Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PCT MM266 Zero At Big Bear

Tuesday: (03/31) Up a 0730, why? Walked to breakfast at the Teddy Bear Restaurant where I had pastrami hash and eggs. Not that I don't mind a good meal but due to the huge use of calories on a long hike, I have an excuse to over eat though I really have no special hunger.

PCT Big Bear Hostel 0276 PCT Big Bear Hostel 0278
My room at the hostel and one of the recreation rooms.

I then started work. I washed all my clothes. They seemed to need it. Then off on a bus to go the eight miles back to the Big Bear City Post Office. My package was in and heavy so I returned on the next bus.

Big Bear Village Mexican Restaurant 0283
Then it was lunch time so I stopped at El Jacalito Mexican restaurant for some excellent beef pot roast enchiladas. They also had a good salsa bar. I ate outside. The skies were clear and it was warm when I seated myself outside. Shortly, the entire sky was overcast and it was cold. The other customers went inside but I just did a little shivering and finished my lunch..

I organized my pack with the new load and filled all my water bottles. Almost ready to go. Then it was time for dinner a chicken pot pie and vanilla shake. More than I should eat, of course. Off to the trail tomorrow morning. I met another PCT hiker here at the hostel, Marmot. Also, when I signed the register at the Big Bear City Post Office, I was the second for this year. Most must be smart enough to use the post office at Big ahead Lake. My camera WiFi link won't work and I don't have a cable to get the photos off so blog photos will have to wait or I have to take some with this tablet, not likely.

Monday, March 30, 2015

PCT MM256 To MM266, Big Bear City

Monday: (03/30) Mountain Dew and First Up got up at 0430, started a campfire, cooked breakfast and prepared too leave. They were off by 0600. I slept until 0630 packed to leave and was on trail by 0750. I was camped at 7600 feet and it was cold last night and this morning.

PCT MM256 To MM266 1908 PCT Big Bear Teddy Bear Restaurant 0266
As I hiked the last 10 miles to Highway 18 for a hitch to Big Bear the temperature went from the low 30's up to at least the mid 80's. I caught a ride from the fourth car to come by. Debra and Jose were returning from Nevada to Orange County and taking the two lane highways. They took me right to the Post Office. Unfortunately, my resupply package hadn't arrived yet. Not a big deal though because I planned on two nights here. I was trying to figure where to go and how to get there. There are few places to stay and few restaurants in Big Bear City where I had my package sent. I decided to head toward the Hostel, about 8 miles west. They do have a bus between Big Bear City and Big Bear Lake but I just missed one and they run hourly so I started walking. I walked two blocks and Barbara stopped and drove me to the Hostel. Lots of locals very generous with the lifts. Nice location. One block from the Village main street and a slew of good looking restaurants. And the Village Post Office is one block away. Too bad my package was sent to the other PO. It's a wonderful place to be delayed. After a much needed shower, I visited the Teddy Bear Restaurant a block away. Nice dinner but I didn't have room for a slice of their home made pie, until later, that is. I caught up the blog posts.

PCT Big Bear Hostel 0273 PCT Big Bear Hostel 0274
The two houses above are the Hostel. My room is next to the red truck above.

GPS: 34.242905 -116.909487

Sunday, March 29, 2015

PCT MM240 To MM256, Arasstre Creek Trail Camp

Sunday: (03/29) Up at 0630 but not on trail until 0830. It was cold,made even more so by my filling 10 liters of water at the trickling spring. Good water and always flows but just a trickle. I was the last to leave camp.

PCT MM240 To MM256 SnowAlong Trail 1906 PCT MM240 To MM256 SnowAlong Trail 1903
I only saw three other hikers all day. Two older guys that I didn't get names for and Dave a local resident who hikes these trails regularly for his health. He provided good info about the trail conditions ahead. I hiked the last four miles in the dark to get out of the no water stretch arriving at Arrastre Creek Trail Camp, MM256 at 2130. It didn't really matter anyway. I only used five of my 10 litter load. Actually a good thing because my spring water was better than the pooled creek water. Mountain Dew and First Up were already settled in.

GPS: 34.21487 -116.739972

Saturday, March 28, 2015

PCT MM230 To MM240, Mission Spring

Saturday: (03/28) On trail at 0800. I'm still having trouble going up and that's most of today's hike.

PCT MM230 To MM240 Mission Spring Area 1896 PCT MM230 To MM240 Mission Spring Area 1899
Made only 10 miles. Camped at MM240, Mission Spring, the last water for the next 16 miles. Camped with a  woman named Forest Ninja, Sampson, and a father (Mountain Dew) daughter (First Up) doing a section. There is snow here and there and it's cold here.

