It was amazing that the months of preparation, stressing about details, gear testing and decision making had come to an end. It was time to put foot to trail.
I left Phoenix on Wednesday April 2nd and drove to Redlands where I was going to leave my car for the duration of the hike. Nada and Nelius picked me up at my friend's house and we headed for Big Bear.
We decided that it wouldn't be a bad idea to check out the trail head that evening so we would know what the next morning had in store for us. It was a good thing we did! We ended up having an 8 mile drive over rough forest service roads to access the PCT. It gets worse...not only was the road suited for 4x4's, but there was also a massive logging operation going on to clear out the fire damage. We had to dodge heavy equipment, loggers, logs, sticks, branches...and helicopters dropping huge bundles of debris next to the road.
We had to wait a few minutes while a helicopter dropped a load of wood in the middle of the road and this bulldozer moved it out of the way. The loggers were just about to wave us through when they realized that the Saturn sedan probably couldn't make it over the rutted out road, so the bulldozer drive was kind enough to come within feet of the front of the car, and drag that huge blade backwards over the road smoothing it out for us.
This is what the loggers are working to accomplish, a very barren, fire hazard free mountain side.