Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Right now we're still in Berkeley, planning some more travel adventures this fall. We might blog some more about our travels here, or at least put a pointer to a new travel blog if we start one.
As always, happy trails!
Monday, August 13, 2012
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Yes people, that's 7000 calories per day.
A lot of you have told me that you are interested in the idea of trail angels. I am catching up on the internets, and found this interesting article in the Ashland, Oregon paper, which has a weekly series on the PCT.
We have really appreciated the help of all the trail angels we have met along the way, including all the people who have given us food - on and off the trail.
S. LAKE TAHOE RECAP
In particular, we want to thank our friends Sarah D., Natalya E. and John O., who were total troopers last week when they drove up from SF to meet us for our zero day in South Lake Tahoe. Instead of a calm, relaxing weekend at the lake, they got an insane day of errands and shopping. Thank you guys for driving us around, helping us shop (including going to 3 stores to find a cute new hiking outfit for my new skinny hiker body), and cooking us delicious food (that lasagna was delicious, Sarah!)
We also want to thank our friends Adam and Eric, who provided the accommodations for all of us - we stayed Tahoe house. It was great to stay at the same house where we've come to ski many, many times in the last few years. This was as close to home as we get on this trip, both in distance and in sentiment, and we did manage to relax by Fallen Leaf Lake at the end of our crazy zero day, in addition to buying and mailing ahead food for a total of 14 days. Plus, our friends got to see thru-hiker resupply planning in action - crazy!
After leaving Tahoe, we decided to add one more mail resupply for Northern California. We are going to Drakesbad Ranch!!!! Check it out: http://www.drakesbad.com/
I, for one, am very excited about my first planned zero day ON THE TRAIL, at a place I've dreamed of visiting for a few years now. We have found resupplies in town to be stressful as we have to run around and buy lots of food instead of relaxing and staying off our feet. Drakesband is a fancy resort that's located within the boundaries of Lassen National Park, with a hot springs, pool, a massage therapist (!!!!) , and delicious meals for guests (at 50% discount to PCT hikers) all on site. Added bonus: no shopping needed. A little bit of stress yesterday to buy and send out this mail drop means we can relax and enjoy our time at Drakesbad, where we hope to be in about a week or so.
NEXT MAILING ADDRESS:
We plan to be in Ashland on or after 8/22, which is our first Oregon stop, and we plan to take a zero day there! If you'd like to send us a postcard, a letter or a package, here is the mailing address:
7100 Old Highway 99 South
Ashland, OR 97520
This place is on our way into Ashland itself, from where we will buy and mail ourselves food for the rest of Oregon (probably 5 resupply packages!). If you send us snail mail, as always, please be sure to email us to let us know ahead of time, so we know to look for it once we get to Callahan's.
Thank you again if you've either sent us or plan to send us packages. Current craves: Trader Joe's anything, especially their dried bananas and toasted pine nuts; salmon or tuna packed in OIL (not water!) in foil pouches; dehydrated salsa from KillerSalsa (we tried this in S Lake Tahoe), lower-sodium, high-protein dehydrated meals for dinner, and non-peanut butter sources of protein for lunch that mail well, such as almond/hazelnut butter and powdered hummus. And, as always, dark chocolate.
We're out of the high mountains now. We went over 8000 feet for the last time on the whole PCT yesterday. We're expecting hotter weather for the rest of California, which should take less than a month. The air at 4000 feet feels positively chewy (the last time the trail went this low was in the desert, though our resupply in Independence was as well.
We're starting to do bigger mileage days. We keep falling just short of 25 but will start doing those too. Marina's feet are feeling better but I'm having some hopefully minor knee problems (in the previously uninjured knee, surprisingly) so I'll keep an eye on that. We took a half day off in town yesterday, which helped.
We're camping in the back yard of the Red Moose Inn, a little establishment that mainly caters to hikers. There's a bigger crowd of PCT hikers here than we've seen in a long while -- maybe about 15. We need to finish our laundry and eat breakfast and then hopefully a pretty early start this morning before it gets hot.
The trail continues to be pretty and we're having fun. On to the halfway point (in a week and a bit) and then Oregon!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
Monday, July 9, 2012
Daniel Eisenbud and Marina Brevdo
c/o Lake of the Sky Outfitters
1023 Emerald Bay Road
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Also please write "Hold for PCT Hikers, ETA 7/20" somewhere prominent on the mail.
Thanks to all who have sent us care packages so far!
Saturday, June 30, 2012
This is Cheers! (Marina); happy 4th of July! We are currently relaxing and drinking Mammoth Paranoid beers at the Subway in Independence, CA. We got in yesterday, and the last 8 days' hike took us from Kennedy Meadows, all the way through the Southern Sierra (including Sequoia National Park) and out east, through Kearsarge Pass. We love being in the mountains, and are thrilled to have had incredible weather (highs in 70's, sunny and no thunderstorms) through the high passes.