GPS: 34.125167 -116.758382

Friday, March 27, 2015

PCT MM218 to MM230, Mission Creek

Friday: (03/27) Up at 0700, depart 0830.

PCT MM218 to MM230 White Water Preserve 1870 PCT MM218 to MM230 White Water Preserve 1871
Sampson did stay here but isn't feeling well so is staying another day. Nice place to relax.

PCT MM218 to MM230 White Water Creek 1874 PCT MM218 to MM230  1880
Wow, met four hikers today and two quit and one is ill. Etrain left about 0800. I never saw him again today. I was having trouble climbing the hills because my legs are cramping. I took a nice nap after lunch.

PCT MM218 to MM230 Mission Creek Area Flower 1891
Lots of nice flowers around.

Stopped for the night at MM230 by Mission Creek, not too far but nice to get camp setup before dark. I enjoyed listening to the frogs and birds say good might.

GPS:  34.070117 -116.667638

Thursday, March 26, 2015

PCT MM207 to MM218, White Water Preserve

Thursday: (03/26)  0800. Checked out of Motel 6. Breakfast at Jack In The Box, the loaded sandwich. I called a cab and Bob drove me out to MM207 to resume my hike.

PCT MM207 Street Sign at Snow Creek 1846 PCT Trail Marker at MM207 1847
This intersection is where the cab picked me up last year so this is where the cab dropped me off to start my hike again. It heads out from Snow Creek and across the valley floor and under the freeway to White Water.

PCT I10 Oasis Trail Magic 1849
The trail magic at the I10 underpass was wonderful (above left).

PCT Ziggy and The Bears 1852 PCT Ziggy And The Bears Place 0258
I then stopped at Ziggy and the Bears place, mostly to fill my water bottles. I only carried two liters till then. I wanted four for this next section. When I arrived hikers Peter and Eric were departing. Hiker Sampson was also there. Before I left Etrain arrived.

PCT MM210-218 White Water 1855 PCT MM210-218 White Water 1861
I finally left at 1500. About half way to my campsite Etrain caught up. We hiked the rest of the way together. I had mentioned that I came across my first snake by the trail coming down Mt San Jacinto that these hikers did this morning. Well Etrain took it to heart. He was hiking ahead of me and came across two disturbed rattlers. He skirted the second and I followed his bypass route and came across a third next to his second adjacent to his bypass. He may need a new trail name of the snake wrangler.

PCT MM210-218 White Water 1867
We hiked the last three miles in the dark arriving at White Water Preserve at 2100. Nice campground.

GPS: 33.988642 -116.656158

PCT Resuming Hike MM207

Thursday: (03/26) Made it to Palm Springs. I'll be starting the hike from were I left off last year near here at MM207.

Motel 6 North Palm Springs 1844 VW Spider In North palm Springs 0255
The conveniently located Motel 6 near the train station. Nearby was an interesting huge VW spider.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On The Way Back

Wednesday: (03/25) Breakfast at A Good Morning then on to the San Jose Amtrak depot. The train was running late so I departed at 1042 rather than the scheduled 1007. Boarded too late for lunch reservations so I had a hamburger from the cafe car for lunch. Arrived in Paso Robles at 1352. Should arrive in Palm Springs about 2am. Another, much better hamburger in the dining car for dinner.
Back on the PCT trail tomorrow morning.

Ready To Hike 1828 PCT Train To Palm Springs 0239
I'm all ready to hike. I've always wanted to take the Coast Starlight train South and I got to use it to get to Palm Springs.

PCT Train To Palm Springs 0244 PCT Train To Palm Springs 0246
Really nice trip. Above is approaching San Luis Obispo.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Hot Days in March?

Saturday: (03/14) A quick shopping run to get the fixings for our  Saint Patrick's Day meal. I repaired the Drivers mirror on the RV. In tightening it up yesterday, I broke the top wide angel mirror mount and and to repair it this morning by gluing it in place. I  installed Lou's replacement swing seats. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the clamps to secure the new popes to be tight enough so I'll have to find a way to fix it later. Either a better, harder , rope or a better crimping tool. It's hot today so I curtailed outside work for the afternoon.

