Bench Camp off the PCT

May 14 and 15, 2016

This weekend I backpacked a previously hiked portion of the PCT near Lake Arrowhead.  The weather was expected to be in the 60’s during the day and 40 something at night.  It was a little warmer than that but still not to warm.  It was a short 4.3 mile hike and the 7 of us made it in 2 hours and 25 minutes.  We saw plenty of PCT thru-hikers heading for Canada and we were able to talk to a few of them.  I am so in awe of these fellow hikers that are able to make this huge commitment to hike 2600 miles in about 5 months. Give up jobs, leave their loved ones, etc.  More later.


Taking a break at Holcomb Creek.

After we set up our tents and ate our lunch we took a nice long break and then we headed out for late afternoon 5 mile hike.  We were told the trail we were about to take was up and down for 2 miles. It wasn’t a lie. It was 833 in elevation change.  We made it to the top of the trail and then headed toward Lake Arrowhead on a jeep trail.  It was such a good time.  Only 5 of the 7 of us decided to take the afternoon hike.  It was so cool to be out for a nice relaxed hike telling stories, joking around, etc.  It felt like we were a bunch of young teenagers out goofing around.  Something out of a movie, maybe “Stand by Me” minus the dead guy.


My teenage friends (haha).

A little bit further and we were rewarded with a beautiful view of Lake Arrowhead that was captured by one of the girls.


The rest of the hike was down hill and we made pretty quick tracks back down to the PCT and then back to camp.  But not before one of the guys decided to take a short cut over a fallen tree that was high above a gulley.  As for me, I took the safer trail.


Perfect balance.


A new hiking buddy.

I am still in search of the right formula to sleep out in the wilderness.  I recently purchased a wider lightweight air mattress and a warmer sleeping bag liner to help with the perfect formula.  I was much warmer but still having trouble falling asleep. We discussed several over the counter aids that I will be taking on my next overnight adventure.  After a long night of not much sleep we ate breakfast, packed up and headed back to town around 9:30 am and straight to a nice cafe for a burger and fries.

SIDE NOTE:  We had a PCT thru-hiker stay in camp with us on Saturday evening.  So we were able to ask her tons of questions. Here are my favorites.  It was a thrill to get a first hand perspective.  She was treated to a campfire, marshmallows, and Pinot Noir.  We wished her well as she left on Sunday morning at 7:30 am.

Question #1 What are the top 3 reasons you are hiking the PCT? Answer: For the physical challenge, mental challenge and for the spiritual journey.

Question #2  How were you able to do hike the PCT at this time of your life? Answer: She was able to quit her job.  Her boyfriend was staying home to take care of their home and the dog. Lucky girl.

Question #3: What does a hike away from home for about 5 months cost? Answer: She estimated about $5,000 to $6,000.

Another great weekend.  One step closer to a two day hike.