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[pct-l] RE: PCT Towns, water purity

	I hiked from Campo to Echo Lake in 1997, so I know about those
towns, and I can compare them to AT towns (from thru-hikes in 91 and
94).  Further north, I think the only place close to the PCT you can do
mail ahead supplies out of Cascade Locks.  Ashland, Burney (not the
falls), Dunsimir have all been reported as having decent sized stores,
but they require a significant hitch.

	Starting at Campo, there isn't a decent sized store until you
hit Idyllwild.  That's a town about the size of Damascus, VA.  It has
lots of tourist shops, and two medium sized grocery stores.

	Mt. Laguna has a very small store that you might resupply out
of, just like the store in Monson, ME.

	Warner Springs has a gas station that sells a few candy bars and
soda.  Less than the store in Allen, NC.

	Wrightwood has one medium sized grocery store, and other tourist
shops.  A little bigger than one of the stores in Damascus, VA

	Big Bear has a large grocery store (like Waynesboro, VA), but
you have to take the bus to get there.  First, you hitch into town via
CA 8 or the canyon road.  From the fire station you catch a city bus
into the stores area.  there's a nice general store near the fire
station, but it would be tough to resupply out of.

	The medium sized store at Aqua Dulce is under new management.
It's possible to do a resupply out of there, but you have to be
flexible.  Lots of square footage, but not many hiking type foods.
Maybe has mac and cheese and two varieties of Liptons.

	Onyx has a small store.  I went right by it while hitching, it
was so small.

	Both Tehatchippi and Mojave have at least one large grocery
store.  Both towns are really spread out, so prepare to do a lot of
walking or hitching.

	Kennedy Meadows is a small general store, like that found in
Monson, ME.  Tough to resupply out of.

	Lone Pine has one medium sized grocery store, plus some stores
where you can pick up other hiking supplies

	Lake Edison has a very small store.  Almost impossible to do
resupply out of, and very expensive.  You might find some JMTers looking
to lighten their loads here.  I did, and with great results!

	Ray has Reds meadows pegged; strictly picnicker supplies.  I
found it was an easy hitch into Mammoth Lake, which has everything!

	Before this trip, I had thought the Tuolemne meadows store was
too small to resupply out of.  Now I think its one of the best stores of
the trip.  Has lots of stuff, should be able to resupply out of, if
you're flexible.

	Echo Lake has a very small store.  The motel in S Lake Tahoe is
across the street from a KMart and large supermarket.  The PO is also
nearby, which would make this a great place to do N. CA resupply drops.

	For further resupply data, see Jardine's book, or the PCT hiking
schedule that was posted on this site recently.  When you did you
schedule with the web site, it automatically gave you a description of
each resupply town you specified.

	One hint for those on a budget.  If you start after the crowds
of early May, you'll find every hiker box in town overflowing with corn
pasta.  If you like the stuff, you would never have had to buy any along

	the first thousand miles of the PCT in 1997, by starting in mid
or late May.

	Water purity on the PCT covers a broader range than on the AT.
In many areas the water is so pure you wouldn't think treatment is
necessary, in others you'd think that drinking your own urine is
preferable to the available water source.  My best thought is to carry
iodine tablets and coffee filters.  Half the time the water is coming
from taps at campgrounds or melted snow, and seems very safe to me.  The
rest I pour and pill, and sometimes even take the time to boil.

	I filtered until Kennedy Meadows half the time, drank untreated
the rest.  After KM I pilled the creeks, and drank snow melt straight.
I never got sick once.  I do carry some prescription strength AD, which
I gave away to several hikers, which worked for them.  A hiker's best

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