Sunday: (03/15)  I didn't like the new ropes that i used to replace the old ones. I can't seem to make them get a good grip so the connections keep coming apart. So, I made another trip to the hardware store and picked up some steel cable to and swage fittings to do the job right. I even got a swage crimping tool. Cutting the cable is a problem so i only finished one. Possibly time for another tool? I had to visit a second hardware store to get a replacement ceramic valve assembly to replace a leaking valve in one of the bathrooms. None of the hardware stores around here ever have a full supply of the things I want. Brunch at the Cupa Cafe in downtown Palo Alto. It was a place Dawn found. Venezuela food so breakfast had a new twist. I had a breakfast wrap that was grilled in a panini machine like the breakfast burrito I had in Snokomish, Washington last fall. Tuna and cheese pasta for dinner.

Monday: (03/16) Omelets with strawberries for breakfast. We did some work on the plants in the yard. With this early spring, the plants get out of the greenhouse months earlier than usual. Lou and Dawn had appointments and errands in the late morning and all afternoon. We bought several new planters for the yard and they needed to get homes and filled with plants. I continued to work on that and general cleanup of the yard. Lots more to do. Leftover tuna and cheese pasta for lunch. A gluten free chicken an garlic pizza from our recently opened neighborhood Papa Murphy's Pizza location for dinner. From watching the guy make the pizza, I think it was the first pizza he ever made. It was good though. I spent the evening working on my hike plan.

Tuesday: (03/17) More tinkering on my computer. I finished the cables for the swing replacement. I also finished moving the plants around. Granola and Bananas for breakfast. Chicken cabbages salad for lunch.

Wednesday: (03/18) Granola and Bananas for breakfast. We spent a little time working in the yard in the morning. I used Dawn;s little Zappy scooter to run to the Post Office for some shipping boxes. Who needs a jeep? For lunch I caught the bus down to my Dim Sum fast food joint in Sunnyvale. I actually like riding buses. On my return I stopped in at the garage and the Jeep was ready. Actually, it was ready Monday but I never checked my phone messages. I didn't expect it that soon. For dinner I made stuffed bell peppers. I started preparing my resupply boxes today. This time, I actually prepared an inventory and will gather my supplies with some idea of what quantities I'll need. I need to prepare five resupply boxes and two starting backpack loads for these two sections. Actually I be completing sections C and D and then E and F. I'm not sure of the method the PCTA used to identify the section numbers but by their method I completed Sections A and B last year and also Sections H thru L in Washington. Lou and Dawn had some errands and Lou also cleaned out the swamp cooler for our early summer. In addition to liking to ride buses, I like riding trains. I now plan on taking the train down to Palm Springs to restart my hike.

Thursday: (03/19) I was busy collecting and organizing my supplies. It's amazing how much stuff is needed. I'm almost overwhelmed by just the 500 miles I'm preparing to supply. I'm rather glad I'm not really doing all my resupply boxes for the entire 2660 miles of the hike. Fresh baked scones for breakfast. A loaded breakfast sandwich from Jack In the Box for lunch. We all went to dinner at the Crepevine. A nice Philly crepe for me and Lou and Dawn shared a "San Francisco" salmon crepe.

Palo Alto Beam Robot 0217 Palo Alto Beam Robot 0214
After dinner we walked around University Avenue in Palo Alto. Two interesting shops to browse. A staff-less shop with robots to greet you and answer questions.

Electric Bikes 0219 Electric Bikes 0211
And a nice advanced electri bike shop. I really like the scooter.

 Friday: (03/20) Lou made carrot cupcakes with cream cheese for breakfast. That actually became breakfast rather than a desert when Lou was distracted from breakfast with a call from Ceceilla wanting a ride from the car shop.  Then they were Lou and Dawn were off with Ceceilla and Meili to rummage sales. I took Dawn's Zappy scooter for a ride to Mountain View to visit the TAP Plastic store to get some odd sized ziplock bags for resupply organization. I also stopped by the lock shop to get copies of the key for the scooter before we loose the one we have. I also stopped by the Cost Plus store for some more sausages. Divided larger quantity items into individual sized bags. Tested a new dry chili soup for my lunch.  I updated my resupply plan , filled daily meal bags. I was again busy much of the day organizing my food resupply boxes. A visit to Fry's got me replacement lithium AAA batteries and Walmart for more granola bars now that they have restocked after I bought them out a few days ago. I should now have all my supplies but still need to bag a lot more. Another item I got was a tax program to start doing my taxes. Have to do something with that before I go. As usual it will be completed after an extension. My lunch was my test chili. Everyone else went to  our local Tacos El Greuelense restaurant. Lou made tempura for dinner.

