November 8, 2011

Pacific Crest Trail: Mile 265-277



We got dropped on Friday around 11pm. It was in the 30's, the moon high, three quarters full. The four of us zip up our respective wintery gear and start walking, climbing to 6855' and then 6680' and so on. The night views catch us off guard around a certain bend and we stare out over the landscape, the mountain behind casting a shadow on the valley below.

This is the Pacific Crest Trail. It runs from the Mexico border fence straight into Canada, some 2600 miles all said and done. Yes, if you can imagine it, there is a trail that stretches across the entire United States. And ever since I heard of such a miraculous thing, I wanted to walk on it, all the way. Or attempt to anyway, over the decades. This little weekend jaunt started where I left off in 2009, at mile 265 out of 2663.

My tent partner and I swallowed a benadryl and we were off to dreams. We woke up to the sun and food and many miles in our immediate future. At 8am I won a bet about snow, and scored seventeen pringles.

As we climbed up, the temperatures dropped down, almost secretly, like it wanted to catch us off guard. The snow fell lightly, and then fell all damn day, inch after inch, covering the place magically. It looked exactly like something fabricated you might see at Disneyland, except it was real and hard to walk through. And it made everything wet, which created a nice entry point for potential frostbite.

One of us, the partner of this friend, took pictures from time to time, lucky for us.

By 4:30, we had stepped through 17 miles of forest. Night was rising. We were freezing. And despite the fact that being in our tents for the next fifteen boring hours seemed like torture, it also seemed like a smart idea considering the elements. So we pitched some tents and shrugged off the concern. Let's get warm, we all said to each other.

Then we heard some guys running, literally running, in shorts and stocking caps. And they stopped and offered help. And Bob and Micky came back with a truck an hour later to pick us up, and fed us homemade cookies and spaghetti, and let us display our wet gear all over the living room and staircase and bathroom, and cleared off the ping pong table so we could play, and brought out blankets and pillows, and let us crash on the couches and mattresses, and then went to the store in the morning to buy orange juice and syrup so we could have home made waffles. And then said, "thanks for coming" on our way out the door, as if our whole misadventure and rescue had all been planned.











The next morning, from the comfort of Bob's living room.




11 comments:

Gwen Jackson said...

Quite the story. Bob's hospitality was over the top! How sweet. Glad he rescued you guys and that you didn't freeze to death out there. Briefer than expected, but you can add 17 miles to the PCT journey. :)

Kate said...

Great photos Josh. Bob sounds awesome! xo

Magic Number 26 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephanie said...

I LOVE this post. Reminds me of the beauty in this country and in the people of this country. Thanks for sharing your adventure!

Jamie said...

Oh, this is great. The story and pictures are amazing.

Unknown said...

One of the "best friends" you will meet along life's journey that you will probably never see again!

Special memories!

Jes said...

That is really fantastic. The blizzard hiking photos are radical ! I love the one of you and Paul. xo

B. Wilson said...

That looks heavenly. My husband and I love to hike (when I'm not trying to produce babies. Hah). Looks like a beautiful trip.

Hope's Mama said...

Seriously cool. Quite literally by the sound of it!

Monique said...

What a gorgeous place. Almost makes me wish for a snowfall (almost...we get our fair share up here in the Great White North).

brianna said...

So glad Bob and Micky happened to be running by. Talk about random chance and chaos theory...

I love that photo of you, Paul, and Randy in the vast expanse of white. So cold. Still don't see the appeal of that hike...

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