Endless P Summer

Big Bear Lake, CA

Well first of all today’s date, 5/11/15 is another palindrome, so that’s cool. Right now I’m taking a day off from hiking, a ‘zero’ in Big Bear Lake, CA adjacent to Big Bear City. It’s a pretty good sized ski town in southern California at about 6700 feet(higher elevation than anything in New England). I’m sure it’s much busier during the ski season but there is still a lot going on and it is the biggest town I’ve been in since San Diego.

Getting here was of course a bit of an adventure. I left Ziggy and the Bear’s around 9 am Friday morning after it absolutely poured the night before and the winds were borderline obnoxious. Luckily I slept under some benches and had pretty good cover and didn’t get all that wet. There were all kinds of rumors Friday of more storms but instead of sticking around there another night I decided to press on. I put in some big miles that day and it was incredible, hiked through the canyons in the San Gorgonio Wilderness and through the Whitewater Preserve. All day I had some big ominous clouds in the distance but I outran them. The clouds provided an awesome backdrop to the landscape and it was an intense and rewarding day of hiking. There’s been all kinds of rumors of what’s to come and I guess I can’t believe everything I hear, I’m glad I went out when I did. The next couple of days were also scenic but sunnier and with cooler temperatures than I’ve been used to due to the elevation. I walked through some snow and as I later learned, the hikers in front of me had some cold snowy nights, and the hikers behind me got poured on. Hopefully my luck never runs out. I have had some cooler nights lately and have been setting my tent up just to stay a little warmer. It also gives the rattlesnakes less of a chance to slither into my sleeping bag to cuddle. One notable thing from the other day were these animal cages I passed in the middle of nowhere that had these big old Grizzly Bears in them, I guess they use them in the movies or something. It really wasn’t all that cool.

I’ve been hiking and camping with a lot of different, interesting, cool people and been trying to learn as much as I can from them. I’m hoping to hike with an arborist for awhile so I can start identifying all the trees and stuff. Or maybe somebody who will only talk to me in Spanish or something. My body has been holding up pretty well. I’ve been resting when I’m tired and I just kill it when I’m feeling like a machine. I’ve been eating a ton and last night I even ate myself into a free meal. A bunch of us went out to this Mexican Restaurant and myself and another dude went for the burrito challenge. It was an 18 inch tortilla stuffed with all kinds of good burrito accoutrement, weighing in at 7 lbs. it cost $16 dollars but if you clean the plate it’s on the house. Brett aka the ‘Burrito Whisperer’ devoured his in less than 10 minutes. I finished mine in a more pedestrian time of 15-20 minutes but I was pretty proud of myself. I felt like it really wasn’t a big deal, even got ice cream sandwiches afterwards. The waitress however said she’s been working there for a year and only saw one other person do it. She probably tells everybody that though. Apparently she didn’t know I’d been training for that moment at Tacos Lupita for years. Stayed last night and planning to stay again tonight at the Big Bear Hostel and it was a little tough sleeping on a mattress for the first time in weeks but I’ll just have to make the proper adjustments. Hiking out in the AM…..

-Endless

Ziggy and the Bear’s, CA

I’m currently just chilling out in some lawn furniture in Whitewater, CA nice and fresh from a luke warm shower and I can’t remember ever feeling so good. Ziggy and the Bear are a couple of trail Angels who have been hosting hikers in their yard for years and the set up is really sweet. Right now there’s about 30 of us pounding Little Caesar’s.

The last week of my life has gone quite well. I feel like I’m starting to settle into the hike and it’s beginning to feel real. My sleeping has improved and so has my appetite. With any luck I crash out between 9-10 and unless I get woken up earlier by gale force winds, I try to get up around 4-4:30 then crush a whole bunch of miles and watch the sun come up and stuff. In the afternoons I tend to slow down a little so I can stop and shoot the breeze with everybody or take a little siesta. When it comes to eating I’ve become something of a machine. I’ve been eating everything I can and stuffing my face every chance I get. The other night in Idyllwild I even set my own personal pizza eating record(7 slices of real 2-topping pizza, not Monte’s).

