Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Day Six - Tuesday, May 29

Me, Julien and Jerry stopped at a place called Casa De Fruita on the drive down and I bought two new bracelets to wear on the PCT. I'm wearing them on my right wrist in my pictures. One is my December stone, obsidian which is for safe travel and gives me increased energy and helps my legs and feet. The other is jade which brings good luck and confidence and helps my kidneys and bladder. I think they're working but I had to tape the balls of my feet since they are really sore for the weight of my pack. No real blister problems yet though.

Ed, an outdoor columnist, from the San Diego Union Tribune interviewed me at my motel in Pine Valley on last Wednesday. I was able to buy a copy of the Sunday paper with this article (click here for story). He said after talking with me I inspired him to get in better shape.
This morning, the boys had a group meeting and decided that I should go ahead without them since I wanted to go at a faster pace than them. Luckily, we had met up with the Russian woman, Dina and me and her decided to hike together. Her American host, Lon who she was staying with in Minnesota, is a day or so ahead of us and she wanted to try to catch him. We hiked together until early afternoon but she was too slow so I took off by myself. I have now passed 9 hikers that left before me. I made it to mile 127 to camp alone for the night.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Day Five - Monday, May 28

Well, it's Memorial Day but we don't get a Holiday today. Got to keep moving since I'm behind. I don't really know anyone who died in a war but today makes me think of my Mom and Dad and how much I miss them but I know they are watching over me out here.

Hey, don't you think that Greg should give me an automatic entry into Western States next year since I'm doing such a good job of advertising his race wearing my WS pack in front. The only problem is the buckle in back is underneath my pack and is digging into my back and making a sore spot. I'll be glad to get rid of it after the desert.
Sorry Greg ;-)

We reached Warner Springs (109 miles) for the night. My pack is extra heavy with all the extra frickin' water I'm carrying. The boys gave me some pieces of foam to put on my shoulders under the straps. I've got to get rid of some things - I am sending back my tent and then I'll get it back in Kennedy meadows. I called Jerry and told him to buy a lighter sleeping bag to send me. My Phantom is nearly 2 lbs and with my tent takes up most of my pack. I need a bag like the Marmot Hydrogen that is 1 lb 5 oz and really compressible.

With my pack on I feel like I should be in a commercial for "I've fallen and can't get up!" LOL!!

When I call Jerry, he tells me some of your comments posted on my blog. Thanks everyone for your good wishes and encouraging thoughts. Jerry is going to send me copies at a town every week so I can read through them at night.

Day Four - Sunday, May 27

After hiking for about 10 miles we reached Hwy 78 and decided to hitchhike into Julian, about 12 miles away. Since I am doing less mileage per day than I planned, I am 2-3 days behind my 78 day schedule I made and am about out of food. I expected to be at my first resupply drop in Anza on the fifth day. We were able to catch a ride with a marine from Camp Pendleton in a RV to Julian. There was a street fair going on and we met a woman at one of the booths who let us charge our phones.

Here I am chillin' with my feet up after we bought our food.
Or maybe it's really a product placement ad for my friend, XY's dirty girl gaiters. LOL! They sure were a lot brighter a few days ago!

To get back I made a little sign that said "PCT Hiker needs ride 12 miles to trail". The boys stood back so we didn't scare off people that might give us a ride. A woman passed us, then turned around and came back to give us a ride. She said she had never picked up hitchhikers before but just had a feeling about me.
We got back on trail and reached mile 87 before setting up camp. Our packs are really hurting our shoulders. The boys packs are about 35 lbs, mine is 25 lbs. I had planned on sharing time carrying the tent with SB. I need to lighten my pack load. Jerry has to repack all of resupply boxes after SB took his stuff out so I'm going to send back some clothes like my one coat and a long sleeve shirt and have him send it back after Kennedy Meadows.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Day Three - Saturday, May 26

Today will be mostly downhill, dropping from 6000' to 3000'. Both me and SB slept better and are ready to push it. About 8 miles from camp, SB slipped off a rock and hurt his ankle. He tried hiking on it but said he couldn't. Me and SB had caught up with 4 of the hikers we met yesterday. All of us walked him out to the nearby highway so he could go get it looked at. I told him I wasn't going to stop and he should try to rejoin us in a couple of days or after the desert. I'm continuing on with CA Chris, CO Ryan and the Virginia Mountain boys. I will have to go slower than I planned but will have their company through the desert if SB doesn't return.

