Monday, 30 April 2012
I have have a great few days on the trail walking through high desert and forest. Ive been walking shorter dayss to rest my legs a bit. On Thursday arvo I hitched from mile 58 on the trail back to lakeorena for the kick off party. After 4 nights of intense partying I am going back on the trail in 10 minutes time. I'll post a more complete post about the last few days once I get reception again!

Back on the trail

Posted by Dave Murphy
Tag :
Tuesday, 24 April 2012
I barely got any sleep last night as I was so excited about starting the trail in the morning. I got up at 5am where French toast was already prepared. A can of whipped cream was on the table as topping. As one of my aims of this trip istry as much American food as possible, I had whipped cream on my breakfast (after style showed me how to use the bloody american can). Believe it or not, i have decided whipped cream is not my favourite breakfast food.

Scout and nitro gave ~10 of us a lift to the border. It was overcast and misty which is apparently extremely unusual for this time of year. This mist turnef into light rain which lasted for the whole day (nice cool hiking weather though). After taking a photo at the pct monument (marks the official start of the trail), I jumped the barbed wire fence with another kiwi (Hamish), and we squeezed our fingers through the 10 ft high iron barrier which marks the border with Mexico. So technically the two of us started our walk in Mexico. Take that border patrol.

Hamish is walking with his dad Peter and they are both also from Christchurch. The strange thing is that they got the idea to walk from the same press article I read in 2007, and also arrived at scout and frodos the same day I did! As style would say "the universe acts in mysterious ways man, it's like something has drawn us all together to be here at this particular moment in time on purpose". All I know is that that must have been one hell of an article to get the 3 of us over here 5 years after reading it. Hamish and Peter are walking for the cholmondeley children's charity. Check out their blog at

I set out to cover a "short" distance on the first day of 16 miles, just so i could knock out the cobwebs and stretch my legs. I walked the 16 miles mostly chatting with a section hiker Jim about 80's computer programming and his opinion that all partys should have a strict end time to prevent people coming late, which he actually practices. "The lights are turned off at 10pm and everyone is told to leave immediately" . I am still on the fence on this issue.

After getting to mile 16 my feet were still itchy with nervous excitement so I continued on so as to get to the lake morena campground located at mile 20.3. At mile 17.5 I was passed by Hamish and Pete and by mile 18.5 I was starting to cramp up in the quads. Still having almost 2 miles to go I was a little worried so I sat down to stretch. Then out of the blue comes past George and his daughter amber. Amber is a section hiker who was hiking the 20.3 miles from the border with a daypack and George was meeting his daughter (amber) about 6 miles from the end. After asking if I was ok and me replying "she'll be right mate" they went on. However, after a few minutes of walking they turned around and came back to make me walk with them to the end. George grabbed my hand, pulled me up and with the promise of a potassium rich banana at their car, I walked with them to lake morena. I forgot about the cramp as we chatted all the way back to camp where I had the most delicious banana I have ever had. My first taste of "trail magic".
Tag :
Sunday, 22 April 2012
It's my last day in san Diego before I get dropped off at the trail tomorrow morning. I have been staying at scout and frodos house who are trail angels. There is a community of trail angels along the pct who feed, host and shuttle hikers at different points along the trail. There have been 10+ hikers here at any one point for the last few days and they plan to have 30-40 here at the end of next week! They host ~200 hikers a year and it amazing how much time and effort they put hosting everyone out of their own pocket. Tonight we has a Mexican feast of tacos and burritos finished off by angel food cake and chocolate fondue.

Yesterday I joined squirrel, little bug, Tibetan and rube cube for a 19 hole round of frisbee golf. Tibetan and I lost miserably but still had a great time. Squirrel claimed not to be a pro but his large winning margin seemed suspicious. After the round we had large American cheese pizza and got rube cube a rubics cube. He claimed he could solve it in 2 minutes, and no shit, he can do it even faster! We expect him to pick up many a lady with his fast finger skills. We then went to the San Diego brewery for a few beers and met up with virgo and girl scout. I particularly enjoyed the Celis white wheat beer, so I had a few.

Today I went food shopping at an organic bulk foods store. It was crazy seeing all of the different food over here. There where 8 different types of granola! I don't even know what granola is, so I got some to try. I'll let you know how it goes.

My pack weight is now down to 9.2kg before food and water. I'll see how low I can get it in the coming weeks with possibly a new tent. My current macpac micro light weighs 1.6 kg which is over double the weight of most other people's.

My posts will be less frequent now that I am walking but I'll try and update the blog each week once I get to different towns along the way.

D day (tomorrow)

Posted by Dave Murphy
Tag :
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Its time to go. After an amazing dinner prepared by Gerry Burgess last night it was time to sink into a keg of cam's german lager. I initially booked my flight for a weekday to prevent being hungover for my first ever long haul flight, alas cam had other ideas and with a little help from geoff, penny and Shaun, we finished the 18L keg. great idea cam.

After my stomach summoned a few verbal meetings with mr toilet after breakfast, i felt well enough to close my eyes again without the world spinning into a spiraling vortex of doom. I then cleaning ~1kg of dog poo off my recently cleaned trail runners (how did it get there?) and ceasing feeling sorry for myself, I packed up my bag and walked to the bus stop.

Now in auckland, i travel back in time to get to los angeles, leaving at 7pm and arriving at 1pm. I am then catching the train down to San Diego to stay with scout and frodo for a few days where Ill sort out my gear and mail drops. Then it's off to campo on Monday or Tuesday to get an early start on the trail.

So goodbye New Zealand, see you in December.

Goodbye New Zealand

Posted by Dave Murphy
Tag :
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
If you were to learn that I was planning to hike from Mexico to Canada a few months ago, you may have be inclined to glance at my belly and raise your eyebrows a little. Well, after an intensive training regeime over the past month, you can now look at me and exclaim, "wow, that guy is in his physcal prime". Thank you for saying so.
On a related note I am not in tip top condition, because as you would guess when left to my own devices my training reigeme mostly consisted of beer consumption. But what I lack in physical fitness, i make up for in mental toughness. Even though i am now moustacheless and look less like a gang member/hobo, I am still a pretty tough guy.
I had a chance to go bush by myself up the Hapuku River in the Seaward Kaikouras last week to stretch my legs and test my pack weight. All went well and it ended up being a great wet weather test for my gear and good river fording practice for me. Key learning from the experience: no rain jacket will keep you dry if you fall face first into a flooded river ford. See figures 1 and 2.

Figure 1. Waterfall on Hapuku River
Figure 2. A river ford in a gorge on the Hapuku River.
I leave for the USA in 2 days time and i will upload a link to a webpage which show my gps location at any given time. That way you can spy on me if you like. I will attempt to update this blog once a week so hassle me if i am not doing so.


Posted by Dave Murphy
Tag :

Copyright © Hike for a Hospital - Modified from Black Rock Shooter Template © Johanes Djogan