Saturday: (03/21) I finally got my resupply boxes completed and loaded my pack. The pack is 30 pounds, lighter than my previous pack but still too heavy. A six day load of food is 10 pounds and then there will be plenty of water probably 14-22 pounds. Still some things to complete so I won;t be departing tomorrow as I should but hopefully will depart on Monday. Lou made chili rellenos for breakfast. Ham sandwiches for lunch. Chinese food and hot and sour soup for dinner.

Sunday: (03/22) We must have had some rain shower early this morning as evidenced by our moist sidewalks and street. Probably unmeasurable. I prepared corned beef hash an eggs for breakfast. I still had a few little things to complete. I should have made a better note of things to do. I knew I was supposed to go to REI for something but couldn't remember what it was I needed until about 1645, too late to get there before they closed. What I needed was a couple of more collapsible water bottles. I wanted two more Platypus bottles  like I have but had to get out the two Sawyer bottles I have. They are more prone to develop leaks.  I can also  just use regular plastic bottles. Otherwise I seem to be ready to catch the train tomorrow morning. Or so I thought. When I tried to buy my ticket from Amtrak, the cupboard was bare. No seats until Wednesday. That's both good and bad. bad for me since i will be two more days late in starting the hike. God in several ways. Because I didn't start the hike this morning, if I hiked at my estimated speed I would arrive in Big bear on Saturday when the Post office hours are more limited. Now I'll likely be arriving on a Monday. Also, it's good to know people are riding the trains. There are more smart people than I thought. I now depart Wednesday morning and start the hike Thursday. Sausage, stuffed mushrooms and leftover tempura for dinner.

PCT Resupply Boxes 0224
All my resupply boxes ready for Lou to mail as needed.

Monday: (03/23) Another cool overcast day. Lou and Dawn were off all day for appointments. library visits and shopping. I used Dawn's scooter again to deliver my first resupply box to the post office. I also dropped by the REI store in Mountain View bought my need water bottles. I also got a new sun shirt and a pair of convertible pants. I really like her scooter.  Leftover hash and eggs for breakfast. A ham and cheese sandwich for lunch. Artichoke chicken with rice for dinner.

Tuesday: (03/24) I see sun outside. I'm enjoying my two extra days at home. A problem with extra time is over thinking. I took a shopping trip and picked up a couple of things I thought I "needed." Granola and blue berries for breakfast. Chinese for lunch. Spinach potatoes au gratin with asparagus and ham for dinner.

The pack now weighs 51 pounds with food and 2 liters of water.

Friday, March 13, 2015

No Smog From The RV

Friday: (03/13) I took the RV in go get the smog test and it passed. The Jeeps brakes have been acting up. That's why we dashed home. No car, less fun. Evidently the ABS system is constantly unapplying all brakes. Not Good. The left rear abs sensor was chewed off. I'm not sure what that means yet but I don't really suspect the squirrels did it. Likely a misbehaving rock on one of the roads we took.It's still being worked on. I washed the RV. Tightened up the loose left mirror mount. Cottage cheese and fruit for lunch. Dawn's chicken lentil soup for dinner. Lou Dawn Cecilia, and Courtney enjoyed a campfire. I enjoyed some time on the computer.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The Dash Home

Thursday: (03/12) We each took walks on the beach but at different times while the other prepared to leave. Granola for breakfast. We were on the road at 0910. Lunch at CJ's Restaurant in Arroya Grande. A flan snack in Greenfield at the Mexican Market. We dropped the Jeep off at our garage, A1 Foreign Auto in Mountain View at 1630. Home by 1700. For dinner we went to Harry's Haufbrau on Redwood City with Courtney, Cecilia is, and Dawn.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Carpenteria State Beach

Carpenteria State Beach 0206
Tuesday: (03/10) We were up when the alarm I had set to advise of the parks generator run times went off. Last night we looked where we are and how many days are left before I'm supposed to return to the PCT. So rather than add more miles away from home, we're going to head back to the coast and home. We were on the road by 1030. Too bad we didn't decide on returning toward home yesterday. We could have eliminated a round trip to Indio by staying at the casino there. Traffic was pretty good and we made good time arriving in Carpenteria at 1500. We stopped at the Carpenteria State Beach. Lunch on the way in Ventura. Dinner at Rincon Brewery a few blocks from camp. I wanted a nice brew and Lou agreed to drive. We each had fish and chips but Lou had her fish grilled and they did it right.  A nice campfire to finish the day.
(GPS: 34.39134,-119.52044)

