Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 7: Mile 127.1 (17.5)

Location: Trail Angel Mike Herrera's House.

Had a great day out of Warner springs. 17 miles past the town is a small house owned by trail angel mike herrera. He offers hikers food and a warm place to stay. The hiking today was beautiful. 2000 foot climb over 17 other words, nice and easy. Walked through
interesting sandstone boulder fields.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 6: Mile 109.6 (8.2)

Location: Warner Springs, CA

What an awesome day. The morning was cold, wet, and windy. Once getting into Warner springs, the sun came out and the relaxation began. After dealing with the necessities, I spent several hours soaking in the hot bath (which is heated by a natural hot springs).
Hiker life is really tough you know?

Well, was gonna zero tomorrow, but I might head put for a few miles afterall.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Warner Springs

Made it into Warner springs this morning, despite cold rainy
conditions. Did all of my necessary running around and will now try to
relax a bit. I can't upload any good pics so iPhone pics will have to

I will update more later tonight with an official mileage entry.

Mexican dirt
Katahdin water

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 5: Mile 101.4 (26.4)

Location: Barrel Spings

Wooohooo, broke 100 today, yeah! Today was beautiful, but dry. The only water for 26 miles was from a supplied cache. I carried 4.5 liters....and it was heavy! I meandered around mountains all day and soaked up some beautiful scenery. It's good to be out here.

Met some other great hikers today.

Tomorrow is an easy 8 into Warner springs and a zero day and shower!

Looking forward to a nice bed

Day 4: Mile 75 (22.3)

Location: 2 miles before Scissors Crossings

Another good day. Today was a real example of the extremes of southern Cali. During the day, it was high 80s, and at night, 30s. The desert is a strange place. I hope to be in Warner springs on Wednesday, where I will also take a day off. Here was my view today:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 3: Mile 52.7 (26.3)

Location: Pioneer Mail Trailhead
The human body is an amazing thing. It has ways of telling you when
it is pissed off. Last night I woke up literally shivering. My old
40 degree bag (w/liner) just wasn't cutting it against the 28 degree
temps. When your body starts shivering, it means you are in first
stage hypothermia. ( the things I learn in Antarctica). So what did I
do? I did what I was taught. I ate lots of food immediately, I boiled
some water and drank it, while doing jumping jacks. It wasn't fun.
Needless to say, my family is express mailing my 15 degree bag to me
and I will have it in three days. In the mean time I'm wearing all of
my layers, hat, gloves to bed, with my stove ready. If tonight is bad
again I may go into julian tomorrow and suck up a pricy hotel room.
We'll see. I can't believe it's nearly may, I'm practically in
Mexico, and there's snow everywhere over 5000 ft. Seriously....WTF?
Anyway. Today was a great day of hiking. I did most of it with a guy
named gut-hook. Took lots of great pics of southern Cali. I wasn't
planning on an over-20 day, but the miles just kept ticking by.
That's it for now. Gotta save my battery life. Tomorrow the water
is scarce, I'll be carrying 4+ liters. Ugh.
Shooting for a nice and easy 18-20. No rush though. The sierras
aren't gonna melt any faster.
Warner springs in 3 days!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 2: Mile 26.4 (5.8) - ADZPCTKO

Today was another fantastic day. Traditionally everyone takes the day
off and enjoys the festivities. I spent the day looking at gear,
getting snow reports (not good btw), and hanging with moleman and
ryan. After the huge class of 2010 photo, i had a great dinner. At
about 6pm though, I was feeling antsy and decided to start out after
for a few miles. I managed almost 6 miles before it started getting
dark right as I walked into a campground. Perfect timing! I'm about
to go to bed here in a few. Tomorrow will be a full day. The past
two nights it has gotten down into the low 30s. Brrr
Should hit mt laguna tomorrow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 1: Mile 20.6

Lake morena kickoff!

Great first day. Got to the monument at 7am and took lots of pictures. Stuck my foot under the fence and got some dirt. Started walking at 7:40 with dan (moleman) and Ryan. Spent the whole day with
them. Set up camp in morena and will be eating a huge dinner in a couple minutes. There is a lot of snow down here. Not sure if I will leave tomorrow or not. Met lots of pct legends tonight.

That's it for now. Great first day. Feet sore but fine.

And it begins.....

7:40 am on 4/23/10
I started walking

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Things always have a way...

This morning started with a 4 am wake up call that was supposed to end
with me in my tent at lake morena on the pct. My flight was delayed
and I missed my connection to San Diego. At first I was unsure of
where I'd end up or how I'd get to the trailhead tomorrow. As I
walked out of the sd airport, i was piked up by some hikers and
brought to "the mans" house. There is unlimited food, 30+ friendly
hikers, a warm place to sleep, AND a free ride to the trailhead
tomorrow at 6am!!! Now if that isn't providence....or someone
looking out for me, I don't know what is....

Tomorrow I start at mile 0.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let the PCT Walkin' Begin...

Well here it is again.  That wonderful calm before the storm.  My time of patience has ended, and now I must embark.  It is 10:30, and I am ready to get some sleep before my 6 am flight tomorrow.

Today was frantic, but I finished all that I needed to.  I wish that I had some profundity to put forth at this moment to mark such an occasion...but it is simpler than that.  Tomorrow I head out on a little walk.

I wanted to say thank you to everyone that donated to my father's memorial fund.  This is the first time where I've gone on one of my adventures with the intent of also raising money and awareness for a good cause.   So thank you.  It really does mean a lot to me.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, here's the link explaining:

and with that said....

let's go for a walk dad....

