Saturday, July 28, 2012

New PCT photos from Marina's phone


Today, during our zero in Sierra City, I got enough computer time to organize and share all my personal cell phone photos from the PCT. So, please enjoy some new photos!  I put them into a Picasa album.  

You will see my photos from the Kickoff and Lake Morena, and then starts again in Detroit Airport on my flight to LA, when I rejoined Heavy (Dan) on the trail in Agua Dulce. Please click here to view the album, which is public.


Sierra City - PCT Hikers are a different breed!

And here is another gem from Ashland Daily Tidings.  I do agree with most of this article!

Yes people, that's 7000 calories per day.

Sierra CIty: Trail Angels, S. Lake Tahoe Recap, and where to mail us next

Hey y'all!  This is Cheers here.  We are enjoying our time here in Sierra City, where we are staying at the Red Moose Inn, a hiker-hostel type place that's operated by trail angels Bill and Margaret Price.

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.  

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:
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.

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: 

D. Eisenbud and M. Brevdo - PCT Hikers 
c/o Callahan's Lodge
7100 Old Highway 99 South
Ashland, OR  97520

Please jot down our ETA (8/22/12) on the front of the box, along with our last names.  More info on their website here: 

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.


Sierra City, CA (mile 1197)

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

Lake Tahoe!

Just a brief note from somewhere above Squaw (a Tahoe area ski resort).  We are 3 days out of South Lake Tahoe and moving fast.  Trying to hike our first 25 mile day.  Here is what much of today looked like.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mammoth Lakes: Mile 906

It was great to have Daniel and Marina "pass through" Mammoth lakes, where we rented a little cottage on one of the many eponymous lakes! We even followed them a few steps on the trail after they left Red's Meadow, and then found them again, very sensibly taking in the marvel that is the Devil's postpile monument (pictures in the next post, perhaps!)

Meantime here are a few pictures Daniel took from the edge of the desert (cacti below) up into the miraculously beautiful high Sierra. There are LOTS more pictures! -- it was hard to choose.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Next place we can get mail: S Lake Tahoe, 7/20

If you want to send us mail, the next place we will be picking up letters and packages is South Lake Tahoe.  At a minimum, it will take us 10 hiking days, starting tomorrow, to get there, so anything that arrives by July 19th will definitely get to us.  If you do send us something, please write EISENBUD/BREVDO on as many available surfaces as possible, and address mail thus:

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!

Red's Meadow / Mammoth Lakes (mile 906)

We got into Red's Meadow yesterday evening, and after 17 straight hiking days, are taking a much needed rest in Mammoth Lakes today.  My parents drove up for a few days, and we're all staying in a cute cabin on a lake.  It's been nice to relax with them, eat, catch up on email and the New York Times, and of course eat some more.

The last nine days of hiking have again been spectacular.  The elevations have been slightly lower than the last stretch, never getting to 13,000', but we spent at least a week above 11,000' at some point every day, and today is probably our first day totally below 10,000' in two weeks (and even the cabin we're staying at is above 9000'.)  There have been a lot of really spectacular lakes.  Unfortunately it's usually been too cold for swimming, and when it is hot enough swimming involves jumping in and then out as fast as possible, because the water is frigid.  We also stopped at some lower elevation hot springs with a warmer lake, which was nice.  Lots of wildflowers too.  Hundreds of pictures forthcoming when my dad has faster internet access and can upload them.

We've had too much food on every stretch so far, so this time we decided to pack a little bit lighter.  Unfortunately though, we stretched out the trip a day, and I multiplied by two instead of four to calculate how many snack bars we needed per day, so we ran a little bit low on food after seven days.  The hiker box at Muir Trail Ranch yielded some olive oil and a bag of oatmeal, and a John Muir Trail hiker offered us, unprompted, a pound of cashews.  By the time we got to our small resupply at Vermillion Valley Resort two days ago we were quite hungry, but fortunately not starving.  We ate heartily there, and had plenty of food for the last two days in to Mammoth.

Some gear has started failing as well.  One of my hiking poles snapped on a descent about four days back, and one of our tent zippers has failed.  Fortunately, Black Diamond (hiking pole) and Big Agnes (tent) are graciously sending us replacements under warranty, to South Lake Tahoe.

We're mostly holding up pretty well ourselves.  Marina's feet are the main sore point, so she's trying various approaches to making them happier.  My right knee (the one I broke skiing) is occasionally sore, and occasionally has a fleeting sharp pain, but for the most part is doing really well.

We're looking forward to some more pretty high Sierra scenery, but as we get to South Lake Tahoe the terrain will get a bit lower, and after that will get a bunch flatter.  We are going to start trying to do 20 mile days on a regular basis, up from 16 or so in the last while.  We need to average 20 a day for the rest of the trip, so before too long we'll try to ramp up more to 25s or so, so we can take breaks in town.

More in a week or two!