Monday, May 30, 2016

Dirt paths

"Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt"
John Muir

Another day, another path along the PCT.

Every day I move thru the Southern California desert wilderness. Every day I get closer to the Sierra's. The struggle is to remain in the moment. The struggle is to not look beyond the path directly in front of me. Breathe, appreciate all that the desert offers.

Today, I will take note of lizards, I will search out the rattlesnakes, I marvel at the resilience of the desert flowers. When I find water in this dry landscape, I will revel in its being.

I will "endeavor to persevere" , but more then that, be thankful for the "dirt" path.

-Rabbit on the PCT

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The deliberate life

"As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler, solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness, weakness."
Henry David Thoreau

Not wishing to be dramatic, or even give the impression that I have or am living, " the deliberate life".

The last few days of the PCT have challenged me physically and emotionally. The extreme desert terrain and climate require that one be deliberate about planning each day. How far to hike, how much food to carry, how much water, where to camp. Mistakes can cause life to be complicated. An empty stomach, dehydration and emotional lows are all results of not being deliberate.

I succeeded on some days and failed on others. One night I found myself hustling to beat darkness, exhausted after too many miles of hiking, low on water because of unreliable water sources. ( shout out here to and their XStream straw water filter)

Finally pitching my tent on a windy ridge, alone with my thoughts.

On a lighter side. I was rambling along under a wilting sun, within two miles of a mountain hot spring. A mountain oasis, famous for clothing optional and partying. When, in the distance, I spotted a white beast approaching me. As the beast neared me, it became clear. The beast was a middle aged, beer bellied, alabaster skinned and poorly endowed hiker 😳 No picture available. I couldn't get my camera out fast enough as he approached, and I dared not turn around and look as he passed.

Striving to "live a deliberate life", 342 miles down and not yet out of the desert.

As always thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


"You better cut the pizza in four pieces, because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.'
Yogi Berra

Pizza was ordered out here at Ziggy and the Bear. Pies of the chain store pizzeria variety. That is the way we roll here on the PCT 😊 No, I refuse to be a pizza snob. But, if one is not hungry enough to eat six slices of pie, perhaps this is not the venue. Look elsewhere, perhaps, Cane Rosso in Ft. Worth or One Speed Pizza in East Sac.

Nine days on the PCT, I've walked and hitched over 200 miles. Hiked with Brits, Germans, French , and folks from across America. Seen rattlesnakes , gopher snakes, and snakes of unknown variety. Had lizards of every color and shape dash across my path. Walked thru desert valleys and high desert pine forest. It's great to be alive.

Ziggy Rules

-Rabbit on the PCT

Location:Rockview Dr,Whitewater,United States


Beautiful, used often, not used enough, and sadly sometimes never used.
I've been blessed with having so many reasons to use the term. My mom, my daughter and my beautiful grandson, Noah.

Least I forget, also a certain beautiful elementary school principal.

The PCT was filled with so much beauty yesterday. In the event there are those who doubt my grasp of what is beautiful. Here are photos;

Yesterday was a 20 mile day , today 24. I am cowboy camping tonight in the backyard of Trail Angels, Ziggy and the Bear. Tomorrow, after nine days of 29+ miles of hiking, will be my first zero day. 😊

Rabbit on the PCT

Sunday, May 22, 2016


As a personal trainer, it is hard for me to condone. But as a PCT hiker, averaging 23 miles a day, I neeeed it!

At Paradise Cafe, the Jose Burger with fries ...

Feeling exhausted, taking a zero day tomorrow in Idyllwild ...

Zero day = no hiking, sit around , big breakfast, people watch, tend blisters.

Rabbit on the PCT

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Signs, Everywhere

"Sign, sign, everywhere a sign
Blockin' out the scenery, Breakin' my mind. Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?"
Five Man Electric Band

And so it was today.

"Thank You, Lord, for thinkin' bout me, I'm alive and doin' fine"
Five Man Electric Band

Out on the trail for 20 miles on my own today. Camped on high ridge near Combs Peak, just me and my thoughts.

