Posted by: blinklove | May 11, 2010

Hiker Update!!!

Hello!! We left Warner springs and were THRILLED to be hiking again. Oh how wonderful the trail has been! We have been taking it slow (for real this time) and getting back into the groove. We enjoyed a few nights under the beautiful desert stars and felt very grateful for the lack of rain.

Wildlife update: We have started seeing horned lizards and they are incredible! Luckily they tend to freeze up when they notice us, which has allowed for some good picture taking.

I danced with a snake! I have no idea what kind, sand was flying everywhere and I just kept trying to avoid stepping on its squirmy body. It took about two or three seconds for us to get out of each other’s way, we both couldn’t seem to figure out where the other wanted to go. One thing was obvious, neither one of us wanted to get hurt and we were both scared. It was wonderful!

I have been hiking in $2.50 crock knock-offs with Superfeet inserts (re-inforced Heman insoles) and have been loving them.

So, here we are 151 trail miles in at the intersection of the PCT and Highway 74. We now face the next obstacle in what has been a rare snowy season in Southern California. Ahead of us is 30 miles to the peak of the San Jacinto Mountains at over 9,100 feet. That’s 5,000 feet of climbing in desert mountains. From PCTA.org, a hiker reported, “Four of us have just cleared around San Jacinto and over Fuller Ridge. It is a very difficult passage requiring ice axe, crampons and mountaineering experience. It took us 2 1/2 days. Serious exposure and potential danger are commonplace.”

Most everyone we have met recently has been getting off the trail at this intersection for two reasons: retrieving mountaineering equipment (ice axe, crampons) or skipping the next section. We are headed to a sport store after this update to purchase the needed equipment to tackle this mountain successfully. This is by far the biggest challenge we have faced, and we are greatly looking forward to it. Just in case we are in over our heads, there are side trails we can take to descend to safety. We are sure we will have some interesting videos and pictures to show you once we make it to another town!

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Responses

  1. Hi Heather and Steve — I am following your trip with much admiration and appreciation. I am a recreational hiker and have some small idea of what you are facing. As for ropes and climbing — not for me!
    Good luck!

  2. I love crock knock-offs. Not fashionable at all, or very good for snake dancing, but they are great for the feet.

    Be careful my friends on this next section.

  3. Great to hear from the blinkers. Stephen, we both got our cards. Love the bicycle card for me. Please do be careful in the ice section. Ice axes and crampons does sound like serious stuff! Stay safe, and we think of you daily, if not hourly, if not each minute! Love you both!


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