Well I know it’s been awhile since we’ve updated our blog, but we haven’t been at a place with internet for quite some time, i.e. we have been in the woods.
We are currently in Agua Dulce, CA (43 miles N. of Los Angeles). Yesterday was our one month and 454 mile mark. We have had a bit of a transitional period getting used to walking 20 plus miles a day. I think the worst of the pains are behind us now. Zach’s blisters are healed up nicely, and our knees are getting used to the constant abuse of the ups and downs through the mountains.
Since Big Bear, CA we have walked through some beautiful landscapes. The first day after leaving Big Bear we came to Deep Creek, a creek tucked in the mountains and filled with wild rainbow trout. But that’s not the best part. Deep creek hot springs was the best. We arrived there on a slightly cold and rainy day, so the soak in the bubbling hot water was amazing.
The rest of the day hiking with wet feet was a slight bit miserable, especially for Zach’s scabbed over feet. But the next day was pure bliss….McDonalds bliss that is. The trail crosses the I-15 right next to McDonalds. Now normally I hate McDonalds, but this time it hit the spot like a five star restaurant. I think this was the first time I have ever spent $17 at McDonalds.
We decided to pack 5 people into a room at the Best Western in Cajon Pass instead of pitching a tent in the rain for a second night. If you have never been a small room with five hikers (guys), I promise you, you are not missing anything at all. Honestly I think I would have slept better in my tent, and the air would have been a little fresher as well. The next day we hiked over the San Andreas fault line. Actually we took a break right on top of it in hopes that we would feel a tremor or quake, but not so lucky. Or were we??
Next we hiked into Wrightwood, CA where our next resupply box arrived. If you have a bike and have never been to Wrightwood, then I suggest you head there pronto. Just the drive along the highway 2 alone is enough of a reason to go, but better than that is the burgers at “The Yodler.” The locals have a very welcoming spirit with smelly hikers as well.
We took a couple of rest days camping near the trail near Wrightwood and then pushed on to Agua Dulce. Mt. Baden Powell was along our route, which gave us a great view of the Los Angeles Basin all the way to the ocean and Catalina Island. The hike here was a bit brutal at times, especially since we are currently in the Mojave with the heat and rattlesnakes. But the worst part of the last portion was a little bush called “Poodle Dog.” It grows in recent burn regions and can cause serious problems if it contacts your skin, like raised blisters for up to two weeks. The dormant period is for up to 12 days, so hopefully we don’t get any blisters.
We will be leaving for Tehachapi later today. The next 100 miles or so will be very hot and dry as we push across the western Mojave Desert. It looks like we may be carrying up to 7 liters of water (15.4 lbs.) at certain times. Although I’m sure this portion will be miserable at times, we are still looking forward to it. Survival in the open desert has strange appeal.
Thanks for all the support from friends, family and donors. We are both continuing towards our goal of raising money for our causes. As I walk these many miles in complete solidarity it gives me such a great inner peace, but at the same time I often think about the Soldiers that suffer from PTSD and hope that they too can experience this same inner peace – free from the mental terrors that haunt them from combat. Please continue to support our fundraising efforts to bring treatment to our honorable veterans from all wars. A little help goes a long way. I’m sure Zach has thoughts to share about his fundraiser as well, but I will leave that to him.
Thanks again for following and supporting us, we expect another update in about a month. Cheers!