Rebel against those signs that don't serve us, follow a path that is well marked and for gosh sakes avoid the poison oak 😳

Rabbit on the PCT

Friday, May 20, 2016

Milestones, etc.

Life is full of milestones to be checked off or not. Finish kindergarten, have a beer with your dad, get a date with the school principal.

The PCT much like life, has milestones.
Finishing the first 100 miles, complete with blisters on your feet, the start of a beard and really bad body odor. I checked off all the above today.

There are photos one must take to capture each decade of life. The picture with mom, dad and whoever else is available at the time. The picture with the first date. The first car (well at least in my generation). Your first Holy Communion (if your catholic).

The PCT also has photos that one must take to capture each section of the trail. Today it was Eagle Rock.

The stats;
Hiked 24 miles today. Now spending nite in the tiny town of Warner Springs, at mile 109. Sharing space with about 20-30 other tents at the local community center.

As always thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Rest of the day

A fantastic end to a fantastic day of hiking. After a midday break in Julian, it was back to the trail for an additional 8 miles. Zpack Duplex set up on top of San Felipe Hills.

Another hiker box tale. So, as I sat in Julian, I decided to tend to a small blister on the side of my heal. I needed some ointment, so I started rummaging thru the hiker box. Pushing this aside and that aside, I finally found a couple of squishy packages. Squinting and pulling them close (did not have my reading glasses) I discovered they were condoms😳 Yikes! Someone has given up hope, or perhaps packed too many.

Hiker boxes and the trail filled with surprises.

McIver and I, along the San Felipe Hills portion of PCT.

As always thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Short 9 and Pie

Out early this morning , 9 miles and a hitch (using the old thumb for a ride) to Julian. Moving along , just me and my shadow.

A glorious morning, soft breezes, and a clear path.

Hitched a ride moments after putting thumb out😊 A Retired sheriff with women issues. I commiserated with him all the way to Julian.

Granny's Cafe, free apple pie and ice cream for hikers😮 The retired sheriff bought my coffee. Guess I could say, I got issues, but women and apple pie ain't one of them.

Spending the hot part of day in Julian and then heading out to do another 5-10 miles with new trail mates.

Sponsor shoutout, the UCAN hydration mix is kicking butt. Hydration hasn't been a problem.

Not sure if this is a good or bad thing , but I haven't had a need to use my CatHole UL as yet. So, a shoutout to Art's Backpacking 360. At least the trowel is so light I haven't noticed it.

Rabbit on the PCT

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Danger on PCT

Hiker boxes, rattle snakes and dry water sources on the PCT.

What a day ! Hiked 20 miles on the hottest day to date. Sitting here at a crossroads in the middle of nowhere.
Pacific Crest Trail and Rodriguez Spur.
This site was supposed to have water. I was out of water and the tank was empty. Then as I stood there lamenting the issue, the biggest rattlesnake ever came slithering past!

Hiker boxes exist at almost every PCT crossroads town. They are filled up with excess food, equipment and clothes. Things hikers didn't need or over packed. Normally things other hikers didn't want and you don't need.
I should have know better, but the baggy of freeze dried vegetables and beans was inviting.
Boiled my water, added the contents of baggy and 15 minutes I was eating 😊 Not much for flavor, but it was filling. That is until 1 in the morning, when I dashed to the camp outhouse.
Practicing my best yoga chair pose, I hovered over the toilet. Hit everything but the toilet😁 I spent the next 15 minutes cleaning up. My 2d attempt at 2, was just as messy😐 At 4, I took a different tack and used a different outhouse, with a HUGE toilet. Same result !

Moral of the story, hikers are not necessarily trust worthy cooks. Stay away from do it yourself food left in hiker boxes 😊

Today's awesome view.

68 miles down.

As always thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Burning Daylight

"Slap some bacon on a biscuit and let's go! We're burning daylight."
Mr Anderson, The Cowboys

Woke at 4 this morning, brewed some coffee and I was on my way. Left behind a camp full of tents.

I am on my own trekking cycle. Notice I did not say "time". I am not carrying a keeper of "time". This trek is about living in the moment, living according to how my body feels, hiking until I don't want to hike. So it was this morning that I didn't wait for anyone to wake and join me. It made all the difference. I moved along on my own in the early morning quiet, watching as the world came alive.