Some hikers asked us a few days ago: what is our favorite section of the trip so far? "This part!," we laughed. Mount Whitney (the highest peak in the lower 48, which a 17-mile side trip to the east off the PCT) was amazing, and we've been taking tons of pictures. No major problems with altitide, since we are well acclimated already. No bear sightings so far, but we've been seeing lots of other wildlife, like marmots, deer and birds, and even a pika or two! Other wildlife sightings include JMT (John Muir Trail) hikers, with whom we are sharing the trail till Yosemite, as well as lots of other PCT thru-hikers.
We head back up into the Sierra today, hiking 3,000 feet back up, to Kearsarge and to Kings Canyon National Park, over Glen Pass, into Rae Lakes. Should see lots of glacial melt lakes and high Sierra passes in the next 8 days! We look forward to seeing Dan's parents in Mammoth Lakes, our next town stop.
Hope to see some of you in South Lake Tahoe in a few weeks! Date and location TBA.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Marina has really gotten up to speed hiking since Tehachapi. We've done 16 miles a day on average for the last nine days, including a few half days into and out of town. We stopped in Lake Isabella for a night to resupply a few days ago, ate great burgers and milkshakes, and showered. We have hiked through brutally hot wind farms, been happy to find a single gnarled Joshua tree that cast enough of a shadow for a mid-afternoon shade break, seen a rattlesnake, a fox, some scorpions, a mole, and probably some other critters. We're now into meadowy 6000' Sierra terrain, and about to go much higher soon. The desert was often beautiful, but this is getting way prettier.
We're taking the day off here, picking up packages, figuring out how to fit our bear canisters into our backpacks, etc. Tomorrow we'll head out for an eight day stretch over the highest terrain on the PCT. Forester Pass is the highest point at about 13,153', and we'll make a side trip up Mt. Whitney, at about 14,505', the highest point in the lower 48 states. Our next stop will be at Independence or Bishop, from where we may or may not have internet. We'll definitely update from mile 900 at Mammoth Lakes, in a couple weeks. More pictures coming once my dad gets the next SD card I mail him today.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Made it to Tehachapi, CA. We have hiked 104 miles since setting out from Agua Dulce last Sunday night, 7 days ago! Below is a photo of Heavy with our delicious and well earned breakfast this morning at the Apple Shed Restaurant.
The Mojave desert floor crossing is now behind us. We got lucky with the weather, as it was not too hot, with highs in the mid-70s. However, on the way out of the Mojave it was incredibly windy. It was tiring work to climb the ridge in that wind! We walked past a whole bunch of windmills for the last 2 days, and there are more windmills to come. According to Yogi's PCT guidebook, between here and Kennedy Meadows (the entrance to the Sierra) it is always this windy, hence all the windmills. Guess we'll find out if that's true.
We made trail angel stops along the way at the Andersons' and in a fun place called Hikertown, a dusty desert outpost that looked like a Wild West town with chickens, but is actually all a hiker hostel. Sadly, we forgot our cookware there, so we are renting a car today and driving back to retrieve it.
We are staying in Sierra Ranch motel in Tehachapi till tomorrow, so feel free to contact us. We are also getting food for the next 6 days' hike to Walker Pass, from which we'll hitch a ride to Lake Isabella. We are excited to go there since my mom's name is Isabella!
We're happy with our daily mileage so far, given that I just got on the trail and my flat feet were a big worry to me before I started. Here are the deets:
Last Sunday: We started with a cool 5 mile evening hike from Agua Dulce and to a beautiful campsite up a ridge, past some buzzing power lines, and with the full moon lighting the way.
Monday: 18 miles to another windy campsite near Green Valley, where Casa de Luna (aka the Andersens' house) awaited.
Tuesday: 2 miles, a short hike to the road, and then we spent the day relaxing at Casa de Luna.
Wednesday: Terri A. dropped us off at the trail, told us to take care of each other out there and hugged us. We headed up the ridge, from the Andersens to Hikertown, a 40 mile hiking stretch in all, we did 13 miles or so this day.
Thursday: 17 hot miles in the mountains, with a long siesta nap in our tent in the afternoon. This day, Heavy passed the 500 mile mark on the PCT since he started at the border. We celebrated with whiskey and dinner at a beautiful open campsite overlooking the night lights of the Mojave below.
Friday: 10 miles in the morning, down into the desert to Hikertown. We rested for the afternoon, ate an amazing meal cooked by the Hikertown caretaker, and headed out around 7 pm, to do 11 more very flat desert road miles. This made for 21 miles that day, my first 20+ mile day on the PCT.
