(Click on the images to expand)
About a year ago I described my encounter with my cousin who lives in this alternative universe. In this alternative universe people walk in beautiful settings and campout under the stars.
<— A view towards Lake Silverwood from about 3 miles up the trail.
A view towards the 15 and a place called Horse Thief Canyon:
That is the good part of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The PCT has always been a mesmerizing thing for me. Living so close to the PCT in Crestline it is almost in my backyard. Recently my Scouts decided that they wanted to get their hiking merit badge. To do this they have to hike one 20 mile and 5 10 mile hikes. I wanted to help them with this so I planned what I thought would be a 10 mile hike.
Me at the Cleghorn road:
A simple plan really, camp overnight at Lake Silverwood and then hike a one-way hike to the McDonald’s 10 miles away. Unfortunately, I made two major mistakes. First mistake was that I used Google Earth to map the route. It lied, it calculated it out a little over 10 miles. After redoing the calculation after the hike it turned out our whole route was actually 14 miles. I did not do this entire 14 miles because at about 9 miles I realized my second mistake. That of not getting a topographical map. I had a good map, it showed all the required landmarks well, it just didn’t show the altitude change. If it had, it would of told me that out of those 14 miles, only three of them were downhill. The rest had various levels of incline. After seeing the third (and last peak) I knew I knew I wasn’t going to make it. My ankle was swollen, my knees were sore and I only had a quarter of a bottle of water left. It was time to evacuate. Lucky for me this trail has a lot of “off-ramps.” When I did realize I couldn’t make it, I doubled back and went onto Cleghorn Road. Since I didn’t know how my ankle was doing I tried to hitch a ride back to the 138. I didn’t get a ride, but two people did give me water. It was slow go, but I did make it to the 138.
A AWD staging ground.
It wasn’t all bad. First of all my Scouts along with the Scout Master made it to the end of the trail. The wild life was pretty impressive. I saw lots of flowers and beautiful little streams. I can’t even count the number of lizards that I saw (lots of different types).We also saw a black bear cub, luckily we never found his mother. It was good hike, no one got hurt, and we met the requirements for the merit badge. Crazy thing is some of my Scouts decided to go on later and do another 6 miles so they could do their 20 miler, I wish I had that energy.
Here is a map of what I walked(the red is what I did, the green is the trail, the goal was to get to that big yellow line called the 15):