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[pct-l] Roy Robinson's notes from the Pacific Crest Trail, part 1 (long)
- Subject: [pct-l] Roy Robinson's notes from the Pacific Crest Trail, part 1 (long)
- From: "Robinson, Brian A" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sun, 25 Jul 1999 20:37:27 -0700
> Hi all,
> For those of you who don't already know, my father Roy is now on the
> Pacific Crest Trail. He is attempting to complete the 1500 miles that he
> missed in '97. He started at Interstate 80 near Lake Tahoe and is heading
> for the Canadian border. I'll be joining him July 31st at Crater Lake,
> Here's the first installment of his notes:
> 6/9 Above Paradise Valley. Started from Boreal I-80 at 2pm. Hiked till
> 7:45 pm across 3-5 feet of snow. Haven't yet found trail but map and
> compass worked great! Hit Paradise Valley Creek within 200 yards of
> bridge! 9 miles the first day on trail. Greyhound driver was kind enough
> to make an unscheduled stop for me at the rest stop E. of Boreal. No foot
> problems. Some overcast - weak sun earlier. Nice sunset. I found a snow
> free patch on south slope to set up camp. Have seen no one but not too
> surprising. Trail, where are you?
> 6/10 Totaled 18.5 miles yesterday. Trail N. of Peak 8214 was mostly snow
> free which made it possible to reach Jackson Meadow Reservoir. I checked
> out the campground. No water yet. They were charging $13 per night.
> Camp host didn't know what PCT was. I stealth camped. I'm now on trail
> N. of Jackson Meadow, maybe 10 miles to Sierra City. Have to get there
> before P.O. closes. Heard an owl this morning and saw first deer on the
> trail up here. Still no other hikers.
> 3:30pm in Sierra City. Just picked up first box at P.O. Got it all in
> pack, barely. Signed trail register at the P.O. As I suspected, I'm the
> first to sign in, in '99. Had lunch at Wild Plum Campground. It was nice
> to see the place again. I'll find dinner in town, then head back to the
> trail. It's a 3000 foot climb with no water for 7 miles, so will get an
> early start in the morning.
> 8:00pm Set up camp at spring near Hwy 49 after dinner of sea bass,
> potatoes au gratin, green salad, glass of while wine and coffee, at the
> Buckhorn in Sierra City. Spent much of the afternoon hob-nobbing with
> towns-folk in front of the general store and making a dent in a 2 liter
> bottle of Sprite. I need the bottle to carry extra water up the hill
> tomorrow. Generally a good day. 11 miles.
> 6/12 Porch of a cabin above Gold Lake. 7pm. It's flat, great view,
> isn't snow -covered. Tough 14 miles today. The climb out of Sierra City
> turned out to be the easiest part. The second 7 miles was snow drifts.
> Catch a few 100 yards of the trail once in a while in the good spots.
> I've got to do better than this if I'm going to get to Belden Thursday
> 6/13, 7am. Clouded up last night but warm and sunny this morning. I have
> to do 15mpd to get to Belden on time. Looks like some bad snow spots
> ahead but there are a couple spots I can head for the highway if I get
> behind. I'll head back up to the trail and see how it looks on top.
> 2:30pm. Had lunch at Lakes Basin campground. Made it up to Summit Lake
> this morning and got as far as Oakland Pond (Hill 7550), about 2 miles in
> 3 hours. There I lost the trail completely in heavy snow and forest.
> Looking ahead, it's obviously more of same. Too much work and time lost
> climbing snow drifts and figuring out where I am. I did see a bear about
> a mile N. of Summit Lake. It went the other way when we saw each other.
> I took a picture of its tracks in the snow. Anyway, to keep the schedule
> I'm going to do some road hiking, probably clear to Belden. Heading down
> to Graeagle now. Looks like about 8 miles, so will probably stop for the
> night before I get there.
> 7:30 Set up camp in woods off highway about 3 miles before Graeagle.
> There's water near for dinner (filter first) so mosquitoes are thick. My
> mosquito netting works great! I can see and hear them but none get
> inside. Road hiking is hot and boring - and hard on the feet. No
> blisters or other foot problems though. Hope I put extra boot socks in
> the drift box. The ones I'm wearing are getting thin in the heels. I saw
> Mt. Lassen this morning before I turned around. Quite a way yet.
> 6/15 Quincy. 20 miles yesterday and another 10 so far today. It's near
> noon, warm but overcast. Yesterday was hot, especially on the pavement.
