May 20, 2021. Miles 151 to 165. Crazy winds, tough climbs, and great views, and 1st rookie mistake

The Silver Pines lodge was excellent, even though the assigned me the sneaky skinny squirrel room. It was tucked way back but had hot water and was clean. Love that place

To get to my room you had to walk that tiny path to the left. Lol.

Two great trail angels, Barb and her husband picked me up at 6:30am and got me to the trail fast, bless their hearts, they would not accept money.

Loved the brew pub so they get another pic.

My trail angels.

The hike started out pretty easy for the first several miles. By the time we started climbing, the winds became intense. Apparently California was having a “wind event”. Just my luck. At the peaks, when we would cross to traverse the other sides, and on prolonged west and south exposure, I was literally (used correctly) blown off the trail by two feet.

The rockslide is tomorrow at mile 172. I was not looking forward to that

If some of the next photos are blurry, the phone and my arm were being moved by the wind

Junction to Live Oaks springs at about 8 miles in. Had water so was confident to proceed.

So much for my confidence being well placed. Seeing a closed fence made made me take the path to the right. That cost me 1/4 of a mile, and sadly was a hint of things to come

Nice break spot at the junction to Live Oak spring and Tumnel springs, but the winds were brutal. Had to secure my hat, and later take it off due to crazy winds . Both are good water sources, but i didn’t want to hike up and down a mile, so I carried more water.

More views

Junction to Cedar Springz, a good water spot. Would camp there if tired (around mile 159). 1/2 mile walk downhill to the water, so dropped my pack, and as Mario use to say “off we go”!

This next few miles were brutal. Massive body moving winds, exposed landscapes, and no clue where to possibly camp. And oh yeah, more nature stuff on the way to Cedar Flats, a good water source and a good campground.

And yes, most of us would not call these trickle “good water”, but on the trail in the desert , they are.

No hat due to winds. As Emma says, “Uncle Tom is wearing his underwear on his head”. Well if it works, go for it I say.

Finally at mile 165 I found a protected camp site, with a huge boulder for cover and a cave to cook in. Even with Guthooks app, I walked right by it twice. Was so happy to find this spot, as I was cowboy camping against a tree otherwise. No way at all to put up a tent up if unprotected in those winds.

The trail is upper right

Our cooking cave. If winds reached our spot, could be a sleeping spot.

Banjo joins me 10 minutes after I arrived and had taken the good big spot. He had to take the tiny spot with his massive REI tent, but it worked and we were happy.

He was hanging in the bushes. It was a crazy windy night. We heard it howl all night, but we were only moderately affected. That ended my day as I hoped the winds would end, as well as my mistakes. Sadly, neither wish came to pass. But physically and mentally I felt good.

I was worried about the continued winds, but did have cell service and Rose provided some great weather and water info.That helped reduce my fears, but the anxiety of the rockslide crossing at mile 172 continued.

Published by tomconnolly3

Former 270 pound hiking noob is attempting to hike the PCT starting April 8!

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