Daily Archives: April 17, 2013

April 17, 2013

Day 1: US/MX border to near Lake Morena [mp 18.23]

Was up at 5am, Brick and I went and had a nice sit down breakfast at a local diner. We got to the trail about 7am, took a couple photos and I was off. I hiked 18 miles to the ridge above Lake Morena arriving about 3pm. I decided to stop for the day and made camp.

Ok, now here is what really happened.

Last night I had Brick check the weather and I saw that the high was only to be 65 to 70 today, rather than 90. Sooo with that in mind…

I woke up slightly hung over, tired, and not horribly motivated. Brick and I went out to a couple different bars and had a couple beers. One bar used to be a dive bar but had recently gone ultra posh to the point that my flip flops and Bad Brains t-shirt was a bit out of place. The tile floor made it really hard to hear each other so we went to another bar that had these giant displays of beer cans from around the world. I saw my XXXX beer from Australia. I also discovered that in 1996 when Brick took me out to the trail he was roughly the same age as I am now.

Anyways, we went to the post office this morning and mailed off my next two resupply boxes plus mail my laptop up to Idyllwild. Swung by Taco Bell got up a couple burritos which ended up powering me for most of the day. Wasn’t really nervous as we were driving to the trail just kind of like on the cusp of realizing that things are going to be different for a while.

Saw a hiker on the trail about a mile from the start and then we got to the trailhead at the border there were a couple other hikers there they were just getting ready to leave. They left and then Brick and I retook the 1996 picture of me at the Southern Terminus wearing the same clothes. I have the same wool pants, Liz Phair t-shirt and shoes; the only thing I didn’t have was the hat. Took a few more pictures and Brick walked down the border some where he saw some people crossing under the fence. Brick had to get back to San Diego so he said goodbye..half envious and half not really wanting to ever do that again he said.

I screwed/dicked around for a good hour and a half taking all kinds of different pictures and movies. I had cell phone service there so I called Cora to say goodbye and she laughed saying at how I never get started before 2 PM anyways.

I put in Husker Du’s “Chartered Trips” on my MP3 player and I was off. It partially felt like those scenes in movies where they are trying to take off in a plane and throwing stuff off the plane so they can clear the trees. I hadn’t actually dialed in anything yet and any sort of routine had yet to be learned.

The day was pretty uneventful overall. I saw one woman walking up the part of the trail that is on the road, and two snakes. That was about it. Took a lot of random photos. Took a break ate beef jerky and charged up my cell phone some more so I could take more even more photos.

Started dropping down into Hauser Canyon right after the sun went down..it pretty cool. Ended up having to headlamp it for about 7 miles. Down in the canyon there are some campsites and a couple PCT hikers flagged me down and said that there was room by their tents. I told him thanks but I wanted to climb the hill and watch the sunrise. I didn’t really want to camp in the canyon because there’s drug runners and border patrol helicopters flying really low overtop all night. I still have never seen Hauser Canyon in the daytime because in 1996 I did the same exact thing, headlamped it through the canyon at night.

David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust kept me company as I climbed out of the canyon and I made camp just above Lake Morena. I ate a Mountain House Lasagna meal. The “Serves Two” is actually correct. It fed both Daniel and Craig.

The freeze dried food was just a product of me trying to cut corners in preparation. Preparing food for a hike is a great endeavour so anytime you can throw a bag of something into a box and have it count towards a dinner takes a lot of the pressure off. Downside is that you eventually have to eat it later on.

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12:11am
Brick watching the original video for "Christmas Shoes" after listening to Patton Oswalt's takedown of the song.
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12:26am
My stuff

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10:31am
Veronica Mars HQ!
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10:33am
I-15, will be crossing this in about 3-4 weeks

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10:59am
Taco Bell, really
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11:22am

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11:29am
Getting closer
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11:34am
The tiny town of Campo, about a mile or so from the PCT

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11:35am
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11:39am
I was actually a little nervous driving up this road since the border just appears, you get out of the car and soon you are hiking for several months.

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11:53am
Southern Terminus of the PCT
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11:54am
The iron border fence was new

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11:55am
Some folks were crawling under the fence down there, Brick is walking down there in the photo to check out the hole.
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11:55am

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12:10pm
I took this same photo in 1996, wearing the exact same clothes, although the hat is different. Same wool pants, same Sacouny running shoes, same Liz Phair t-shirt.
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12:14pm
I also took this same photo in 1996. When the hike is done I will have a page of side by side comparisons.

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12:15pm
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12:25pm

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12:25pm
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12:40pm

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12:43pm
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12:44pm

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12:50pm
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12:51pm
I burned up a good 90 minutes at the border after Brick left.

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12:57pm
Signing the register
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1:02pm

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1:05pm
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1:17pm

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1:19pm
The actual border-border is a few feet beyond the metal wall.
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1:23pm

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1:24pm
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1:26pm
Border Agents

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1:28pm
Looking through a crack to Mexico
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1:58pm
Departing

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1:59pm
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1:59pm

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1:59pm
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2:01pm

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2:17pm
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2:25pm
One mile down, roughly 2664 to go

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2:30pm
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2:30pm

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2:30pm
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2:32pm

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2:37pm
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2:52pm

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2:53pm
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2:59pm

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3:09pm
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3:14pm

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3:16pm
The first gate to nowhere, no fence or anything.
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3:16pm

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3:27pm
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3:29pm

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3:33pm
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3:53pm
Removing credit card receipts from your shoes greatly improves comfort.

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3:56pm
Chicken farm in the distance
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4:02pm
The first snake of the trip

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4:02pm
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4:12pm

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4:19pm
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4:23pm

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4:28pm
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4:47pm

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4:49pm
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4:52pm

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5:00pm
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5:11pm
Putting some juice back in the phone. The GPS really chews up the battery.

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5:17pm
Jerky
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5:47pm
Broke my sunglasses, so I had to break the other side so they would fit right.

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6:01pm
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6:05pm

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6:29pm
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6:29pm

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6:32pm
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6:35pm

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6:37pm
Some other hikers dumped a bunch of food, there must have been two week's worth of granola in that bag.
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6:41pm
This was a giant crevasse to nowhere. It would have really sucked to have dropped my phone down there while taking this photo.

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6:41pm
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7:04pm

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7:11pm
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7:11pm

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7:18pm
Getting ready to drop a few hundred feet into Hauser Canyon and climb back out again.
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7:31pm

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7:52pm
Border patrol helicopters
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7:55pm
Headlampin'

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7:55pm
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7:58pm
Someone peed on the trail and it wasn't me.

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8:17pm
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8:27pm

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8:41pm
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8:45pm

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8:50pm
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8:50pm

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8:50pm
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9:15pm
MnM's powered me back up the hill

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11:26pm
Camped a little bit before Lake Morena
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11:36pm