Friday, May 29, 2009

News from the Pacific Crest Trail

As you may recall from an earlier post, Rees Hughes, Taylor Smith, and Amy Uyeki spent the night at our house before setting out on a trek of a southern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. Here is an update from Rees, one week into their three week journey:

Just a quick report from Big Bear, California . . . Pacific Crest Mile 113 for Taylor and Rees. We came into town to clean up, re-supply, and see if the world still existed. We had four wonderful days with Amy before dropping her off in Idyllwild, California . . . a little resort town on the western slopes of the San Jacinto mountains. We experienced some of our hottest weather early in the trip and, at the same time, found ourselves walking over snow patches at 9,000 feet a day later.

We subsequently dropped more than a mile in one long day to cross under I-10 and slowly climb into the San Gorgonio Mountains. We had days were we hiked 19, 17, 12, and 17 miles in order to pass through that arid country and return to the high country. We have enjoyed meeting the many long distance hikers and getting our own taste of trail magic. We have seen an amazing number of wild flowers, beautiful views, and few snakes (a couple of rattlers) . . . we even saw two large brown bears and a lion yesterday (we rounded the trail to see these large cages behind an elaborate security fence holding these animals which, we are told, are used in movies and television shows). One trail angel had arranged to position a comfortable lounge chair to be positioned with a great view of Mt. San Gorgonio accompanied by a cooler with some apples and oranges.

Taylor has been great . . . no complaints, has put up with all my questions, always positive. He's adjusted surprisingly well to the absence of Facebook, his cell phone, and musical instruments. I'll let him speak to you privately about his hiking companion.

Tomorrow we head on west.

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