Mt. Laguna Nobo 42

This post is ftom October 23, 2018.

Was so relieved this morning when I took my first steps and felt that my uncle was OK. Although every now and then I have a twinge of soreness it really is doing as well as I can expect. I had no serious aches all the way today.

I started at about 740 this morning with a brisk temperature that require having long pants amd a long sleeve shirt because of the cold. The last couple of days I have hiked about 3 miles before transferring to a T-shirt and shorts. Today included a very long and gradual 2500 foot climb up to the 6000 foot high town of Mount Laguna. Everything went pretty well and I was in the town by 3 PM . When I say town perhaps I should say hamleti because the population is only 70 people. Nonetheless I was able to rent a small cabin for the night and get some food at the general store across the street so I am very comfortable. Very importantly I am able to ice my ankle’s and that is good therapy.
Most importantly, the food drop box I had mailed ahead a week ago was waiting for me on my cabon. Yeah!

Today was about 16 generally uphill miles. The temperatures are a little bit cooler up here at 6000 feet then they were in the 2000s the past couple of days.

So far so good. I have to leavr hrte in the morning with a heavy pack full of the food that I had mailed ahead.


Boulder Oaks campground Nobo 26

This post is from October 22, 2018.

I keft camp this morning at 7:30am with 4 liters of water. Thst felt noticeably lighter and better than yesterday. I could afford to be light on water as i knew I would come to Lake Morena campground at mile 15 which had guaranteed water. Leaving there with 6 liters felt heavy again.

The late morning today was very hot with an unusually steep climb. That actually took a lot out of me. I think it was the heat and heavy pack.

At mile 18 i encountered a couple of southbound thruhikers, the first I havecseen on this section. Amazingly, one of them was the very same Pippin that I camped with at the Middle Fork of the Feather River on August 30 (see that post). That was a cool reunion.

My ankle is sore tonight. I hope it is better in the morning….

Just north of Mexican border Nobo 5

This post is from October 21, 2018.

After getting up in Mobile , Alabama at 5am after Helen Sewell’s wedding yrsterday we flew to Atlanta. Helen and my mother flew home from there and I flew ti Dan Diego. Oncr there, after reorganizing mypack abd liafing up my water containers I got an Uber ride to Campo and the start.


I was hiking north by 3:15. It us getting pretty dark by 6 now so I stopped after 5 miles and made thus lovely camp.

All is going well so far. The pack feels a bit heavy with all the water.

Belden! NOBO 1287

This post is from September 1, 2018.

My pace, elevation profile and other GPS track information are viewable on:

I hiked about 17 miles today through varying terrain and 1,000,000,000 gnats.

I broke camp and was hiking by 8am. During the first 9 undulating miles yet still around 7000′ elevation I saw views like these:



I knew I was getting closer to getting out of the deep woods when I saw this sign 9 miles from the end:


During the long 3000’+ descent into the (Main) Feather River Canyon I saw views like these:


During this 6 mile descent, I was besieged by gnats. I covered myself in DEET but they still constantly flew into my eyes, nostrils, and ears for about 3 hours. I was so urgently swatting at them that twice I nearly fell off the steep switchbacks.

At about 3pm and almost 17 miles, I reached Belden and the end of this planned 240-mile section, I was underwhelmed, to say the least. Neither they nor any area campground had any rooms or even tent spaces to rent. I ended up backtracking onto Forest Service land where I made this camp:


On the positive side, it is only about 300 meters from my tent to the Belden restaurant and store so at least I won’t be hungry while I camp waiting for Bill Johnson to pick me up late tomorrow morning.

PS yes the bottle of champagne on the picture is for me to privately and gnat-free celebrate my successful and on-time completion of this section!

Unnamed tent site NOBO 1270

This post is from August 31, 2018.

My pace, elevation profile and other GPS track information are viewable on:

I started the day with a 10 mile long 3100’ climb out of Middle Fork Feather River canyon.  Note that this river is on the national ‘Wild and  Scenic Rivers’ list.

Another day with very long dry stretches interspersed with unreliable water sources.

I did 21,4 miles today.

These are some views about halfway through the day.





I interrupted a large mother bear and her 2 cubs 1//2 mile before where I am now camped. She stood up on her hind legs and was taller than me.  After about 45 seconds, she and her cubs walked away from me on the trail.  I was a bit apprehensive for a while as I never really saw them walk off the trail, only further up on the trail, through scrub that impeded my view.  I half-expected them around every turn until I reached my campsite.

Here is my campsite. There is a bear close by!


Middle Fork Feather River NOBO 1249

This post is from August 30, 2018.

My pace, elevation profile and other GPS track information are viewable on:

I broke camp and was hiking by 8am. I knew I had a 23-mile day in store for me, but due to what looked like a dry 12 last miles I felt I needed to try to make it to this major river. In addition to giving me water for my camp, getting these 23 miles behind me leaves me with only 37 miles to go to Belden so I expect I will reach my finish by Saturday night.

I had a major water SNAFU today. I left camp with 1 liter of water and i planned to fill up at either Whiskey spring, 1/3 mile off the trail or Alder Spring 800 feet off the trail. I passed by the sign for Whiskey spring because a southbound hiker told me water was good at Alder Spring and it was less of a deviation off the PCT.  I used my GPS to make sure I did not miss this second and last reliable water supply in these 23 miles. Despite these precautions, I did indeed miss the spring and when I checked my GPS it said the spring was now 1.2 miles behind me!! I now had 1/2 liter of water left and I resigned myself to hike the last 12 with almost no water as I felt i had no choice. Thankfully at mile 19 I took a gamble on an unreliable creek 500 feet steeply down from the PCT and found cool clear water. What a relief!

This water problem had me so preoccupied that I did not take any pictures until after I found water.

This is a shot of my steep descent down to the Middle Fork of the Feather River, almost 4000 feet below today’s high point.

This major river obstacle on the PCT Is breached by this landmark bridge, the largest equestrian/hiker bridge on the entire PCT.


My campsite by the river:

Unnamed tent-site NOBO 1227

This post is from August 29, 2018.

My pace, elevation profile and other GPS track information are viewable on:

I awoke to the smell of bacon and eggs being cooked by Paul Congdon. That breakfast was a great way to kick off my 4-day 3-night 80-mile push to Belden. I bid goodbye to Paul and Cameron at 8:45am and started a 5-mile climb, having regained seven thousand feet altitude. During that climb, I had these views:



This whole 80-mile segment is plagued by long dry spells and I was delighted to find a piped spring running where I drank the cold water untreated.

PCT 1048-1287 068

Late in the day, shortly before camp, note my low-volume water collection technique using the leaf, learned on the AT:

This deer stood just off the trail, watching me for a long time, completely unafraid.

Feet healing well. Will stop needing duct tape in another day or two.

My campsite tonight: