Jun 13, 2009

Hiking the PCT

Here's the second installment of Alicia and Alfredo's email updates on hiking the Pacific Coast Trail:

May 12, 2009
Dear friends and family,
we have arrived in Big Bear which is at mile 265 and day 16 on the trail. It has been an interesting section with many trail angels to support us along the way. But I can say the desert is not easy to walk in. There is still no water for most of the trail and dehydration is a big problem. We have met many other hikers along the way and we are all experiencing the same thing so we give each other support. The biggest problem is about half the people have terrible blisters. We are lucky with only minor ones. Our packs become very heavy after 10 hours of walking so we are always trying to lighten the load. I cut the extra straps off my pack while Alfredo wrapped the tent around his walking poles. The scenery has varied from desert scrub and catcus to beautiful tall pines and 9600ft peaks. We have been through the Anza Borrenga Desert Park, the San Juancito National park, San Gorgino park and now the San Bernadino national park. We went from 3500 ft up to 8000ft down to 1000ft up to 9000ft and down again. The cold wasnt the problem but the heat, it reached 107!!!!! I felt like I was roasting in an oven, miserable. We colapsed under the Interstate 10 bridge with cars roaring overhead at high noon. There was no other shade for miles and miles. As for the trail angels, Mike lives a half a mile off the trail and welcomed all hikers to stay at his place, had ribs and chicken on the bque, beer and gatorade in the cooler, etc. Then there was Tarazan at Hwy 74 with food and gatorade. In Idlywild there was Walker who opened his house to us, fed us, shower and laundry and even gave me the car to run to the grocery!!People are amazing! Daddy Dave who made us hamburgers at 9:30 in the morning in the desert heat and filled us with gatorade sport drinks. Magic trail coolers along the way full of candy bars and cold drinks! Then we walked into town yesterday and some lady at the post office offers to take us home and feed us, showers and laundry, etc. Dana and Mike have a beautiful house and they have been wonderful. Dana made us a fantastic pasta dinner and a huge breakfast this morning. I guess we are already losing a few pounds. This all sounds good but there are many long,hot miles between these goodies. Some people have already got off the trail since it is too difficult. But we feel good( at least every morning) and getting stronger everyday. I might also mention that the trail is dusty so that means we are filthy dirty every night and have to get in the sleeping bag with dirty feet and dirty hands. My contacts are a problem.I have to get going so will have to leave it at that but will cont next time about the horse adventure.
Alicia and Alfredo

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