> Best you can say about road hiking is - you find money! 47 cents
> altogether between Graeagle and Quincy. Then again, that's only about 2
> cents per mile. Camped last night on a knoll between the highway and the
> railroad tracks. There were more tracks than trains, but plenty of both.
> I've had enough highway so am heading to Bucks Lake - 16 miles. from
> there, on the trail, it's another 19 miles to Belden. Should make it to
> Belden Thursday PM, on schedule.
> 8:30pm - Well, it's been a good hiking day, another 13 or 14 miles here to
> Buck's Summit from Quincy. So 23 or 24 miles in all. That includes a 15
> percent grade climb on the last 3 miles of road getting up to the summit.
> Much steeper than the PCT, and not recommended for campers. (Nice pink
> sunset right now.) 19 trail miles to Belden and I don't have to do it all
> On the way here from Quincy, I went through Meadow Valley - a community
> that's got to be one of the best kept secrets around. Historic, charming,
> the most friendly people. I met one old-timer in front of the school
> house. He was lame and quite deaf, trying to drive gophers out by running
> water from a garden hose into their burrows. Had a rake to hit them when
> they emerged. Too dark to write. Will finish story in the morning.
> 6/16 Clear Creek - 10 miles today, in about 9 hours. That was total, not
> hiking time. There was a lot of snow again but I only missed one turn..
> Lost the trail going up Spanish Peak and overshot going up the ridge in
> the trees till I could get a reference point. Back tracked and found the
> trail once I knew where I was. Lots of trail was snow covered and in
> thick forest. Thank goodness for the little tin diamonds which mark the
> way. You're supposed to be able to spot these nailed to trees as you hike
> along. Sometimes you can't find the next one. Then you have to take the
> time to sort it out. 9 easy miles to Belden tomorrow mostly downhill.
> Belden's at 2300 ft. I'm camped at 6200 ft. tonight.
> But back to the gopher hunter. He told me the school house was built more
> than 100 years ago - still in use, and still in good shape. He took my
> picture. A bit further on, another fellow, named Earl Whitaker, stopped
> his car and hobbled across the road to talk. He had seen me earlier in
> the day on Hwy 70. He was wearing one of those Frankenstein boots. Had
> slipped on the ice and broken his ankle. Earl seemed to be the unofficial
> Meadow Valley booster. Real salesman (like Orin), I'd guessed. Turns out
> he owns a company in Oakland - makes modular displays for conventions. He
> also owns 40 acres(!!) in Meadow Valley, completely surrounded by national
> forest land. (Again!!) Unique situation. The side road where he stopped
> was his "driveway." Anyway, we're invited to dinner next time we're
> around this way. M.V. is becoming quite a Bay Area retirement community.
> It's Thursday am since line 5 above, where the writing gets legible. Hard
> to write propped on an elbow in sleeping bag. Cold this morning, and
> everything's damp from dew. Since I have the time I'll let things dry a
> bit before packing. Still, the sooner I reach Belden, sooner I get a hot
> 4pm - Belden No motel. No post office. Good thing Kathi's bringing the
> food box. Folks say the P.O. is now in Twain (?) about 11 miles away.
> However they do UPS here. They do have cabins and a Laundromat. So I
> have clean clothes and a cabin - $59.95, which is plenty for what you get.
> Rustic! River view! Really dim lights!
> It's been a hot hike down the hill. Crossed a huge snow bank near the top
> - had to stomp in foot steps. Nobody has been on the trail at least that
> far up this year. Descending into the canyon, it got really hot (90
> degrees?) and below about 4000 feet the poison oak was healthy. Time to
> go over to the restaurant and see what they have that looks like food.
> That shower and shave sure raised the spirits! There's a phone booth on
> the way.
> 6:15pm - Well! You've got to be careful when your spirits are raised.
> The restaurant opens in 2 days if they pass final inspection. I was
> really looking forward to, maybe, some steak, mashed potatoes, etc.
> Rather than hike 2 miles up the highway to a place the nice lady said she
> would call to make sure they were open, I decided to check out the hot dog
> dispenser (ala 7-11?) in the store. Nice lady and I discovered 4 hot dogs
> in there of unknown vintage. "Wonder who made those?" N.L. says. She
> kindly made me 3 hot dogs, fresh, complete with 3 mayos, 3 sweet relish
> and 3 ketchups from the condiment tray. I took these back to cabin #3
> (get it?), along with only one Bud - I've got to hike tomorrow. This all
> tasted very good. Thank you, N.L.
> Oh, speaking of cabin #3, I finally figured out where the weird smell was
> coming from. I'd hear this scratchy sound every few minutes - thought
> there might be mice in the ceiling. There's a battery powered "Mango
> Mister with Odor Counteractant" which has an off switch inside. Solved
> problem. They must rent this cabin to thru-hikers a lot.
> Taking inventory, it looks like breakfast will be some wheat crackers with
> or without peanut butter, 2 hot cocoa mixes, and coffee if the Mr. Coffee
> in here is functional.
> 6/18 Belden - Good morning! Sunny day. Good night's sleep. Mr. C makes
> very strong coffee. My road hike from M2 to M9 was 50 miles, close as I
> can figure. This "alternate route" bypassed 55.5 miles of trail from
> Oakland Pond to Bucks Summit. 130.1 trail miles covered to date.
> Talked with Kathi B. last night. Expect her here about noon to begin
> hiking section N. I certainly hope trail conditions improve so we can
> enjoy our hike to Burney Falls. If we're to make 19+ mpd, we can't spend
> a lot of time looking for the trail.
> This will go into an envelope for Kathi's friend to mail on the way back
> to SF. A roll of film and the trail guide for sections already covered
> will go into the drift box for mailing from Burney. Would be simpler if
> there was a post office here. At least I won't have to carry it.
> The restaurant here passed inspection and will open for business tomorrow.
> They had to install lighted exit signs (in event of power failure) and
> widen the already existing wheel chair access. This at a resort which a
> good many of their customers hike to.
> 6/19 Saddle at 6480' on temp. alt. PCT (N2) We hiked about 8.5 miles
> yesterday afternoon from Belden, climbing 4150 feet on the temporarily
> rerouted PCT. Looks like 4.5 miles to Poison Spring where we will rejoin
> the trail. K. developed a blister (small one on inside of left heel)
> which she is fixing now. Time for breakfast. 6:30am. Sunny morning!
> 6/20 Camped last night on logging road near Cold Spring (N4) after making
> 10.5 miles in 9.5 hours. Snow has been 1.5 to 2 feet deep on much of the
> route with deep drifts on northern slopes. Trail is not well marked. The
> alternate route we followed to Poison Spring from Belden in the morning is
> not marked at all. The orange markers which were placed to mark the route
> are, with a few exception, long gone. The 4.5 miles of alt. PCT route
> which we hike yesterday took us more than 5 hours, because of route
> finding problems. While we're complaining, should note that the start of
> the alt. route at Belden is not marked. While we were pretty sure we had
> the right path - after a false start up the Yellow Creek trail - there was
> no confirmation that this was, indeed, the alt. PCT for about 3 miles, at
> which point Kathi spotted an orange flag on the ground along the trail.
> Need a semi-permanent sign 2 or 3 hundred yards up the trail identifying
> it as the alternate route.
> K. and I agree it's too early to hike this section. We are going to head
> out to Chester and call it a hike. I'll plan to return to the trail in
> about 2 weeks.
> 6/21 Chester. Antlers Motel. After breaking camp yesterday just 1/4 mile
> short of Humbug Road and hiking about 2 miles down to Slate Creek, we
> stopped to get water, sort out directions, etc. As we were getting our
> packs back on, the first car we saw travelling Humbug Road in our
> direction stopped and offered us a ride into Chester. Scott from Mountain
> View and his parents who live near Paradise, CA were on their way to have
> breakfast at the Kopper Kettle Cafe in Chester, a place worth driving
> across the mountains for. Thank you Trail Angel Scott! Saved us a long,
> hot walk.
> We found rooms, then had breakfast as the above mentioned KK. Cafe.
> Julianne will drive up today, stay overnight and we will all return to the
> Bay Area tomorrow.
> Kathi and I had dinner at the Timber House Restaurant - a fascinating
> place built almost entirely from tree stumps which had been cut into large
> blocks - after having spent most of the afternoon at a Civil War
> reenactment which was being held at a park about 3 miles W. of town. Very
> interesting displays, costumes, history buffs to talk with!
> After all the effort, I'm sad to leave the trail. But I know further
> attempts to push through this early will only lead to more disappointment
> and discouragement. In a couple weeks there should be a trail to follow.
> This log will resume when I return to the crest.
> [That's all for this installment. More coming soon. -Brian]
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