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[pct-l] Old Gal - trip report

Wanted to share with you my five days of solitude and what I have
definately found out about myself.
In the past if you say I am too old to do something...I say, oh yes just
watch me!!!

I now agree with my kids that at the age of 72,  I should hike with
others.  I have not hiked alone before and really did not like it.  I
also discovered that "now" I do not tolerate the heat very well.  The
days were in the 90s and I was hiding in the bushes to get away from  the
sun.  My mileage was low each day and the availabilty of water on or near
the trail was absent. Which meant I had to pack 6 litres of Water.

 There was no Water, every thing was dried up.  I did in Section A 
scissors crossing to Warner Pass, but went North to South.  Then I was
picked up by Jeff Eckert (on the list) who had hiked 3 or 4 miles in to
meet me and thank goodness with gatoraide and more water. I was drinking
2 litres per day.  He took me back to Warner Springs and we proceed to
drive in to Lost Valley Rd and stash 2 more gals. of water at the
junction where the trail meets this road. 

 Then I drove to Paul and  Pats at Camp Anza.  What great caring people. 
A Mr. Bill Jennings was their visitor and that day he had gone up the
trail further towards Terwillinger Jeep Rd and stashed more water for me.

A couple of days up the trail from Warner Pass after dealing with Red
Fire Ants (ouch, they did hurt) and a Racaous sounding evil howling in
the nite...think it flew......I took note of my surroundings.....it
smelled like cresote or tires burning. Then I looked up and those very
welcome billowy clouds were not clouds but smoke....I hurried up to the
top of a Ridge and discovered that over 2 more ridges there was a big
fire.  I could not see the flames but saw the helicopters and the water
planes and tons of smoke.  My thoughts are now to get out of this area. 
So I make the decision to hike down to where I camped the nite before and
hike out to the Lost Valley Rd. which would be about  half the distance
of the trail miles I had come in.

I did not know it, but when Paul Miller from Camp Anza saw the smoke that
morning he phoned the Sherrifs office and give them my approximatel
So the People in charge of the Fire and the Sherriffs department were all
looking for me.  Well suddenly my pack seemed lighter, my feet moved
faster and I covered the terrain in no time at all, About 2 1/2miles from
the bottom I came around one corner and right there was the ridge with
all the fire just on the other side of it.  I stayed there for about 20
mins.  just watching  and looking, I wanted to see if it was going to
blow over to my side....the winds were squirrley.

Well I went for it, and was sitting out of danger on the paved road,
thinking......when up comes a speeding sherrifs car,  I flagged him down
and asked very nicely if he could help me....He absolutely stared at me
and the first words out of his mouth were:
Are You Marge the 72 year old Female  hiking alone.  He did make me laugh
so I assured Him I would not hike alone again, if he would stop
broadcasting my age..........I was in his custody until Paul Miller drove
in to pick me up.

I am very grateful for all the people like Paul Miller who have great
concerns for the hikers.    The Incident Command were getting ready to
start a back fire, but  with the knowledge that I was in there, thank
goodness they did not.

Never in my wildest dreams did I  think that in late October the days
would be so hot in Southern Calif. and that all the creeks and springs
would be dried up. So I just bagged the rest of the hike and drove home.
(Yuma for the winter)

Now if the weather cools down and anyone wants to hike a section with me
I will be game for another try. Thanks for reading...
Marge (the old gal) 

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