The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) starts at the Mexico border near Campo, CA. I began my journey on March 3, 1999.
March 5, 1999
I officially started the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) today. Jennifer, the boys and her mom drove me down to the Mexican border to the PCT monument. After a few pictures, I hiked the first mile to Campo to symbolically start the trail. On this birthday of mine, Jennifer gave me the PCT book and a promise to always support me in the PCT adventure.
March 4, 2000
Jennifer and I spent the day (10 hours) hiking the next 18.5 mile segment. We started at 7:30 at Campo and hiked the day to Lake Moreno. One mile into the trail we realized the cell phone reception did not work. Since we promised to call Beverly (since she was watching the boys), we back tracked to the Campo store and used the pay phone. This added another mile and 40 minutes. We enjoyed the time together always on the lookout for illegal aliens coming over the border and making their way north. A great day - partially sunny and cloudy. Saw very little wildlife, lots of trash and no other people. My goal for this year is to hike through the San Diego County portion of the PCT.
March 12, 2000
I hiked the 5.9 miles to Boulder Oaks Campground by myself. It was a beautiful day and the trail routed around the lake with many views of the lake. I saw virtually no trash on the trail compared to the previous section. I still have seen no other hikers on the trail yet.
March 18, 2000
Jennifer, Peter and I hiked this 3.8 mile segment. We started by Boulder Oaks Campground, hiked under the 8 Freeway, climbed up a ridge and overlooked a small stream and pooling water. We saw several day hikers most likely going to the stream and falls. I carried Peter on my back and was a good "big pack" break in for the year.
April 30, 2000
Got up early and drove to Kitchen Creek Road trailhead to hike the next 12.6 miles to Laguna Mt. Started hiking about 8 am. This was also the weekend of the annual PCT kickoff at Lake Moreno. I was hoping to come across some thru-hikers. The first 2 hours were steady hiking and I made 3 miles an hour the first hour. The sage and other high desert plants were in bloom. Indeed at one point I hiked about 15 minutes through bees swarming from flower to flower. I eventually passed 9 people - 6 thru hikers (all from the same family, a day hiker and two campers on a nature walk). I also eventually reached the first pine on the trail and eventually some large areas of pine forests at which I took an extended 30 minute rest to reflect on God and His work in my life. He showed me that life is a process of being conformed into the image of God and we thus must seek Him and united ourselves with Him. It's His process not ours. Beautiful spot and time. Came across an overlook of the desert before reaching Laguna Mt. I visited the Laguna Mt Store and signed the PCT registry. The lady almost stopped me from signing because I had Andrew with me (Jennifer picked me up there) and thought I was too clean - young child and cleanness do not meet the profile of a PCT hiker. I guess. I looked at her and indicated that Yes, I was a PCT hiker and thus signed the registry. Oh Well. We had a nice chat after that.
May 6, 2000
This weekend I camped at Mt. Laguna Campground. I camped by myself with the purpose of drawing near to God and seeking His direction for various areas in my life and hiking a little. Today (Saturday) I rode my bike 2 miles to the place where I left off last week and locked my bike to a tree off the trail. No sooner had I locked my bike and put on my hip pack, than 2 day hikers approached and they let a PCT Backpacker pass. Well as he passed I said hi and started hiking with him and proceeded to hike the next 11.5 miles with him. His name was Jake.
As we hiked together I learned a lot about him, the PCT, and hiking tips. He is a chef by trade, has hiked most of the PCT before and just came from the 750 mile Arizona Trail and was hiking home (Oregon). He makes most of his pack and food (including applesauce jerky which was tasted great). His tips include, no tent, gravity filter water, hiking early, etc. We also talked a lot about PCT logistics and food drops etc.. As we finished at Pioneer Mail Picnic Area in great time, I offered him my service and he indicated that he would like to make a water cache for himself two days down the road. So I hiked another 3 miles to the campground to get my truck and then drove him thru Julian to Banner, he bought 6 gallons of water and we drove to scissors crossing where he stashed 4 for other PCT hikers and 2 for himself. In doing so we saw about 6 different PCT thru hikers - some sleeping under the bridge, two ladies cooking food and one poor guy who just arrived and was doing poorly. I then drove Jake back and dropped him off at the Pioneer Mail Picnic Area and I drove back to camp. What a great day. What a neat guy and inspiration. His story is on the web at www.stewsnews.com. As for my hike today, it went by fast. Wow!!! Do I have the PCT bug now or what!! By they way the number of PCT miles hiked today was 10.1 and yes my time spent with God was a valuable time.
November 5, 2000
Today I took Andrew and Peter up to Laguna for a short hike on the PCT. We essentially did the short section between the Pioneer Mail Picnic Area and the Scenic view point, about .6 mile. Very windy and cool out. It was nice resuming the hike again especially with my two sons.
November 25, 2000
Today, I resumed my PCT hike. I began at the Kwaaymii Point Road Vista Point. I dropped my truck off at the end point and Jennifer shuttled my to my begin point. At 8:40 am I began my next section. Wow, it was nice to do another good sized section today. I saw no one on the trail and even saw some left over snow from last week's snow. A beautiful day with great views of the desert, San Jacinto and San Gorgonio mountains. I ended at the locked gate on Mason Valley Truck Road. I had to traverse a small section (1 mile) of private land back to my truck. I had to disregard the "No Trespassing" signs and watch for the cows. I returned to my truck to find a Rural Crime Alert notice on my window. It really did not indicate that I had done something wrong ( I was parked OK and was written before I had traversed the private land). The notice even noted my license frame holder "I'd rather be hiking". A great day. Thanks be to the Creator. In All 9.0 miles of PCT and another mile or so of private land back to my truck.
May 4, 2002
Today I hiked another section of the trail. I drove to a small turnoff by the Las Fagos (?) historic marker. Hiked to the trail that I left off last time and began the hike down, down, down to scissors crossing. A nice day with pleasant temperatures. I hiked in solitude until about 10:30 when I heard, then saw a group of six day hikers (who I found out later were hiking PCT on weekends as well). I also caught up and hiked off and on with three through PCT backpackers. Took a few pictures. I find that I prefer to hike in solitude for a good part of the day, but also enjoy hiking knowing others are around and have a chance to chat from time to time. In all, about 16 miles.
April 30, 2005
It was great to be back on the trail again after a few years of busy family life. This section I kept putting off because I knew that it would require an overnight. Finally the time had come. This section I was hiking with a good friend, Alan. Our aim was to hike the 32 miles to Warner Springs in a two day/one night backpacking trip. Very few hikers were seen until just a few miles out of Warner Springs. We timed this trip to hopefully coincide with the point where many of the PCT thru hikers would be. It turned out that we saw a few butt we determined later that we were behind the front runners and ahead of the slower ones. The hike proved to be a nice trip just above the desert floor. At about noon on Saturday, we passed a large water cache (about 50 1-gallon bottles) along the ridge of the San Felipe hills. We rested here only to snooze a bit in the heat of the day. The rest of the days hike went smoothly. Towards the later afternoon, we hiked a while before finding a adequate camping spot next to a dry creek bed. We slept well and proceeded to hike the next day to Warner Springs. Along the way on day 2 we hiked across a magnificent meadow of great expanse. The eagle rocks are in the open meadow. Upon reaching my truck in Warner Springs, we discovered some homemade cookies from our wives. Lastly, we scouted out the next trailhead area for the next leg of the trail. We officially finished Section A of the PCT.