PCT Gear Organization Part 1 (11th Hour)

Getting there...

A very quick run through of my gear laid out so far....(still lots to do)

Monday, April 19, 2010

PCT Prep #6: Shave and a haircut, two bits

Ready To Hike

Call it laziness, call it curiosity, call it apathy....whatever you want to call it, my experiment with growing my hair out longer than normal, has come to a violent end today.  With my hike just mere days away, the time for a nice trim was here.  The last thing I want to deal with in sunny, hot california, is a head full of greasy, unshowered hair.  So it went....and it went quickly.  The clippers were brought out, dusted off, and put to work.

All that is left to do now in State College is say some tough goodbyes, present a final poster at our yearly colloquium series at school, and have a final chat with my advisor.  Tomorrow night, I'll be in Rochester frantically packing my food drops.

I have one final box of stuff that I've been accruing over the past 2 weeks of little things I forgot to get.

Last Box of Stuff Needed for Packing

I'm still patient.  While I'm excited to take this journey....There is still a part of me that does not want to go....and rather stay here with people I would rather stay with.  But,  I suppose any time we go on journeys like this, we are all faced with our own conflicts....and I know I must still go on this walk.

So I will.

Next update will be from rochester, and will hopefully be of my gear, and PO boxes AFTER they are done.

take care everyone,


oh and for your viewing pleasure ;-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PCT Prep Update #5: One Week Until it all Begins

PCT Elevation Profile

In a week I'll be heading back to Rochester, with what will be my first step towards starting my trek along the PCT.  All gear is now purchased, and all that remains is to pack my post office boxes, my bounce box, and my backpack itself.  I have a solid day's worth of work to do.

I am eager, but still patient.  

"The mountains are calling, and I must go" - John Muir

"Hold Still, regain your love of life and go down from this mountain and simply be. be the infinite fertilities of the one mind of infinity, make no comments, complaints, criticisms, appraisals, avowals, sayings, shooting stars of thought, just you all, be you what it is, it is only what it always is. So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry....." -Jack Kerouac

Friday, April 9, 2010

PCT Prep Update #4: Waiting and Traditions

Kathadin/Antarctic Water
(5/8 of a dram or about 2 ml)

It's come to be that time where I must patiently wait. To most people, this time is an uncomfortable and anxious time. I relish in it. I know the day will come when I am strolling down the trail, but that day is not today. Today I go about my day with a smile because I am not only fortunate to have a good life with good and incredible people around me, but because I know I will be walking soon enough.

In the mean time, I can pick up the last of my necessities and take care of the last of my planning. I have 95% of my food now, and 98% of my supplies. I will head up to Rochester NY on the 20th and finish my packing there before setting off. In two weeks I'll again be walking.  

I will also be keeing myself busy in the next two weeks by frantically making final edits to my manuscript in the hopes of getting it submitted to the Journal of Glaciology before I leave.

So what's with the small vial/bottle?

As silly as it may sound to many of you, I have always been one that likes little traditions to help motivate me on my journeys. For those of you that watched my AT videos, you'll know I carried a small card with a picture of katahdin and a random NJ sign on it. I also carried a small pebble from springer mtn until i lost it somewhere in virginia (meant for katahdin). Lastly, I carried my late father's dog-tags with me every day, until on August 15th I proudly laid them on the sign on top of Mt. Katahdin. It's little things like this that give me that extra sense of silly as the traditions or superstitions may be.

For this hike it's very simple. I will again be carrying my dad's dog-tags...this time with extra meaning (since I'm hiking to raise money for the American Heart Association in my dad's honor). Also, I will be carrying a small card with a small picture on each own personal motivators.  Lastly I will be carrying this small vial of water from the Mexican border north until I quit. What's the deal with the water you may be asking?   It's simple.

On August 15th, 2007, when I finished the AT, I scooped up water from Thoreau Spring (the last water source before the end of the trail).   I've saved that water and now put some of it in this small vial. Also in December of 2008, while in Antarctica, I scooped up some snow in a small container from in the middle of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and brought it home (now melted of course). Some of this water was also now put into the small vial. So what I have, is a small vial of water, mixed from one place symbolizing that I can complete anything I put my mind to, and from another place that symbolizes the farthest reaches on this planet I'm willing to go, or have gone...and that no place is too extreme to explore. This is what will drive me. The day I finish or quit the PCT, I will pour this water out where I finish.

I am also going to bring a 2nd small empty vial that I will fill with sand from the start and carry with me.

So there you go. I am a ridiculously superstitious weirdo apparently, but these little things are important to me. In two weeks, me and my small water vial will be heading to Campo to walk for a while.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

PCT Prep Update #3: Food Part 1

SNICKERS!!!!  This is the only time in my running/cardio infested life when I can feel guilt free about eating complete garbage for food.  A typical thru-hiker burns 5000 calories a day.  This means, I need as much high calorie food in me as possible. 

I made my first run to the Wholesale club tonight with my sister (thanks for your membership card Carri) and went hog-wild.  I've purchased about 70% of the food that I'm going to buy up front (enough to realistically get me through California)

My eating routine on the AT consisted of 5 "snacks" per day, and a freeze dried dinner.  After a while I was pretty sick of this, so I'm trying to "mix things up" on this hike.  Instead of bars only, I'm going with a wider variety of sustenance.

Layout 1:
Daily snack bars, candy, pop tarts, protein bars, peanuts, etc

Layout 2:
Some dinner/lunch supplies

It looks nice and pretty now...but wait until I have to start bagging it!  

More to come soon