Pacific Crest Trail Quest '08 - Page 6
I didn't get much sleep last night. The people next door had the TV blaring all night. I
pounded on the wall several times, but it didn't do any good.
I looked out the window at 7:00 and it wasn't just snowing, it was a whiteout! I walked to
the café for a giant omelet, then checked out of my noisy hotel room, wrapped myself in
my rain fly and set out for the post office. On my way there, a car stopped and asked if I
had a place to stay.
It turned out to be a trail angel named Mary Melkovian. She already had a hiker named
Alex with her. She brought us to her very nice house where there was a fire going and a
nice hot tub, not to mention tons of food!
It snowed all day, but I didn't mind. I was in good company. Mary is going to drop me at
the trailhead in the morning. I'm looking forward to hitting the trail. It should be beautiful
with the fresh snow, and I won't have to worry about finding water for a few days.
Mary drove me to the trailhead. I thanked her several times and offered her some money
for her trouble (which she refused) before putting on my pack. It was a beautiful morning.
I was worried about deep snow, but there was only about 3 inches on the ground, and all
the trees were covered in frost.
I was a little cold in my lucky orange hat and wished I had brought a stocking cap, but I
was ready to go. I walked to the trailhead and found an Elmer Fudd style hat with rabbit fur
inside and ear flaps. It may be the greatest thing I've ever found, and I hope I don't pass
its owner somewhere on the trail.
Walking was easy for the first ten miles in the fresh snow, and I was really glad to be back
on the trail. Then I came to Baden Powell Mountain. The trail climbs from 6,000 feet to
9,200 feet in four miles, then stays above 8,000 feet for another 10. I started up the trail,
which was easy to find since about a dozen day hikers were kicking off their memorial day
weekend by climbing the mountain.
None of the other hikers felt like leaving today, so Mary drove me to where Highway 2 was
barricaded off. I thanked her again and headed down the road. I met Cruisin, the German
I started the trip with, and we walked together for the day.
The snow was six inches deep for the first three hours, and the thick fog made everything
cold and eerie. We were glad when the road finally dropped low enough to be out of the
snow, but it was still cold.
The highlight of the day was when the road tunnelled through the mountain. It was really
cool to walk through the fog filled tube.
We were able to get back on the trail this afternoon. Now, we're at 5,700 feet and there is
no snow at all. Soon, I'll be in the 100 degree desert again. This trail amazes me!
I had no problem reaching the top, but all the hikers had turned around there and I could
see no trace of the PCT. A heavy fog had set in and the snow was over a foot deep. There
was no way I was going past the top of that mountain! I turned around. I met a group of six
hikers headed up when I was about half way down. I told them it was impossible to get
through, but they were confident they could make it.
I decided to roadwalk on Highway 2, which is closed due to a mudslide for about 10 miles
to avoid the snow up high. I made it a mile before I decided it was too cold to spend a
night up there. I turned back to hitch hike into town. I met the six hikers from the mountain
on my way back. They weren't as confident as they were earlier.
As I was walking past the construction equipment at the mudslide, I found two full cans of
beer a worker had hidden behind a concrete barrier. They were quite tasty!
I hitched back to Mary's house where I stayed with five other hikers. We went to the bar and
two people offered to buy my new hat. I didn't get far, but it was a good day.