Monday, April 7, 2008

First Day on the Trail - April 3rd

After a night of soaking in the hot tube and anxiously awaiting the days to come, it was time to get this party started. We woke up early on Thur. morning and had a huge breakfast thanks to Nada. Oatmeal, toast and scrambled eggs! We left the cabin at about 8:30 with a slight concern about the possibilities of morning showers and/or snow. Thankfully the weather never developed.

Time to get in the car and get going. One more photo before we load up!

We arrived at our drop off point, 2 miles from the trail head because the Saturn refused to cross this section of road!

At about 10am, we got our packs on, said our good byes and go ready to head down the road.

After 2 miles we arrived at the trail head. Notice the poles with the PCT logo on the top. These posts were located throughout the hike to keep you on the trail. It was really amazing how well placed these were. They weren't always poles as you will see later. Sometimes it was a guardrail, or a some other just had to keep your eyes peeled for these white logos.

The trail started off along Holcomb Creek, crossing it in several places. Nelius was feeling pretty nimble that first day...I don't think either of us would have been trying this on the 4th day.

This was what the trail looked like for about the first 4-5 miles of the hike. You can see the fire damage on the trees from fires that happened years ago. There wasn't much of the hike, if any that hadn't suffered from a fire at some point. It's amazing how the forest can recover, even in recently burnt areas there are nice wild flowers and new trees popping up.

A few miles into the hike we came to our first land mark. Holcomb Crossing, a small camp site for backpackers. They had this map posted, there is a small black dot on the map, towards the right side indicating where we were. Nelius is pointing to where we are going....well off the map.

We had lunch in the early afternoon at a nice natural spring, which was really just a small diameter steel pipe sticking out of the ground with a steady stream of water coming out. It was in the shade and had a couple nice logs to sit on. After lunch we marched on, leaving the lush forest and entering a badly burned section of forest. As the trail descended more and more we came to our next major land mark, the Deep Creek Bridge. This bridge was amazing spanning a deep canyon (perhaps why it's called Deep Creek?). This bridge announced that we had made it 6 miles, half of what we needed to do daily in order to finish on Sunday.

After the bridge the trail turned and headed down Deep Creek. The scenery went from good to GREAT! The trail stays high up on the mountain side above the creek and affords amazing views up and down the canyon. At times you can see the trail miles ahead of you if you looked close. It was spectacular to say the least. Here are some trail and scenery photos from this section of the hike.

Another smaller bridge.

You can see the trail on the hillside in the distance.

As we continued down the canyon we noticed that camping spots were nearly impossible to locate, so when we came across a wide spot in the creek that had a few suitable spots to set up camp, we called it a day. Total Mileage from car to camping site, roughly 14 miles.

That is Nelius' tarp tent on the right, and my hammock is hanging under my new rain fly on the left. The kitchen was where the brown plastic bag is laying on the rock. did this photo get on the blog?!?! :)

This is Nelius doing dishes after dinner. We had Three Cheese Tortellini with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Parmesan Cheese. Yummy!

We have to think safety when in the back country, so we always hang our food bag so animals don't go after it. I had a crazy night in Arizona one time with a Ringtail (kind of like a raccoon), but that's a whole other blog!

Here is a screen shot from Google Earth, showing were we started hiking, were the trail head is, where we had lunch, the big bridge over Dry Creek, and our first nights camp.

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