Suicide Boy has left the building!!
Notes on Julien: A Mt Laguna fireman picked up Julien and drove him the 50+ miles to a San Diego hospital. The doctor said he could have a torn achilles tendon and should not hike on it for 2 months. He decided to return to France and will get it x-rayed there. The fireman drove Julien to the SD airport and he arrived in SF an hour later. He changed his return flight to France to Monday at 3 PM. He took BART to Fremont where Jerry picked him. He checked back into the hotel he had been staying at since he arrived. He and Jerry opened all of the resupply boxes and removed all of his supplies. He won't send back a lot of the food since it costs more to ship that it's worth. Anyone want any of the many bags of couscous, mixed nuts, trail mix, crackers, etc sitting in Jerry's living room??

The day went well and we made it to Rodriguez Spur Truck Trail (Mile 68) before stopping for the day. All of my "boys" were good company today. I am old enough to be their mother so I'm calling them my "sons".

The gnats are bad! I'm using lots of bug spray.

I guess the Fates were on my side when Jerry met my "sons" on the trail and then introduced me to them in Mt Laguna. They are all really great guys and will be good company through the desert. There also is a Russian woman out here who started 3 days before me but got lost for 2 days in the first 20 miles so I'm hoping to see her somewhere along the trail.

Farewell Julien. I'm sorry you won't finish the PCT Journey with me.

Day Two - Friday, May 25

We awoke to a beautiful morning with high hopes for the day ahead. Unfortunately, we only got about 4 hours of good sleep since the group of marines camped next to us were drinking whiskey, doing coke, and partying loud most of the night.

Here's me and SB in our "camp shoes" that we made out of running shoe insoles and rubber bands.

We climb from 3000' to 6000' today in two major climbs and will do at least a 22 mile section. We are definite carrying more water! We met Jerry in a valley at mile 12 where there was supposed to be water but it was a 3/4 mile hike off trail. Jerry had brought a hand-held bottle for me and there was a small creek at mile 17 so we continued on. This trail has sections that are a combination of the Grand Canyon, Mt Diablo, and Sierra trails. I love it!

Indigenous wildlife we met on the trail.

We were glad to reach Long Canyon Creek since we were all out of water. We took a break to fill our bottles and cool off. Even though the creek was running we decided to use our steripens for the first time. They worked cool and fortunately the water didn't have many floaties. The last 4 miles of trail was under trees with a lot of welcome shade.

Since jerry had run backwards for two days, he had met and talked with 5 PCT hikers along the way. Jerry had reserved a campsite at Burnt Rancheria in case me and SB wanted to stay. I decided that we wanted go farther and not camp in campgrounds after last night's experience. Jerry left us with 2 miles to go to run on, get the money back for the campsite and go to the Mt Laguna Store which closed at 5 PM for cold drinks, frozen fruitbars and vaseline for SB's babboon butt. He drove back to meet us as we came off the trail at the campgrounds and convinced us to drive over to meet the 5 hikers who were chillin' in front of the store.
left to right: Calif Chris, Suicide Boy, Colorado Ryan, Wisconsin Gary, Virginia Mountain Boys - Cachet and Da Animal, and of course, Dirt Diva. VMBs found the umbrella in the trash at Lake Morena and are going to carry it through the desert!
Three of them just graduated from college last week and decided the PCT hike would be their graduation present. My kind of guys!
We went back to the trailhead where we left with the plan to do another 4-5 miles before setting up camp. Jerry took off to shower and drive my Nitro back to Fremont. We stopped at Penny Pines (mile 48.9) because there was supposed to be water. It was getting dark and we scouted around for the water but couldn't find it. I called Jerry to bring us water (JK!) but he was already up to Oceanside and said NOT! LOL!
np, we got filled up before Jerry left so we can find it in the morning. Woohoo, a fun 2nd day!

