Blown Away

24 – 25 February 2020 Lake Morena to Mount Laguna (22.3 miles, +4,500 feet/-1,700 feet). After two failed attempts to hike from the Salton Sea to the Pacific Ocean, I was left with a problem. One of my water caches was still in the desert! But there was a catch (cache?).  I didn’t have a…

Dry Lake

Onyx Summit to Dry Lake (19 miles, +4,000/-3,200 feet). MixMaster and I were planning to head up to Kernville to do a Spring Hike/brewery combo today.  But the road to Forks of the Kern Trailhead is still closed today with the monster snows we’ve had this year.  So we decided to keep it local. I…

One More Superbloom Hike

Scissors Crossing to Rodriguez Spur and back (19 miles, +3,600/-3,600 feet). I’ve been to Anza A LOT this year but I still can’t get enough of the superbloom!  For this one I joined my hiking buddy BarnFinder and a friend of his who likes to track his heart while hiking.  It was easy to come…

PCT Class of 2019!!!

For a long time I have been meaning to volunteer for Scout and Frodo, two trail angels who house and feed thru-hikers before driving them to the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail. Today I finally got to do that! I awoke at 5am, arrived at Scout and Frodo’s at 5:30, and at 6…

Kwaaymii Point Stroll

Kwaaymi Point to PCT Halfmile 55.8 and back (5 miles, +1,000/-1.000 feet). Half Cookie and I heard they had snow up at Mount Laguna on Christmas Day, and I really wanted to try out my new MSR Lightning Ascent snowshoes.  So we decided to drive up for a day hike. But when we got there…

Tehachapi Pass

Gamble Spring Canyon (PCT Halfmile 545.2) to Tehachapi Pass (mile 566.5) (21.3 miles, +3,400/-4,200 feet). After my monster day yesterday I thought today would be easy. Just 21 miles to Tehachapi Pass?  Ha! I was so wrong. As it turns out, there was a lot more snow than I was expecting.  I thought maybe there…

LA Aqueduct!

Hikertown (PCT Halfmile 517.6) to Gamble Spring Canyon (mile 545.2) (27.6 miles, +3,200/-1,600 feet). Time for more PCT!  I originally thought I could sneak in a 4 day trip from Tehachapi Pass to Walker Pass, but a big storm just came through and dumped snow all the way down to 4,000 feet. 80+ miles in…

1:45

PCT Halfmile 314.3 to mile 304.3 and back (20 miles, +3,200/-3,200 feet). Just like me, Barnfinder is section hiking the PCT.  But his goal is not just to cover every mile.  He wants to do each mile both north and south!  So I offered to join him as he works on this doubly-challenging goal. We…

Dicks Pass

Susie Lake to Upper Velma Lake (10 miles, +2,000/-1,900 feet) Man oh man the moon was bright last night.  I didn’t bring my umbrella on this trip because I didn’t expect rain or long hot fast climbs, but I sure wish I had brought it for its moon shade. Since we didn’t have to drive…

Lake Aloha

Echo Lakes Trailhead to Susie Lake (10 miles, +1,700/-1,400 feet) It’s time for another birthday trip with ZoZoZoom!  At 25 miles over three days and two nights, it will be her longest backpacking trip ever.  Not bad for a septuagenerian! But it is also personally exciting for me, too.  I’ve always wanted to see the…

Filling the Gap

Garnet Lake to Agnew Meadows (8 miles, +1,100/-2,500 feet). Our last day on trail was super easy and surprisingly pretty.  The main virtue of today’s route for me (other than the burger and beer at its end!) was to see part of the John Muir Trail I had to abandon on an earlier trip where…

Clinch Pass

Lower Twin Island Lake to Garnet Lake (11 miles, +3,200/-3,100 feet). Today was one of those happy accidents.  I have frequently found that Plan Bs end up being better than Plan As, maybe not because they are objectively better, but because they often involve surprise. I had no idea how spectacular the upper basin of…