The Unbearable Lightness of Morning

Maxwell Trail Camp Guzzler (PCT Halfmile 493) to San Francisquito Canyon Road (mile 478.2) (14.8 miles, +2500/-3500 feet). Last night the wind came on strong a little after sundown.  I was camped in a thick wood so there wasn’t too much breeze at ground level, but the trees flailed around wildly.  I was glad to…

Gnat Attack

Hikertown (PCT Halfmile 517.6) to Maxwell Trail Camp Guzzler (mile 493) (24.6 miles, +5500/-3900 feet). For this hike I originally planned to drive to Hikertown and get an Uber around to my starting point at San Francisquito Canyon, hiking north on the PCT.  But I woke up at 2am last night and couldn’t get back…

Vasquez Rocks

Vasquez Rocks (PCT Halfmile 453.5) to Indian Canyon Trailhead (PCT 444.2) (9.3 miles, +2,000/-2,300 feet). One thing I didn’t realize about my campsite last night: I was about a mile from the 14, which is busier than many interstates I’ve travelled.  It wasn’t too bad, but it did remind me of what it sounds like…

Agua Dulce

San Francisquito Canyon Road (PCT Halfmile 478.2) to Vasquez Rocks (PCT 453.5) (24.7 miles, +4,000/-4,900 feet). Time to continue my adventures on the PCT! Except for the Mountain Fire Closure, I have completed everything up to Acton KOA, so ideally I would have started from there and headed north.  But I only had two days…

Back in the Saddle

Vincent Gap to Wrightwood (14 miles, +3,500/-4,200 feet). Ever since Half Cookie rolled her ankle and we had to get off trail at Vincent Gap, I’ve had my eye on the part of Section D of the PCT between there and Cajon Junction.  Today I got a chance to hike some of it with my…

Not 30

PCT Halfmile 424.4 to Indian Canyon Trailhead (PCT 444.2) (19.8 miles, +3,000/-6,400 feet). Today was…. interesting. I’m not sure I would do it again.  In fact, I know I wouldn’t.  But sometimes it is useful to have certain experiences because they are novel and they help define the lines within which we color our future…

Trail Gorilla

Mill Creek Summit (PCT Halfmile 418.6) to PCT 424.4 (5.8 miles, +2,200/-1,400 feet). Over the last two and a half years I’ve hiked about 15% of the PCT.  It’s such a beautifully-designed and well-maintained trail that my buddies and I often use it as a baseline to rate other trails (as in “hey, this is…

Mount Baldy

Manker Flats trailhead loop to Baldy Summit then Devil’s Backbone (12 miles, +4,000/-4,000 feet). Time for another hike! I was supposed to go back to the Sierra today but I have been fighting a minor cold and my buddy MixMaster has been having some minor knee issues. We have another trip to the Sierra coming…

Rolling Off Baden-Powell

Ridge below Mount Hawkins (PCT mile 381.6) to Vincent Gap (mile 374) (7.6 miles, +1,400/-3,200 feet). Well today had some surprises in store for us! Overnight the wind shifted from blowing up one side of the ridge to blowing up the other, but it was never much above 10 miles an hour so our tent…

A Ridge with a View

Camp Glenwood (PCT mile 400.6) to ridge below Mount Hawkins (mile 381.6) (20 miles, +7,000/-4,700 feet). Holy cow. Today was…. really hard.  Although we got a super early start, leaving camp around 5:45am, we needed nearly every hour of a very long day to achieve Half Cookie’s personal record: 20 miles in a single day. In hindsight,…

Half Cookie Rides Again

Mill Creek Summit (PCT mile 418.6) to Camp Glenwood (mile 400.6) (18 miles, +4,200/-3,500 feet). Thanks to my lovely and supportive parents, Half Cookie and I get to do a backpacking trip about twice a year.  They come down and party with our kids while we hit the trail. This year we were going to…