I am having a beer here in Mount Laguna, mile 42. A grand morning of hiking. Planning on another 6-10 miles before my head hits my clothes stuffed pillow.

I will not be, "burning daylight" , Mr Anderson.

Watching over the valley

As always thank you for reading
-Rabbit on the PCT

Monday, May 16, 2016

Strong Day 1

The joy of arriving at the starting point of the PCT was juxtaposed by the starkness of the Mexican border lined by a six foot high corrugated metal wall.

The moment had arrived, 5 a.m., I turned from Mexico and began the journey to Canada.

What a wonderful start, overcast skies greeted me on the first day. The fear of high temps proved unwarranted. Perfect conditions for hiking. By 1 p.m. I had covered 20 miles and was having a cheeseburger and fries at Lake Moreno. Then another 6 miles and I was at the quiet Boulder Oaks campsite.

Met some interesting Brits and a couple from Philadelphia. We agreed to look for a pub at the next trail town and share a pint or two.

Tents up, shoes are off, sun is setting .

A shout out to the great folks at UCAN for supplying me with energy bars and hydration powder. My huge mileage day (26) was due in a big way to the UCAN products!

As always thanks for reading and your words of support😊

Rabbit on the PCT

A PCT horned Toad 😳

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Waiting for morning

"All paths are the same, leading nowhere. Therefore pick a path with heart!"
Carlos Castaneda

Tomorrow I shall have but one path leading in many directions. A path shaped by all whom I have touched and all who have touched me.

It is to me to determine my path. To follow my heart.

Thank you to all who I have touched and who have touched me. I promise to carry the lesson you have shared of life with me.

Tomorrow, we are up at 4 a.m., hiking as the sun rises... Pray for us, smile with us, share the journey with us.

-as always , thank you for reading..

Rabbit on the PCT

Saturday, May 14, 2016

San Diego bound

As soon as I dropped my pack at the conclusion of the Rim to Rim to Rim Grand Canyon hike in April, I knew, I couldn't return to my personal training business routine, I couldn't return to training without a "why" , I couldn't allow my pack to sit another year unused.

That inner knowledge is why I am San Diego bound. I am Pacific Crest Trail bound. I am adventure bound.

No lofty goals of finding myself. Not sure I could stand what I found. To be sure, a journey of 2650 miles, covering 3 different states will provide ample time for discovery. Being receptive to all that the trail offers will be the "why" of this, my journey.

Goodbye Texas! Home to a pride displayed on homes , hearts and lifestyles. A pride, a native Californian like myself, can not fully understand, but totally appreciate. As I travel from Mexico to Canada I will proudly claim Texas as my home. I will endeavor to display the kindness and love that was bestowed on me by Texans.

Hello California! My native home. I am hungry for your deserts , mountains and valleys.

Thanks y'all for reading
-Rabbit on the PCT

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see"
...... Mark Twain

And so it is for PCT thru hikers.

Trail Angels have become legendary from start to finish on the PCT. Providing transportation, shelter, food, water and kindness. They have become as much a part of the PCT experience as the desert, mountains and valleys.

Sponsors are a welcome source for gear and food items. Helping to defray the cost of five months of trekking from Mexico to Canada. A challenge not only of physical prowess, but of logistical planning and support. I will be highlighting sponsor related support during the course of my hike. Beginning with Art's Backpacking 360. Art Gavel is a hiking enthusiast and entrepreneur with huge amounts of backcountry experience. He has developed and supplied me with his light weight and sexy looking (yes, I will use this word) trowel. The CatHole UL.

Rabbit on the PCT

Monday, May 9, 2016


Walked out of gym for the last time as a personal trainer on April 28th. Experiencing many emotions, sadness, joy, angst, relief.... There are so many things I will miss about my work routine, yet so many more that I will not....

Sixty years old and I am embarking on the adventure of a lifetime. Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail..... Mexico to Canada , 2650 miles, 5 months....

A journey of known and unknown, affirmation of what is real and release from that which is not.... Not searching for , but enjoying all there is....

Rabbit on the PCT