Monday, August 6, 2012


Yesterday I threw a bunch of books into my new backpack and hoofed it down the canyon. Intolerably hot weather; sweat pouring. Felt good. I'm sore today.

Went to Paradise today and bought the food for this trip. Buying food for backpacking has gotten a whole lot easier now that packaging is much more condense. There isn't any need to buy the expensive, fancy, freeze dried stuff sold at backpacking stores. I bought a couple of those anyway. I decided to go ahead and pack for, at least, fourteen days on the trail. I also bought new boots because, well, Joni made me. Concerned spouse that she is, she wanted me to have good tread on the trail. My other ones were getting a little tired and worn. I'll break the new boots in a bit tomorrow.

I still can't find my water filter or my stuff bags. The food is packed. Most other items have been found. We shall finish packing tomorrow and I'll take the backpack out for a test run. With water, I expect the thing to come in around fifty pounds.

The sleeping bag I'm using is an old one we picked up at Target a few years ago. It was one of those cheap "four sleeping bags and a tent" packages for forty bucks sort of deals. The tent I'll be using is twenty years old and certainly not state of the art. I have a certain aversion to ultra techy hikers with space age products. Backpacking is a trip into the woods---not a trip to Mars.

I did buy one of those synthetic Patagonia shirts because they really do dry nicely with all the sweat I produce. Cotton is nice, but it doesn't dry and it weighs way too much when wet. I'm still sort of feeling weird about it though. Not very Luddite of me.

And I bought a cheap Malbec from Argentina with a screw cap. This will be a water bottle after I've consumed it (I feel this is my sole innovation and contribution to the sport). I also bought a bit of Crown Royal Whiskey; helps you make friends on the trail if you have a libation or two. And I might need to make some friends this trip.

Unfortunately (or fortunately?) part of the Pacific Crest Trail is closed due to fire. The very last forty miles I planned to do are closed. And containment of this fire isn't expected until the 21st of August. I think Joni is a little bit relieved that my trip might be cut short. If the trail is closed, Joni will pick me up at Buck's Lake Tavern on Buck's Lake.

If you want to follow along and see the status of the Chips fire that might jeopardize my trip, just go HERE and look for the Chips fire.


  1. How convenient that your hike ends at a bar! Maybe you should have Joni delay a day or two in picking you up.

    Interesting that you would prefer to carry heavy equipment. I tend to carry heavy equipment, but more so that I am a cheapskate than that it makes me feel more woodsy! Or because I prefer to carry to many comforts.

    Good luck! And enjoy the solitude...

  2. Thanks Larry. Does school start so dreadfully early back in Wisconsin? Some schools here in California start as early as August 9. The girls start on the 22nd. All that just doesn't seem right to me: school should start after Labor Day.