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  1. #1
    Brass Nipples!
    Reputation: Bob the Wheelbuilder's Avatar
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    OT: Bob's Spring Break on the PCT

    Most of my biking has been commuting lately because (1) my days off have tended to be rainy and (2) I've been hiking to prepare for a big "fastpacking" hike for the last few months. Last week my friend and I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail from Campo near the Mexican Border to Highway 78 in 3 1/2 days of hiking. We covered an average of 22 miles per full day on the trail. We had ultralight gear, but the fact we carried up to 7 liters of water at times meant our loads were heavier than we'd hoped.

    On the way down I visited Turner World Headquarters in Murrieta. Dave and his crew were getting ready for the demo trip to Arizona. I didn't take any pics there, but there were a good number of frames hanging ready for assembly. Dave told me that one of the first rides ever taken on a Turner was on the PCT near Warner Springs. That is where we planned to end our hike.

    Bikes are officially banned on the trail, which is unfortunate, because most of what I hiked would be a great XC ride. We did see a few bike tracks here and there along the trail, but the majority of tracks are from the illegals hiking north. At times there were symbols scratched into the trail and there were a lot of abandoned clothes. I'm sure we walked past dozens of people hiding in the bushes waiting out the daylight.

    Some of the scenery reminded me of the pics Aquaholic posts of his beloved Noble Canyon with scattered granite boulders. I imagined the first stretch as being flat for some reason, but there was very little of the trail that wasn't climbing or descending.
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    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  2. #2
    Moosehead
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    Very cool outing and pics. Looks like it would be killer ST if it were legal. No puns intended.

    Below link to Noble Canyon guide from Mtn Bike Bill. One of the best MTB trails out there.

    http://www.mountainbikebill.com/NobleCanyon.htm
    Last edited by moosehead; 03-12-2009 at 09:11 AM.

  3. #3
    Brass Nipples!
    Reputation: Bob the Wheelbuilder's Avatar
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    After a couple of days, we arrived at Mt. Laguna at an elevation of 6,000 feet. There were still small patches of snow in some shady spots. When we left before dawn, there was thick fog, and soon a cold wind began to blow. The wind blew all day, I'd estimate a steady 30-35 mph with gusts to at least 50-60 mph. I was staggered several times by gusts and saved from falling only by my hiking poles. I'd never hiked with poles before, but I'd highly recommend them to anyone who wants to hike long distances. They are particularly helpful in sand or on downhills, but they can also help give some additional "oomph" on the climbs as well.

    Soon after leaving Mt. Laguna, we saw a trail marker for the start of Noble Canyon. I'm not sure if this is Aqua's Noble or not, but I get the feeling it is. This was one of the many times I wished I was on a bike instead of hiking.

    One of the problems with this section of trail is the lack of water. "Through hikers" that hike from Mexico to Canada along the PCT usually hike this stretch in late April which results in less available water and higher temperatures. Guide books recommend as much as 8 liters of water per day for some stretches of this trail. As it turned out, I was only using about 2.5 liters per day and so I carried many pounds of unneeded water every day. The pounding of the hike was made worse by the extra weight and I developed big blisters on both feet. The day we hiked from Mt. Laguna we covered 27 miles. We were both pretty beat by this point.
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    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  4. #4
    Brass Nipples!
    Reputation: Bob the Wheelbuilder's Avatar
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    The last day we were both blistered and just slowly limping along so we decided to call it quits. We walked the 9 miles of trail to the highway where my friend's son came up from LA to pick us up. Hikes like this make me grateful for many things. I'm grateful I"m physically capable of doing a hike like this, and also really thankful I can quit if the going gets too tough. The scenery was fantastic and it was fun catching up with my friend and hearing about his family. It also made me remember how lucky I am to have my home and family to return to.

    I'm also happy that now I can start doing more big rides on my Sultan. Woo hoo!
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    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Sounds like a good trip, and those are some pretty big daily mileage numbers too.

    I've been backpacking longer than I've been riding mt bikes and I find the two to be a nice balance, the slow methodical pace of backpacking to the speed of mt biking. Every year my wife and I pick a destination and plan out a 7 to 9 day trip. It's funny that I can usually, and have ridden, as far in one day as we spend hiking in one trip.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

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