Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sanity

"Too much sanity may be madness. And maddest of all, to see life as it is and not as it should be!"
Miguel de Cervantes


Saturday, July 9th. 26 miles, Tuolumne Meadows to Benson Pass + ๐Ÿ˜Š A long day on the PCT.
Sunday, July 10th, 22 miles, Seavey Pass and a bunch of climbing.
Monday, July 11th, 25+ miles, Sonora Pass.
Feeling strong ๐Ÿ˜Š

















Saturday , July 9th. As I lay here in my tent I wonder if sanity has returned to Dallas , Texas. ( I claim Texas as my home) I've lived within 25 miles of Dallas for the last 3 years. Has the madness subsided in Dallas and the rest of our country? I can only speak for myself, so I will let it be known here and now, I choose, "life as it should be". I choose to work to make my family life "as it should be". I choose to make my work life, "as it should be". I choose to make my relationship life, "as it should be". I will choose to make my relationship with other human beings, "as it should be". This is the path forward for me.





Let's not accept life "as it is" , let s choose to do what we can to make it "as it should be"






Rabbit on the PCT

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

IPhone drowned

Hello from PCT !
Wow, soooo much has happened, summitted Forester Pass, Kearsarge Pass twice, Glen Pass and Pinchot Pass on same day, Muir Pass with mile long snow fields on both sides, Selden Pass, Silver Pass and will do Donahue Pass on Wednesday. What a last few days it has been. But a price has been paid, my iPhone fell into the North fork of Kings River and is dead. My sunglasses are somewhere in the Evolution Wilderness wondering what happened to me. So, this is it , no more updates or pivs until I get a new phone, so much to cover :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Paths

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I ,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference."
Robert Frost

This quote was my mantra when I began this journey. There certainly wasn't the thought that I was lost, most certainly not the admission of having taken the wrong path.

Now, 942 miles into this PCT journey, I am finding that I am certainly wandering and at times lost. Perhaps, have been for quite some time.

No need to hit the panic bottom, I am not so lost that a trip to a psychiatric ward or prison is imminent or required. I am just not as adamantly certain that my way has been the best way.

I've taken the proverbial "least" traveled path, not always has it made a favorable difference.








Choose your paths, for we must all choose one, but step lightly......





Found this unfinished draft, must have been a tough day in the trail.

-Rabbit on the PCT

Monday, June 20, 2016

Gilbert N Martinez

" can't help but think, we could have been so much more "
Me



I've missed you since I was a child
How could you have known
I've missed you since I was a child
How did you not see
I've missed you since I was a child
How did you leave without knowing
I've missed you since I was a child
How will you know me in heaven

I've missed you dad, I've missed you forever.



A quiet night in Lone Pine..... Thinking about my dad....

Catching up, I was out of Internet range for last few days๐Ÿ˜
Rabbit on the PCT

Forest

"Leave city, leave reality; enter forest, enter fantasy!"
Mehmet Murat ildan


Turning my back on reality and living in fantasy, hiking the PCT. I suppose one could make that point. I would argue, that in fact I am facing the reality of life and its conclusion, death. I am hiking to live. While at the same time, the vastness of the wilderness around me, is a reminder of the minute space I fill in time. Trees and mountains on the PCT have existed for thousands of years prior to me and will exist for thousands of years after me.


I would say that I am rejoicing in the human spirit, the physical being, the emotional and mental capacities.
Uncovering the beauty surrounding me and perhaps residing in me.

Search out your trail, it is there...



It's Saturday nite and I am camped out next to a flowing stream at the edge of Crabtree Meadows. It's been a glorious day living this wilderness fantasy. Flowing streams, green meadows, snow capped mountains.



Numerous wildlife on trail today. A pica (worth a Google search), two herds of deer 10-15 in each, two large bucks(male deer) and a ton of marmots.




As always , thanks for reading ๐Ÿ˜Š
Rabbit on the PCT

One of those Moments

"Help! Mr. Wizard"
Timothy Turtle

As a child I was enamored with a carton character named Timothy Turtle. Timothy had a insatiable sense of adventure. His ticket to adventure was a Wizard who could place Timothy wherever in time and place he wished. This as you might guess led to Timothy wishing for adventures which he couldn't handle, risking life and limb (or little turtle shell). Whenever situations got out of control Timothy would call out, "HELP ! Mr. Wizard!". The Wizard would always rescue the little turtle and provide a lesson in life in the process.



One of many water crossings. Nothing major today just hope it stays that way.


I was thinking about little Timothy as I traversed over Forester Pass today. "Help! Mr. Wizard! " was definitely on the tip of my tongue. At 13,200 feet of elevation, it is difficult even without the snow and ice which blanket the pass.