Wednesday: (03/11) Corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. Our poor Jeep has problems with its brakes. Since they seem to be important, I tried to get them looked at at a couple of shops here. Both seemed unusually busy and the best they could do would have been to start on them in a couple of days them possibly have to wait for parts. So, we decided to just tow it home for the repair. We'll be off tomorrow. We explored the village and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant. It was overcast or raining most of the day. It was clear for our dinner outside, macaroni and cheese with carrots and sausage.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Palm Springs Tram Ride

Monday: (03/09) We weren't in a hurry this morning. Lou made corned beef hash and eggs for breakfast. After showers we finally pulled out after 1000. We arrived at Cottonwood Campground on the South side of the park, dumped our tanks and settled in. I had intended to stay just outside the park in the free BLM area but Lou thought we'd be more secure in the park campground. We took the Jeep about 30 miles down to Indio where we stopped for lunch at Huerta's Mexican Restaurant on Jackson. A good find. Lou said her enchiladas were the best she'd had. I agree.

Palm Springs Tram Visit 0013 Palm Springs Tram Visit 0015
We headed on over to the Palm Springs Tram. We've passed by many times saying we need to ride it so today is the day. It was fairly clear so we got to see the valley views pretty good.

Palm Springs Tram Visit 0022 Palm Springs Tram Visit 0024
While Lou is still not hiking, I did abandon her at the Mountain Station and take a short hike on the Desert View Trail. The hike was mostly on snow. From a distance, the mountain tops seem to be loosing there snow cover but it needs a few warm days here. When I was here May first last year, the snow patches still existed, even where I camped in Round Valley. I passed by nearby the mountain top tram station when I was on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Palm Springs Tram Visit 0029 Palm Springs Tram Visit 0032
Nice views and all above the valley heat.

Palm Springs Tram Visit Snowman 0044 Palm Springs Tram Visit 0048
Above left is a fellow hiker, a snowman. There were several along the trail.

The tram rotates as you travel giving everyone a good view. We dashed off to Costco to get some of our staple supplies, there blue paper towels. Dinner was at the nearby Hibachi Chinese Buffet. I really liked it, Lou didn't. Their cream cheese stuffed mushrooms are the best. On the way home we stopped at the Winco Market to resupply and were back at camp about 2200.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Last Day At Jumbo Rock

Joshua Tree NP From Above 0205
Sunday: (03/08) My alarm, that is set to remind of of each possible generator run times seemed to go off early. The clock said it was 0600 but the alarm advising of the 0700 generator start time went off. We forgot about the "Spring Forward" change last night. The cell phone alarm didn't forget. Granola and bananas for breakfast. Now to watch all the weekend visitor pull out.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Boy Scout Trail And Willow Hole

Saturday: (03/07) We were up with the sun. Lou fixed breakfast sandwiches.

Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1790 Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1796
We drove over to the Boy Scout Trail trailhead. There was confusion on the length of the trail. By scale on the map I had guessed it was 7-9 miles. There was no other info on the trail. Eventually I found a list of trails on in the park paper. It listed the trail as 1-2 days and 15.4 miles. So, I was prepared for a long hike but unsure it really would be. It turns out my estimate was correct. The trail was 7.7 miles. The paper listed the out and back length of the hike. I was only doing a one way hike.

Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1799 Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1800
I did do a side hike out to Willow Hole. I even found water.

Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1804 Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1806
Above left are the willow trees, on the right a view of the rocks above the hole.

Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1811 Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1813
It got drier and had smaller different rocks as i made my way down toward 29 Palms.

Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1817
So the total hike was 12.4 miles and I arrived at the lower trailhead just before Lou arrived at the appointed noon meeting time. We then looked around the Indian Cove Campground where they were having  multi county search and rescue training event. Then a stop at the Elks Club for a craft fair. Then we stopped for lunch at Santana Mexican Restaurant. I had a nice chili relleno an taco and Lou had a great chili Verde nacho.

Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1818 Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail1820
An evening walk at the Live Oak picnic area finished the day. There is, of course, an oak tree there, a rare item in the desert. Also there was sme water below an old dam across the wash.

Joshua Tree NP Boy Scout Trail
Dry flowers on a bush.

While I was out, Lou had the radio on playing forties music. A big bird with a long bent beak that has been fluttering about our camp started singing. She turned off the radio and it stopped. When the radio was turned back on it started singing again. There is a direct relationship. It likes her music. We also have a bunny hanging around with morning and evening visits. And then there is the squirrel that climbs on top of one of the jumbo rocks nearby and watches the campground looking for potential handout providers. Roast chicken, macaroni salad and vegetables for dinner.