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@e.wriggs

@e.wriggs

PCT Northern Terminus

Through desert sands, mountain snows and valley forests we have walked. All beyond now is simply life in the knowledge that we have lived – Ethan “Spook” Wrigglesworth, official PCT completee.

I will forever remember these past 6 months as the most challenging and rewarding both physically and mentally. To those I have met along the way and shared trail time with, I thank you for the memories and for being some of the most awe inspiring people I will ever meet.

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@mollymdws

@mollymdws

PCT Northern Terminus

I walked 2660 miles from Mexico to Canada. My body is mighty but it is my will that walked me here. Walking up, walking down, walking whilst soaked in sweat, walking whilst soaked in rain, walking through miles upon miles of snow, walking over mountains, walking through rivers, walking across sands, walking hurt, walking frustrated, walking bored. I walked for 173 days, almost 6 months of my life, but I got there.

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Double Zero in Tehachapi

Double Zero in Tehachapi

In the morning we packed up and headed out, stopping at a German bakery before getting to the Best Western Hotel Plus where we had booked the night. We were able to get a room early and made the most of the pool and tub. Lunch at Thai Hachapi was amazing, huge resupply complete to last us to Kennedy Meadows, and a kind soul drove us to the farmers market where we tried street corn, and met a trail angel named Kathy who, with rain and storms due the next day, said we could stay at hers the following night if needed. Back in our room, dinner consisted of bowl after bowl of cereal – how I’ve missed my old friend. Films and one last jump in the hot tub to watch the passing storm set us up for deep sleep that night.

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Mile 542 to Mile 558

Mile 542 to Mile 558
Tehachapi

The howling wind died overnight and we were set for another day of waterless miles, but this time with a fair few climbs. Having loaded up 4 litres of water we headed out and immediately it was apparent how hot it was going to get. It was dry, windless and exposed, but the plan to reach Tehachapi was a comfort. At the summit of a 4 mile and 1500 ft climb was a surprise water cache! Thank trail angels again for coming through right as we need them. From here it was largely downhill passing through pines and shrub land, eventually re-entering the large wind farm and onto the road to Tehachapi. Immediately we got a hitch and were dropped off at the Red House BBQ. Brilliant food and nice spot in the back for camping, highly recommend. 

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Mile 518 to Mile 542

Hikertown
Mile 518 to Mile 542

LA Aqueduct

We woke around 5:30 am, gathered the troops, said goodbyes and got on the trail. The first mile or so followed the California aqueduct, we then diverted across the plain following the black pipe of the LA aqueduct for two or so hours. It was dead straight and a tad boring, but the early light was beautiful and peaceful. The trail then dived right, parallel to where we stayed at Wee Vill market but already many miles away. The notorious heat was kept at bay by wind all day.

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Zero Day at Wee Vill Market and Hikertown

Zero Day at Wee Vill Market and Hikertown

We took a zero at Wee Vill Market spending the whole day dipping in and out for food and drink while sitting around the tables outside. In the evening we headed to Hiker Town with the aim to camp on trail ready for an early start to the aqueduct the next day, however, we were easily distracted and stayed the evening after a late night. 

Photos Video
Mile 498 to Mile 518

Mile 498 to Mile 518
Wee Vill Market

The previous night we had rubbed pine resin under our noses as a way of enjoying its scent, and as a result Molly woke up with a French ‘tash of dirt. It was another slow morning; it seems like this is becoming the norm. The rest of the walk out of the pines was pleasant and opened up to the manzanita forests once again. We faced a 2 mile, 1000ft climb which, in the heat of the morning, was a struggle. It seemed to take forever to ascend, though the 500 mile marker at the top was nicely placed to boost our morale. We had quite a few more miles to go before the valley floor we could see in the distance, so we pushed on at pace to get to a good water source for lunch.

