Vaccine!

27 February 2021 Well, by some miracle I managed to get an appointment for my COVID-19 vaccine just in time so I will have both doses before starting my PCT thru-hike. Yay! I will still need to physically distance, of course, but I will feel a lot better about the level of risk I might…

Peñasquitos to the Sea

26 February 2021 Ridgewood Park to Torrey Pines State Park (12 miles, +400/-700 feet). Today we did an urban hike, not too far from our house (we took a Lyft to the start and a Lyft home at the end!).  I wasn’t expecting much, but this is the last stretch of the San Diego Trans…

So Much Up on the Way Down!

19 February 2021 El Cajon Mountain Trail (12 miles, +3,800/-3,800 feet). Half Cookie and I have been wanting to do this hike for a while now.  It is reputedly the “toughest hike in San Diego” so I thought it would be a good training hike for my upcoming attempt to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail. …

Why?

11 February 2021 So why am I thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail all the way from Mexico to Canada this year? I have spent six years thinking about this question.  So please forgive me.  This is a long post. A Wild Answer Unfortunately, the short answer is pretty trite: I saw the movie Wild. I’m…

My PCT Gear

31 January 2021 OK, I already have a dedicated gear page, but I am VERY EXCITED about my upcoming thru-hike on the Pacific Crest Trail. So I decided to tape my phone to the ceiling so I could snap (almost) everything that I am taking on my trip. Of course, this picture is missing my…

A Routine 20

22 January 2021 Moreno Valley, Lakeside, to Peñasquitos Canyon (21 miles, +3,300/-3,400 feet). Now that I have officially applied for my PCT thru-hiking permit, I need to kick my training up a notch. I feel generally healthy and I average about 5 miles of walking on a normal day.  I also do a 50 minute…

PCT Permit Day!

19 January 2020 A couple of weeks ago, the Pacific Crest Trail Association decided to issue permits for long distance hiking this year. Yay! And today was the day they started accepting permit applications. In past years, thousands of people tried to get permits right when they became available because they only issue 50 for…

Big Bear Exploration

11-13 January 2021 11 miles (+2,000/-2,000 feet) The pandemic rages on, and Half Cookie and I have been going stir crazy.  So we jumped at an opportunity to stay at a friend’s cabin in Big Bear, where we could change the scene and do some hiking. Big Bear Lake hosts ski resorts and snow parks,…

Noble Canyon

6 January 2021 Noble Canyon Trailhead to second stream crossing and back (10 miles, +1,500/-1,500 feet). Well, here we are still in a stay-at-home-order, with even dispersed camping banned in much of Southern California.  So no backpacking for now.  But that doesn’t mean we can’t day hike! To open up “birthday week” for Half Cookie, we…

McCain Valley

16-17 November 2020 (10 miles, +1,000/-1,000 feet). Now that the pandemic is raging again, my options for trips are limited.  It’s too cold and dark to go north and Cleveland National Forest is still closed.  Fortunately, Anza-Borrego is still open, so I decided to check out a corner I had never been to before: the…

Paradise Valley

18 October 2020 Upper Paradise Valley to Roads End (10 miles, +500/-2,000 feet). The name of this part of the Rae Lakes Loop always raises my expectations too much.  “Paradise” is mostly below treeline, so not exactly what someone who loves the Sierra is looking for.  Nonetheless, it *is* a pretty walk past the South…

The Good Stuff

17 October 2020 Junction Meadow to Upper Paradise Valley (21 miles, +4,000/-5,000 feet). Whee!!! Today is exactly the kind of day that I live for.  I started hiking before daybreak, was above treeline by sunrise, and spent most of the day gawking at barren rocky passes, gorgeous alpine lakes, massive granite domes, and intensely yellow…