. After a bunch of gestures and miming “wrong way” to her, she got it and followed me out. Finally got on the RIGHT trail going the RIGHT direction and of course I immediately get a 1,000 foot climb as a reward.  It was damn hot, I was drenched in sweat.

As I rounded one of the peaks top, a stray gust of wind hits me from behind and launches my trail mix bag from my side pocket into the air and down a cliff. That’s fitting.

After that I get a nasty back spasm, probably from carrying the pack with no break. I’m stumbling along, alone, miserable, when I pass mile marker 400.   

I got to the next water stop at the boy scout camp at 5pm giving me a whooping 16 miles for the day. Pathetic. I made dinner, then late hiked another 3 miles to Three Points Trailhead at 403.  I collapsed in my bag for the night. 

I figured I wasted 4+ grueling miles going the wrong directions.