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Mile 478 to Mile 498

Casa de Luna
Mile 478 to Mile 498

Packed up & ready to roll, we ate pancakes, drank coffee, and said our farewells to Jukebox and Gourmet as their time on trail came to an end. It was sad to see them go. After some time we too headed out, stopping by a local yard sale to say good bye to Annie, a young girl who collects hiker names and quotes. After some chat at the drop off point it was time to climb, and the first ascent was brutal in the heat. We had views of the desert plain to come, but skirted up and down the hill range for the majority of the hiking day. Weird man made caves about 100 ft deep made good spots to take breaks, though far too dusty for extended stays.

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Zero Day at Casa de Luna

Zero Day at Casa de Luna

What happens at Casa, stays at Casa….unless it’s recorded for the podcast!!!

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Mile 466 to Mile 478

Mile 466 to Mile 478
Casa de Luna

The majority of the trail cut its way up slopes which were surprisingly lush with shrub; manzanita, wild cucumber, and hoisin bush. In corners of shade there tended to be water passing down the creases of the ridges, and there also was plenty of poison oak reaching out. I got a whack in the face by a suspicious plant, so scrubbed my cheeks with grass, sand and water. It was a relief to see the road that takes us to Casa De Luna. Casa De Luna is intense. The garden is a manzanita forest where hikers camp, the front porch is the chill zone, kitchen, toilet and painting station. The vibe is a lot more party, and you can just tell it’s going to get a bit mad later on. Free taco salads and plenty of beer filled the evening; we knew we were in for a good time. 🙂

casadelunapct

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Mile 454 to Mile 466

Hiker Heaven
Mile 454 to Mile 466

The plan was to get up and take the 9:00 shuttle to town to start the trail once more, but classic ‘Zero’ vortex kept us sitting around till 11. Even when we got into town we messed around, distracted by food and chat. Eventually we got going around 14:30, strolling along the 2 mile road walk. The trail diverted from the road and climbed the shrub covered hill range. The slopes were lush with life; pine like shrubs with light green leaves with young branches on its outside dominated the flora; ravens dominated the fauna.

It was a hot climb; it’s always hard after a Zero. The other side blessed us with deep green grass, hoisin bush, miners lettuce, and trees. It looked more like the African plain than Southern California. After a water source stop we descended further towards a road where the tent site was. It was packed, but with everyone we knew. We squeezed in between Fake News, ADL, Funk & Cricket.

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Zero Day at Hiker Heaven

Zero Day at Hiker Heaven

Hiker Heaven, Casa de Luna, and Hikertown are three famous PCT locations within the next 63 miles that welcome hiker trash and will give us opportunities for some fun and relaxation. Here at Hiker Heaven we relaxed, did a small re-supply, and enjoyed the hospitality offered at the Saufley’s family home. As always, thanks to all Trail Angels, and in this case especially Jeff & Donna for hosting us for the day. 🙂

hikerheaven.com

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Mile 447 to Mile 454

Mile 447 to Mile 454
Hiker Heaven

Vasquez Rocks

Cowboy camping is great, as long as it doesn’t rain…which it did overnight! Because of this we headed off the ridge pretty early. Today we were heading to Hiker Heaven for a zero day, the first in a line of opportunities for days off before the Mojave desert. The trail cut through more prairie lands (reminiscent of old westerns) and through the Vasquez Rocks, known for scenes from Star Trek, Westworld and more.

Hiker Heaven is a trail angel’s house in Agua Dulce; a tiny cowboy town. It was awesome, with a massive garden loaded with hiker tents, showers, dogs, horses, chickens, and with a nest of Great Horned Owls in the tree! It was a classic start to a break from the trail; food, food, and more food! Tomorrow’s Zero was going to be so so chill. 

Photos Video
Mile 430 to Mile 447

Mile 430 to Mile 447

The previous night we had rubbed pine resin under our noses as a way of enjoying its scent, as a result Molly woke up with a French tash of dirt. It was another slow morning; seems like this is becoming the norm. The rest of the walk out of the pines was pleasant and opened up to the manzanita forests once again. We faced a 2 mile 1000ft climb which, in the heat of the morning, was a struggle. It seemed to take forever to accent though the 500 mile moral boost was nicely placed at the top. We had quite a few miles to take on so we pushed on at pace to get to a good water source for lunch.

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