Saturday: 13 miles along the desert floor, then up the windy ridge and into the most beautiful campsite I have seen yet! Tylerhorse Canyon was a respite from the wind and had an ice-cold stream, where we filtered water and I cooled my aching feet. This was the last water source before our exit to Tehachapi, so we took a lot of water with us for the entire next day.
This day we hiked and camped with a woman with the trail name Listener. Listener is 74 years old, thru-hiking alone, and if she finishes, is likely going to set a record as the oldest person to do so. She is one amazing lady, more about her later.
Sunday: 17 hot and exposed, waterless miles, up and over the ridge and down to Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road. We got pretty hot, but carried plenty of water; also came upon a nice water cache that was unexpected and very welcome. Got to the road just before sunset, at 7 30 pm, and hitchhiked to Tehachapi with a nice local who told us more about the awesome windmills we'd been seeing.
The other pics below show the desert for the last two days. We walked for 2 days along an aqueduct, and Heavy (Dan) walks over it in the photo. More pictures to come later!
Please excuse any typos, as I'm typing on my cellphone as Heavy drives the dirt road to retrieve our pots.
Cheers! (aka Marina)
Friday, June 8, 2012
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Success! After the first 25 miles of hiking together from Agua Dulce, we reached Casa de Luna, a famous trail angels' house in Green Valley, CA. It is famous because it's known as "hippie day care" and everyone wears hawaiian shirts.
We decided to hang out for the rest of the day here, to have lunch at Green Valley Cafe (see pics), and do some laundry. Heading out tonight toward Hikertown, and on to the Mojave. No blisters so far, and we are enjoying the cool, breezy weather!
We wanted to let people know how to send us mail: both letters and packages. The next good place is in Mammoth Lakes, CA, and we may get there around the first week in July (perhaps around July 4), or a bit earlier. The Motel 6 there holds packages for PCT hikers; you can mail anytime and they will have it for us when we get in. Please be sure to email myself or Dan (Heavy) to let us know if a package is waiting, so that we know to go there and pick up.
Here is how to address it via USPS:
Dan Eisenbud and Marina Brevdo
C/o Motel 6
PO Box 1260
Mammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Please write on the envelope "Hold for PCT thru hikers".
Now, people have asked what to send us? Letters of course, we love real letters! And food! Food that lasts the 2 weeks in the mail, and then is good on the trail. Food that is light, dense (to fit in the bear canisters), and delicious, and food that is hard to get in the sierra small markets where we are doing our daily shopping.
Here are some suggestions: beef jerkey, halva (amazing hiker food), dark chocolate things that won't melt, energy bars, almond butter and any salted nuts, nice freeze-dried camping dinners (aka Mountain House), good granola; Kind bars and other nice bars, dried veggies, sealed brownies, salmon in foil. Any instant powdered things from health food stores are awesome, aka powdered beans, powdered miso soup, or hummus or hot chocolate.
Feel free to pass this info to anyone else who may want it.
Do you have a favorite backpacking food we should know about? If so, let us know!
Marina (Cheers!) and Dan (Heavy)
Monday, June 4, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Landed in Detroit on my layover to LAX. Landing brought back college memories, since the last time I was at this airport was when I was flying back and forth from Williams to Mike Close, my then-boyfriend's house in Rochester Hills, Michigan. And it sure didn't look like this in 1999! There's a shiny new express tram and lots of arty touches. My favorite is this beautiful granite indoor fountain, with choreographed water flows.
On to LAX! Just now really sinking in that I'm on my way to meet Dan and there's nothing I need to do for the next 4 months except walk toward Canada. I have done so much for my mom in the last month, and I was sad to leave her this morning! But also excited to do nothing but walk now, and heal.
Backpack full of yummy hiking treats, like hazelnuts and dried mango. Here we go!
Friday, June 1, 2012
I got to the beginning of the highway road walk portion, and saw my friend Apocalypse sitting with some older folks at some picnic tables by the side of the road. The other people turned out to be part of a Korean senior citizen hiking group, the Evergreen Hiking Club. I said hi, and they started giving me all kinds of food: eggs, fruit, soda, a styrofoam cup of whiskey. But that was just the beginning. They started making a huge vat of batter for seafood pancakes, and feeding us. Ramen followed. I couldn't eat any more, but took along a zip-loc of seafood pancake for dinner. It was all delicious.
Aside from appreciating being fed, I was also really touched at how excited everyone was that we were thru-hiking the PCT. Their enthusiasm, and the food, gave me new found hiking energy for the rest of the day.
If you enlarge the picture above, I am in the bottom frame. I have some more pictures from my camera when the next batch goes up.