Thursday, June 30, 2016

Red Eye to Dunsmuir

And red eyes is what I have. Boarded the number 14 in San Jose at 8:30 last night and after a night of comfy seats but no sleep I arrived in Dunsmuir at 4:57 in the morning. The wind is blowing up a storm and by the feel of it I can tell it's gonna be a warm one later today. BTW I was informed by a local that the reason for such windy weather is because of all the chemtrails overhead. 🤓

I had heard there was a cafe near the train station that opened at 6 so I wandered around till I found the Wheel House and the sign on the door said, "Open 6-10."  I waited, (nothing else to do at that hour) and ended up with a splendid pancake, egg, bacon breakfast.  Sourdough pancakes aren't my first choice but they were good, for sourdough pancakes that is. 

Once fed, I needed to decide if I was going to hit the trail today or get a room at the Dunsmuir Lodge, which is known for their hospitality towards PCT hikers. I also had to find out how to get to the trailhead, which is five miles south of town. There is no road directly there, other than highway 5, so the only choice I have is to walk the railway, which really didn't appeal to me, considering all the train traffic running through this area. 

By the time I'd walked the mile or so south along the main road through town to the lodge I realized I probably needed sleep more than hiking today. However when I arrived a bit after 7am, the door was locked with no sign of life inside.  I hated to do it but I pushed the button saying "push for service" and rousted out Eric, who had been asleep. Eric, who is owner and sole proprietor, did find me a single bed that I could get right away,  which I really needed if I was to catch up on my sleep. He also offered to take me to the trailhead early tomorrow morning for the cost of gas. Yea! Two birds, one stone!

After a brief lay down I walked back to town to mail a book back home and snag some lunch. I took a meandering route, looking in thrift stores and collectable haunts, trying to get a feel for this town. What I learned is that there are 21 creeks running underneath the town proper and that water is abundant. Which is why the public water faucets, which I assumed were broken, are actually on all the time. 
Something that is very hard for me to look at without trying to fix them somehow. 

Also, some folks being creative about fashioning a mobile snow capable trailer. At least, I think that's what they were after. 
I finally staggered back to the lodge in the afternoon heat, measuring around 93 or thereabouts, and fell onto the soft bed and into sleep. It's now close to five but still blistering hot. Time to wander back to town and rustle up dinner before gathering my stuff, ready to hit it tomorrow, as early as I can con Eric into dropping me off at the trailhead. This kind of heat worries me but I'll just walk in the early hours and after it cools down in the evening, with long breaks mid day. It'll all be good. 
Dinner done, the is heat radiating off the asphalt and my plans for tomorrow morning are solidified. Now? I am off to snooze landia. I will check in next when the electronic gods are willing. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


I finally whittled down my gear choices. How? By swapping certain items out for a lighter weight piece or removing some things all together. I'm now down to 12 pounds solid! This includes 25.5 ounces of electronics of one sort or another, which, theoretically anyway, aren't necessary. But it does provide me with some security (my SPOT) and enjoyment (iPhone.) It is interesting to know that I could be close to 10 pounds without all the gadgetry. However I'm cool with my choices.

I did update the list on my gear page for 2016 if you want to take a gander.

I leave tomoorow night on the train to Dunsmuir!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

No cook?

I must say that weighing all my packed gear was a sobering event. My base weight had climbed to 14 pounds 4.6 ounces which is quite a bit higher than my goal of 13 pounds. Nothing to do but go back through the stuff I was gonna bring and see what I could remove without losing comfort and safety. I managed to remove two pieces of clothing that wasn't necessary, given the heat wave I am facing when I get out there, but what else could I remove? Hmmmmmm.

For years now I have been resisting the notion of not bringing a stove with me on backpacking trips. I really only use it to heat up water for my dinner meal so it IS POSSIBLE to get by without heating my water on a stove. Especially with the hot sun we are having so far this summer. To see if there was another way to warm up my dinners I got a black bag I had made for another use and placed a ziplock containing my dinner and enough water to rehydrate it. I put it in the sun and within an hour my dinner was rehydrated and quite warm. It wasn't burning-hot by any means, but it turned out plenty hot enough for me. So here is what I am gonna do. Replace my cook kit which weighed 10.3 ounces, not including fuel
With the black bag, spoon and Ti cup (in case I have an emergency and have to heat water) I have dropped my food related weight to 3.1 ounces! I like it!
I painted my cup black with heat resistant paint so I can also use the sun to heat water in the cup, should I want to warm up some water for miso soup or anything else like that.
All things considered a respectable swap. I've removed 17 ounces from my overall weight but there is still something I can get rid of... I am sure of it. I still have three days to find a way...