It's been a bit odd today, seeing things for a second time. I hiked the John Muir Trail about two years ago, covering this same trail. But, I hiked from North to South, whereas now I am going South to North. I miss my JMT hiking group ☹️



-Rabbit on the PCT

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Watching as we pass

"I did not perish, I have always been here."
Me

Just a few images of Sequoia National Forest. Sometimes the dead seem alive.....

















-Rabbit on the PCT

Friday, June 17, 2016

Excuse me

"Excuse me, I am going to be vulgar"
Me

The PCT is not without its ugly side, its obnoxious side, it's positively vulgar side. This late in the South to North hiking season, port -a-potties are near over flowing, water resources are depleted and trail Angels have reached the point of exhaustion. Businesses and locals have gone from amused and thankful for the business, to annoyed and hopeful for the end.

The PCT is not immune to the ills of society at large. Stupid human behavior is still stupid human behavior. Over drinking is still over drinking, and buffoons are buffoons.
The breakdown occurs at hiker waypoints, Warner Springs, Hiker Heaven, Casa de Luna, Hikertown , Kennedy Meadows and all the places in between. The physically injured, the mentally tired, the emotionally overwhelmed and the unmotivated. They can be found hitch hiking from waypoint to waypoint and lingering. Becoming a PCT experience unto themselves. Their goal may or may not have ever been to reach Canada. They may have over prepared or under prepared, or not prepared at all. They know all the the hiker terms, they have trail names (but may have rarely been on trail) , they are commonly found taking "near o's or zeros.

If a PCT thru hiker has any hope of finishing in Canada, they cannot become a part of this side show. It is not just the desert heat, Sierra snow or Washington rain, it is the lingering side show which must be climbed around and thru.

Forgive me for I am ranting. The jerk who set up his tent next to mine was one if not all of the lingering types I previously mentioned. So, rather then bore you with more about what I deem the ills of thru hiking. I will just tell you that I tore down my tent in the night and cowboy camped a safe distance from the source of my consternation. Whew ! Now I can go on with the rest of my hike๐Ÿ˜Š



Tomorrow morning I will leave Kennedy Meadows and begin my journey into the heart of the Sierras. Looming ahead of me is snow covered Forester Pass, towering at an elevation of 13,200 feet.


Sorry for the rant, but like life, the PCT has its blemishes.

-Rabbit on the PCT

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Kennedy Meadows

"That first kiss"
Me

Close your eyes and imagine that moment. The moment you knew was coming, but not sure of when. It was a magical moment for me and I hope for her (Tara Sue). That moment when you leaned in and she (or he) closed their eyes and surrendered to that first kiss. The wonder of it all, life, the joy, the happiness.

The PCT revealed that moment to me today. It was an arduous climb, 2 miles, 3 miles, 6 miles, and then the moment was revealed to me. Mount Whitney and all the snow covered Sierra mountain tops. It was like that first kiss, revealed only to me, my moment. No pictures, just my moment, my memory. My first kiss, my first view of the Sierra's.

What a journey it has been, 702 miles, desert, desert and more desert. Windmills, windmills and more windmills. Liter after liter of filtered water.



The last few days have been a mixture of desolation and beauty. I broke camp this morning to this lovely desert scene.


And found these along the way.







My companion for the last 200-300 miles has been David (no trail name).
A wonderful example of what is right about American youth. He will be completing his senior year of study this Fall. His field of study is psychology/anthropology with an emphasis on primates. He will be leaving the trail at Kennedy Meadows. I will miss his wit, energy and friendship.


Now, I have arrived! Kennedy Meadows, PCT gateway to the Sierra's.



The desert has been endured, enjoyed, and completed. Now, the next part of the journey beckons....

Surrender to that first kiss and rejoice in its gift.


As always, thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Monday, June 13, 2016

The desert completed

" and I alone have escaped to tell thee"
Job 1:15

With a start date of May 17th, it was the section of the PCT I dreaded most, the desert. Long winding trails thru sand, rattlesnakes, and an unrelenting sun.



It's been filled with long stretches of very high temperatures and very little water. To be sure the 652 miles covered have been challenging, physically and mentally.



There have been points of great beauty.


There has been examples of trail angel magic and kindness. In desert communities like Julian, Warner Springs and Wrightwood. Trail Angel homes, Ziggy and the Bear, Hiker Heaven and Casa de Luna. In individuals like Legend, and many I am ashamed to say, I don't have names for...



A last look back... And a thank you, for all I have seen, all I have felt , all I have met.....



It's time to move on to the next part of the journey, the majestic Sierra's. The Sierra's, loved so, by John Muir.





