PCT Day 18 Back on Track

back on trail

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4th May 2015

Mileage 20.9

Big Bear Lake (266.0) to Bushcamp (286.9)

Back on Trail

It hit me today just what it is I am doing. A 2660 mile hike. I’m normally good at breaking things down into small manageable projects. Then breaking the manageable projects down even further into even smaller projects. As of this morning it’s 10% completed. In many respects that’s huge. And it is. Just 9 more times to go. I guess this trail can mess with your head.

As I left behind many people I know to hit the unknown of the trail again it was time to say, ‘see you later’. Unconsciously we rarely say ‘goodbye’. In fact never do we say it.

I was on trail by 9.30am after getting a lift from the awesome team at Big Bear Lake Hostel. The trail today was rather uninspiring. Easy hiking, no hills of consequence either up or down to traverse. I bought new trekking poles for this leg of the hike. I’ve never used them before and thought I’d give them a go.

They only cost $25. Also found a wrapper on the trail, a little disappointing. I can only hope it just slipped out of somebody’s pack or something. I picked it up anyway. Also of note, I saw very few hikers today. Where is everybody!

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Not to many new flowers or animals to spark my curiosity. Except a rather strange red plant called a Snow Plant. Very unusual. Recently I mentioned that I’m noting and photographing the nature here but I’m unaware what the names of the flora and fauna are. I resigned myself to look them up later.

A friend of mine, Summer, told me about Audubon Guides. They have phone apps about the Flora and Fauna. It was exactly what I was looking for. That’s what I used to look up the Snow Plant.

I took a short break on the side of the trail to write in my diary, as I regular do in the middle of the day when a Black-chined Hummingbird (yes I used the app again) appeared within touching distance of my face. It stayed there for a second before flying backwards out of my reach then off it went out of site.

I learned from the guide that it migrates to Mexico for winter then as far north as Canada for the Summer. The little hummingbird is not the only one heading north to Canada.

looking very uncoordinated with the new trekking poles
big bear lake from the pct
rubbish on the trail that picked up
gold mine?
snow plant

Next : Day 19 The Springs are Hot

The Best information about the Pacific Crest Trail:
Complete Guide to the Pacific Crest Trail
Resupply Guide for the PCT
PCT Gear List

PCT Gear Review

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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18 thoughts on “PCT Day 18 Back on Track”

  1. I’m still enjoying all your beautiful pictures. 18 days and only a 10th of the way, wow! Just don’t think about the whole picture, just think about the next town, the next view. When my husband and I get on the trail for short (very short) hikes I’m really bad about wanting to see what’s around “just the next corner”. Thank you for showing it to me.

    Below is an exert on the mining you saw in big bear. I believe there is also a big cement plant right in that same general area. (an eyesore if you ask me)

    In Big Bear area there is the high quality limestone currently being mined along the north slope. Three companies – Omya, Specialty Minerals and Mitsubishi – have successful operations going on at the present time.

    According to a 2003 environmental report by the United States Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service, the limestone found in the San Bernardino Mountains is exceptionally pure, a rarity in the western U.S. This limestone consists of metallurgical, chemical and cement grade carbonate rocks for cement, pharmaceutical and industrial uses.

    But limestone isn’t the only geological resource here. The list of minerals is a long one. There’s dolomite, lode gold, placer gold, uranium and graphite. And there are traces of minerals such as wollastonite, silver, lead, zinc and tungsten. While these rocks don’t translate to big bucks for the local economy, it does make the Valley a little slice of heaven for the avid rock hound.

    • Wow, thanks for the info Karen. I only suspected gold as there historically large finds in the area. I don’t recall finding or walking past any limestone but the mines were on the other side of the valley. I shall now have to brush up on geological knowledge in the future.

  2. Hi, I have been checking your progress everyday since day 4. You posted pictures of Gretchen and she let us know. I am her mom. Your photos are great and I am enjoying your posts. It is nice to see how the terrain changes through this hike. I love hearing about the trail angels. ……keep your chin up….you are doing great!!!

    • Thanks Dot. It’s great out here and we are treated so well by the trail angels and everybody really. I suspect Gretchen or Lightning Pad as she is know is many, many miles ahead of me.

  3. Hey, this is Malia’s grandmother from Portland! Gina sent me the blog and now I’m following you. Love all the pictures, especially Malia, Seth and the flowers! The whole hike is awesome and I’m loving it and enjoying it thru you! Thanks!

  4. I love reading about your adventures on the trail and seeing the photos you have taken! I have your page bookmarked and I check it daily from my desk at work. Happy Hiking!

  5. Happy to see you back on the trail…even us readers from afar miss it when you are in town. Great photos as usual, love the flowers.
    I have been wondering about the state of the trail, with soooo many people traveling it this year. I guess it’s a good thing that this is the first bit of litter you’ve come across? Hopefully your last.

    • Thanks, Gina. The trail is great, it’s not the first piece of trash I’ve seen and picked up, just the first I’ve mentioned. Generally it’s very good. I can only assume rubbish falls out of pockets on occasion, I doubt anybody would wilfully throw it away.

  6. Love your opening photograph–it’s a really interesting, original composition. It’s very fun to follow along on your journey. We really admire you for tackling such a monstrous hike!

  7. The Snow Plant is something I have never seen before, very beautiful with its red colour. Congrats on 10%! Keep it up, both you and the hummingbird:)

    • There are many interesting plants along the way, it’s great to learn about them. I’ll try and keep pace with the hummingbird

  8. Congratulations on hiking 10% of the PCT!

    I really appreciate reading your thoughts on the trail and especially the great pictures you post. It is a great break from working at my job to hike vicariously through your posts.

    Thank you!


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