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RE: [pct-l] Town stops

> -----Original Message-----
> From:	Slyinmd@aol.com [SMTP:Slyinmd@aol.com]
> Sent:	Sunday, December 27, 1998 2:23 PM
> To:	pct-l@backcountry.net
> Subject:	Re: [pct-l] Town stops
> Any other towns along the way that shouldn't be missed?  How about side
> trails, views, hostels, events, etc. that are worth taking in.........
	[Robinson, Brian A]  My favorite town stop in '97 was Big Bear City.
Camp on the lawn at the fire station.  One '98ers journal I read said the
pizza place just down the street now has a $5 all you can eat special!  How
long do you think that'll last?

	Those needing a layover in a "real" town in northern California or
southern Oregon have two choices.  Dunsmuir, where the trail crosses I5 at
Castella and Ashland, Oregon.  Both are somewhat inconvenient hitch-hikes.
I stayed in Dunsmuir and enjoyed a movie at the local theater.  Others use
rent equipment and plan climbs of Mt. Shasta from there.  I didn't go to
Ashland, but those who did raved about it.

	The only "real" town actually on the northern PCT is Cascade Locks.
Plan a layover there if you need it.  There is free camping for PCTers on
the grass in a park overlooking the Columbia river.  It's a beautiful
riverfront location.  There are also plenty of reasonably priced motels in
the area, and lots of restaurants.

	Natural wonders that could be missed but should not include Crater
Lake.  Some still don't know that only the "stock" PCT misses the lake.  The
"hiker" PCT follows a road up to the rim, passing a campground, a post
office (resupply!), and the rim lodge/cafeteria.  The route along the rim
and back to the "stock" PCT is well marked trail.  Don't miss it!

	The Eagle Creek alternate route into the Columbia river gorge is
highly recommended in the guide book.  Don't miss tunnel falls!

	The Mt. Whitney side-hike is also very popular in good weather.
Plan an extra day of food for it in this section.

	There are numerous other peaks or observation points to visit along
the PCT.  Some are just yards off the trail.  Don't get so caught up in
miles per day that you miss these.   The guide book lists more than I can
enumerate here.  Some of my favorites were Mt San Jacinto, Mt. Baden Powell,
Tinker Knob, Sierra Buttes lookout, the Watchman above Crater Lake, and Mt.
McLaughlin.  Regretably, I missed Mt. Thielsen and the old high route on Old
Snowy due to bad weather.  And more experienced mountaineers with the right
equipment and time have been known to climb Shasta, Hood, Adams, South
Sister, even Raineer and Glacier Peak.  But these are more than side-hikes.

	The best hot-spring right on the PCT is at Deep Creek, (north of Big
Bear)  There is a much ignored no-camping rule in the immediate vicinity and
lots of people.  Some PCTers choose a layover there.

	The PCT goes through the back-country of Yosemite, but those who
have never seen Yosemite Valley might want to take a layover day at Tuolumne
Meadows and hitch to the crowded valley.  The otherwise notoriously
difficult 18 mile day-hike to the top of Half Dome is easy for the by now
well conditioned PCT hiker.  Feeling confident going up steep granite on the
fixed cables there is another matter, though!

	Plan to be flexible and get the most out of your grand adventure!

	Brian Robinson

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