Friday, May 25, 2007

First Day - Thursday, May 24

We got off at 7:30 to start the trail amid a shower of rose petals and a Haiku from Jerry. My friend Reinhold Metzger came out to do the first 21 miles with us.

Jerry was driving to Lake Morena to run backwards at us. The day turned out hotter and harder than we expected and the three of us were low on water by mile 12 where we met Jerry. Suicide Boy was having major issues with the heat and started going very slow. Jerry shared his water with SB who also struggled mentally when he got a phone call his Grandmother just died. The last 5 miles were tough and we were all out of water with 3 miles to go. Once we reached the last summit, Jerry ran back to the car to refill water bottles and then ran back up to us with water. I was ahead and reached the car first. SB had blacked out and fallen so Reinhold was kind enough to carry his pack the last 2 miles downhill. Thanks Reiny! The day ended with SB saying he was quiting and me panicing about going the desert alone.

Jerry drove Reinhard back to his car and had to go 4 wheeling in my car (the first time) to chase down a border patrol to get jumper cables to start Reinhold's car since he had left his lights on. After a couple of hours of cooling down and hydrating, I convinced SB to go another day of 21 miles before deciding to quit. We set up camp at Lake Morena. Jerry is staying over to drive to Burnt Rancheria, run back at us again and crew us until the end of day 2.
Not the way I thought our first day would go but I'm staying positive that tomorrow will be better!

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Moving the last of the supply drops......
We mailed out three of our thirteen supply drops Saturday. My good friend FJ(Fast Jerry) will send our supplies out to the post offices along the trail.

Ok, so here is my gear list,
and no, Rocky isn't part of the gear although I wish he was coming along (my vet friend said he needs to lose five lbs & I can't afford the extra weight ;-)

REI trekking poles peak UL ..... 12.5 oz

Mountain Hardware Phantom 15 bag ..... 1lb 14oz
SteriPEN water purifier ..... 2 oz
Therma rest prolite 3 sleeping pad (short) ..... 13oz
Black diamond mega-Mid lite tent ..... 1lb 14oz
Gregory advent pro adventure race pack (XSmall) ..... 1lb 12oz
Western States 2-bottle water waist pack
Ground cloth - Tyvek
Two large stuff sacks - one with 4lbs of food; the other with clothes.
Two small stuff sacks - one with emergency stuff and the other has tooth brush, sponge, & soap
Notice my flip flops I made? Montrail insoles with two rubber bands to keep them on -- for hanging out at camp ..... they weigh nothing

Sorry I didn't have time to write a better list but this will have to do for those of you who asked.

Everything back in the pack. it's all ready to go! Oh, my aching shoulders - LOL!!

Friday, May 18, 2007


So here's the home (2666 miles) of Dirt Diva (me) and Suicide Boy (Julien) for the next 78+ days starting on May 24. We are waiting for SB's last supply box with 600 energy bars to arrive so we can finish putting together our first three resupply boxes to mail out. My friend, Jerry is driving us to Campo on the CA border so we don't have to take a bus. We will spend our last night in a real bed in a motel on the 23rd before heading to the start early on the 24th. You can see from the elevation profile, we've got some major climbs in this section plus the desert heat and lack of water to deal with. WooHoo!

Monday, May 14, 2007

First Post

Me and Julien are Ready To Go!! Count Down to the 24th... I have to skip my Ohlone Wilderness 100 miler this weekend to be sure we have everything ready. :(