This week has come with with some other unexpected challenges and decisions I need to make on how I want to go about this hike. Part of the trail was closed for forest regrowth and the alternate route added about 9 miles, a lot of it a road walk. It was rumored to be a total drag but instead of hitching to the next trailhead I’m glad I walked it, it was actually quite scenic and enjoyable. Another alternate gave hikers the option of climbing San Jacinto Peak (10,834 feet and the J sounds like an H) and although adding a couple miles and quite challenging, especially the descent, it was very worth it. A few other memorable events from this week were Trail Angel Mike’s desert oasis at mile 127, taking my first ‘zero'(thru-hiker jargon for not hiking any trail miles in a day) in beautiful Idyllwild, CA, and surviving some intense winds while camping last night near a ridge on the North Face of San Jacinto. As the pictures show the often changing landscapes of the desert and the mountains has been just a treat for the eyes. I also am learning to use an Instagram account(right now you can search for me as Carmody413 but that will likely change) and have taken on a moniker. At first I thought it was a little hokey to go by a trail name, but that was until somebody gave me a good one. Until next time…

-Endless P. Summer

Warner Springs, CA

I’m 109 miles and 6 days in and so far the hike and experience has been just delightful. I feel like I went into the hike in pretty good shape so cranking out the miles hasn’t been an issue for me. I give my feet pretty good love and haven’t got any blisters. I used my mothers trick the first few days putting Vaseline on them before my socks and ive been hanging my socks everytime I stop. I’m learning that the more efficient you are with food, water, and gear you can have a much lighter pack and the lighter your pack the easier the miles. I sent my stove home along with some clothes and trying to get more done with less. Instead of cooking my dehydrated food I’ve been putting it in an empty peanut butter container adding water and it’s ready at my next meal, it’s pretty good and I’ve been trying to eat as much as I can. I still have a tent but haven’t been using it, the stars are way too cool out here so I just throw down my strip of tyvek, sleeping pad and bag aka cowboy camping.

The scenery in the desert was totally unexpected and has been just the tops! I pictured the desert to be more like sand dunes everywhere but it’s much more mountainous and awesome. I’ve seen only one rattler but some kind of racer and a couple other ones just posing out on the trail, buku lizards, a few horned toads,and two coyotes(but one might have been a wolf and the other might have been a German Shepard).

I’ve hiked and camped with lots of fun and interesting people out here and been learning plenty from them. The Trail Angels have been so great and the timing has been wicked clutch. Mike and Nancy at Scissors crossing and Jan and Jim who picked me up, fed me, and drove me to the trail as well as stocked the water cache at 3rd gate. On the trail most people are given a trail name for one reason or another and a few have been sent my way. I’m trying one on now and I’ll let you know if I decide to keep it. It’s kinda serious business out here so it’s gotta fit just right.

Sometimes I just can’t believe my luck!!

Pre PCT

My name is Chris and I’m planning on thru hiking the Pacific Crest Trail(PCT) this year. I’ve got a few requests to keep a blog so people can follow along and know what I’ve been getting myself into. Hopefully I can keep up with this blog and figure out the website so my throngs of fans and supporters will be able to enjoy for hours on end. Keep in mind there are a few reasons I might discontinue updating this: I either quit the hike, I met my fate at the hands of some unforeseen enemy, or most likely it became too much of a chore and I continued the hike and just quit telling you about it.

I’ll give you a quick overview of my plan for the coming months. I’ll be flying from Boston to San Diego 4/25 and beginning my trek north from Campo, CA on the Mexican border the following day. In total it’s a 2660 mile trail . I’m planning on taking 5 months with a brief intermission to come home for brother Jake and future s.i.l. Jodi’s wedding in early August.

Stay tuned, more info to follow. I might even bore you with a post about the weight of my gear or the leftovers I dehydrated and plan on eating in July.