As always, thank you for reading,
Rabbit on the PCT

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hiker box Redux

" Do we forgive our fathers in our age or in theirs, or their deaths. Saying it to them or not saying it? If we forgive our fathers, what is left?"
Dick Laurie

I'd like to return to the hiker box. They are found in trail towns from California to Canada. Hiker boxes are inhabited by new items, used items, empty items, all cast off by the previous owner. Food, clothing, shoes, first aid kits, toiletries, books, etc. etc. etc.

It was my good fortune to come across sunblock at the exact time I had run out. A full bottle of DG Body SPF 50.

It's funny how a song, a taste or in this case a scent, can trigger a memory. A memory of an event, a time of year, or a person.

As I prepared for another day in the desert, I reached for the sunblock. Applying it to my nose. At that very moment the memory came rushing thru my nostrils into my being.

Summertime, my dad. The scents were the same, this could not possibly be the same brand of sunscreen, But it was the scent of my father in summer.

Gilbert Nemorio Martinez, my dad. All the memories came rushing back. Along with the memories came tears. Tears of joy, tears of sadness. Each mile I walked was filled with memories of my dad. The feeling of joy, comfort, anger, frustration. So, many things to remember, things I wanted to remember, things I hoped I had forgotten.

The stories I could tell. The stories I can't tell. It was a complicated time for him and me. I held my dad to god like standards, he failed time and time again. But, to be fair, he was being compared to the likes of Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) and Fred Douglas (My Three Sons). How could he live up to those dads?

I have forgiven my Dad, I am sorry he wasn't alive, when I did. Lots of tears on the PCT today.




As always, thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Windmills

"Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them, and slay them". Don Quixote



Tehachapi Pass, would have caused even the fabled Knight Errant pause.
This windmill farm is one of the oldest in California. I passed under the towering giants, fighting powerful winds, fatigue and a bit of sleep deprivation.



Another long day of hiking in the desert, followed by a longer night in my tent being pounded by the winds that feed the massive wind turbines.



A moment of reflection, after the epic battle with the hulking giants.



Tehachapi and a visit with family. My cousins beauty rivals that of the lovely Dulcinea del Toboso.




At mile 566 , today I return to the trail in search of adventure, worthy of a Knight Errant. But willing to enjoy a day of simplicity, suitable to Sancho Panza๐Ÿ˜Š


Rabbit on the PCT

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Passion

"My fault, my failure, is not in the passions I have, but in the lack of control of them".
Jack Kerouac

Yesterday was an out of control mileage day. I started out the morning at 6am and hiked 20 miles to Hiker Town. As might seem to always be the case, the last 5 miles were brutal. The heat and wind were both over the top.

I will refrain from disparaging a service provided to PCT hikers by not describing the oasis that is not Hiker Town. But, I will say this, it didn't take much to convince me to plan on hiking out at 6pm.

Ambitious, yes it was. Night hiking for 17 miles to a halfway point among the windmills. A beautiful evening in the desert, the stars were at their finest. A little trail magic on the way. My daughter took this picture of my grandson opening up his birthday gift from me. Smokey the Bear.



At 130pm, down and out, another night of hiking and cowboy camping.
Total miles for day, 37 ๐Ÿ˜ณ









My sunrise ๐Ÿ˜Š

Good Morning....
-Rabbit on the PCT

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Crazy

"You know a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy."
Charles Manson

Casa de Luna ! The rules.



Casa de Luna, 1960's hippie commune at it's best or craziest or "wackiest". Let me throw another 60's term at you. The atmosphere was "mellow".

Next stop of the traveling circus is Hiker Town. This should be "far out".

I will be passing the 500 mile mark tomorrow morning. The body has adjusted to 20-25 mile days. Blisters are healed.



As always, thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Healing

"The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places".
Ernest Hemingway

After two days at Hiker Heaven, I was ready to rejoin the trail. Rested, healed and antsy for the trail. There is a fear of getting caught up in the vortex of community at Hiker Heaven. Soon, only the injured, unfocused and hungover remain. Living a deliberate life on the PCT, requires one to become, "strong at the broken places".

At 5pm, Legs and I rejoin the trail. While it is still hot, the freshness of our legs and minds, is no match for the temps. Our plan, night hike 26 miles to Casa de Luna, arriving about 3am.



In my mind the desert has two beautiful moments. When the sun rises and when the sun sets.












We fell short of our goal. Our energy and feet failing us at about 4 miles from our destination. At 130am, we cowboy camped on one of many switchbacks.

Sunday morning, we rolled into Casa de Luna. Waiting for us, waffles, ham, coffee and the traditional Hawaiian shirt๐Ÿ˜Š.



And a tiny bit later, a nap .....




Heal at the broken places and be strong my friends. Those that have been around me for the last three years have seen a blue band on my wrist. The message on the band is becoming clearer to me.
"God is big enough"



As always, thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT

Location:Darling Rd,Santa Clarita,United States