Sunday, 17 June 2012
It has been a crazy couple of weeks on the trail since returning from my trip to vegas with cam, penny and the indiana boys. I have covered over 250 miles and passed the 500, 600 and 700 mile marks as well as completing 25% of the trail in total.I didint get a chance to shower or charge my phone, but that made for more of a "wilderness experience" given how many stops i had made, and how spoilt i have been with trail magic in the first 450 miles.

I walked with Hotdaddy and Phil for a few days but lost them one morning when they stayed to cook eggs for breakfast in hikertown at mile 518. I had my longest day of 27 miles that day and walked with Jungle Cookie and Totem for most of the day.We crushed out 17 miles before 1pm and had another 10 miles in crazy winds, mostly through a wind farm.

In this 2 weeks my main aim was to catch up to the Whiskey Gang before Kennedy Meadowa, and i had closed the gap to within a day by mile ~560 at Tehachapi. However, after i tried to take an ill fated "shortcut" along a dirt road to make up an extra 15-30 minutes, I ended up walking 2.5 hours in the wrong direction. This made me loose at least 5 hours of walking time and became severly dehydrated after a 17 mile dry stretch truned into approximately 27 miles. I bush bashed some of the way back to the trail through a canyon which ripped my clothes, pack and skin and claimed my trusty tyvek that i had got from the day hiker back near mile 180-190. I got to the next water source before dark and slept in a half toppled over shed. I though about how stupid i was take a shortcut to try and make up minutes and from now on i will go by Virgo's policy about the trail "if you treat her well, she will treat you well back".

The last 5 days or so i walked with Virgo and House in the last sections of destert (hopefully?). I didint make up any more ground on the Whiskey Gang but relished the 4 hour siestas in the crazy sun in the middle of the day, however we still made ~20 miles a day. The siestas prevented certain death.

I am now about to leave kennedy meadows into the high sierra tonight after having a great zero day yesterday. I ate my first patty melt which is: fried butterd sourdough bread, with melted cheese, a meat pattie and grilled red onion topped of by Axel's secret Kennedy Meadows special sauce. I am nervous about going into the mountails with a 32 lb pack weight (including food, bear cannister and an extra layer of clothing) but extremely excited to be hiking arguably the best part of the Pacific Crest Trail.

I will attempt to update my flickr when

Other things from last week: feet are good now but i have new second hand shoes, legs feel strong but body is a bit tired and sore, missing the whiskey gang but enjoing hiking with others and meeting new people, trail magic is still unexpected and overwhelming, VirGo's camera equipment weights 6lbs, i need WHISKEY, house has a ukulele, i saw my first wild bear, a bear cannister makes a great beer cannister when ice is added.

nb: due to slow internets i cannot upload many photos and no videos. A photo and gear video update will have to wait until i meet up with my old flatmate Brina in Tuolemne Meadows a bit furthur north. I am also very excited about seeing Brina.


2 weeks since Vegas

Posted by Dave Murphy
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Monday, 4 June 2012
I have had the opportunity to stay at casa de Luna on and off over the last week with the amazing terrie and joe Anderson, along with hundreds of fellow hikers. I hitched down last week and have hiked the skipped sections, as well as travelled to Vegas in between. Arriving back to the Anderson's for the 4th time after finishing my final trip-flop section, I still received a slow clap and felt as welcome as ever.

I left sad to no longer be cared for under the banner of hippie daycare, but glad for the good times I have had the opportunity to experience. Terrie and joe have opened their home and fed hundreds of hikers this year and I am glad that I am one of them.

Casa de Luna

Posted by Dave Murphy
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I have met some amazing people on the trail and some of the have had the pleasure of walking with me. Here are some of their blogs.

Washout (fellow member of the whiskey gang)

Hotwing (one of the raddest dudes on the trail)

Phil (one of the indiana boys i went to Vegas with)

Peter and Hamish (kiwi father and son from christchurch)

Swami (crazy fast ambitious Aussie hiker)

Big list of 2012 pct hiker journals

In other news, I have almost nailed down my pack weight so I'll post a gear list and or video once I have it sorted. Just for you Alan.

2012 pct hiker blogs

Posted by Dave Murphy
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What happened, where am I, what am I doing, who the hell are you.

I gained gambling money playing blackjack somehow? Played hotdaddy (blackjack) for 6 hrs. Drank many white Russians and beers for free. Finished a quadruple bypass burger at heart attack grill. It had 4 half pound patties, 20 slices of bacon and too many slices of cheese.

No other vegas activities can or will be publicized on the Internet.

Day 37.5 - 39.5. Vegas

Posted by Dave Murphy
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Day 31
Hiked 17 miles to copper canyon camp area. Road walked the yellow legged mountain frog detour and got asked for directions for a couple to a campground. Found it funny that they asked a very dirty nz hiker walking on a road for specific local directions. Turns knew the way and a told them where to go. They dropped their American flag so I picked it up and found them in the campground to return it. They offered me firewood. I was hoping for a soda. Met up with gut feeling who I met at kickoff. Met a day hiker called Ron who said it hadn't rained up here in months.

Day 32
Passed the 400 mile marker in cold. Rainy weather. Thanks Ron. Hitched to Newcombes ranch diner with gut feeling for breakfast. Saw out the rain watching free skiing movies and hitched back to the trail with backtrack. Nailed out the final 15 miles to the highway and stuck out my thumb. Hitched and walked for a few hours to get to green valley to stay at the Anderson's. Had a crazy adventure hitching at night and met some gear people.

Day 33
Zero day at the Anderson's. Played disc golf. I am not very good but enjoy playing. Drank many beers.

Day 34
Another zero day. Casa de luna Vortex sucking me in!

Day 35
Itchy feet. Little step gave me a ride to the saufleys and I sorted out my resupplies. Saw curt and Jen again. Had grande margaritas at a Mexican restaurant in agua dulce. Grande means big.

Day 36
Slack packed 10 miles in the morning with action pack. Ate pizza. Hiked 10 more miles at night with cactus, damsel and Lucy. I didn't want to use a headlamp. Stepped over a big ol sleeping rattlesnake. Lucky not to die given my grandpa shuffle style of walking. Survived.

Day 37
Walked the last 14 miles back to the Anderson's. Had 1 or 2 beers. Hot wing hiked 24 miles to have 1 last party night with me and the whiskey gang.

Day 38
Cam and penny picked myself, Matt, and Phil up and travelled to Vegas in falcor, the long white station wagon. Falcor has no air conditioning I we had 40 degree wind blowing through the open windows to cool us down. This method of cooling is ineffective.
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