Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kennedy Meadows, total mileage 702 miles.

Dear Diary,

Wow, long time no see. It's about time we got to write more on our adventure, after the last post we've done about 450 miles. These last 450 miles have been hot, dusty and wonderful.

Hitch hiking back to the trail from Big Bear was easy. A mom with her daughter picked us up after coming to the conclusion that we weren't axe murderers. Man we fooled them! That afternoon we managed to hike about 10 miles and decided to camp. I (Ville) went looking for campsite off the trail and found a dead horse, Kristen was being picky and decided that we couldn't camp there. Luckily my amazing senses found a new spot not too far from the carcas, we even lit a camp fire. The first one on the trail.

The next few days we were doing good mileage ranging from 20 to 25 miles per day. About 35 miles before getting to Wrightwood we hit McDonald's that was only 0,3 miles off the trail. I had 3 burgers, big fries, large soda and a sundae... for appetizers. Kristen ate something size of a little bird's meal. That night we splurged by getting a room with 3 other hikers from a motel. Costing us 14 $ per hiker, including a hot tub. Nice! The next day we hiked about 23 miles and got us pretty close to Wrightwood, that day we were hiking in the San Andreas Fault area. Getting to Wrightwood from the trail was really easy, we've been really lucky with hitch hiking. It didn't take us long to get a ride to town, maybe it's my stunning scandinavian looks just appeal to both male and female drivers here in US.

Once we got to town we got our resupply package from the post, at the post office we found a list of people who accomodate hikers for free. We called the last one on the list, bingo! We got a guesthouse for just the 2 of us ( we later invited our hiking friend Gabe aka Gabealicious to stay there too), it was located perfectly close to downtown and was surrounded by apple orchard. Thank you Dolores!

The day we left Wrightwood we climbed on top of Mt Baden Powell, 9400 feet ( 2 867 metres). What a stunning view, in Finland we don't have mountains that high so for this foreign sucker it was pretty unbelievable to be standing over clouds and watch a jet fighter fly below you, Kristen's brother Jordan aka J-Lo will help us upload videos and photos of that later. Thanks J-Lo. A lot has changed since our last post, the last few weeks our appetites have grown immensely, our bodies are finally realizing that these 2 idiots are really walking 25-30 miles day after day so we feel hungry all the time. Our bellies are yelling " More bacon you idiot!".It is hard to describe how hungry we are all the time, all we talk about on the trail is food and Seinfeld episodes. We meet other hikers and in 2 minutes we're all talking about food. Remember that dead horse I was telling earlier, if it weren't dead I would have eaten it with noodles and a Snickers bar for dessert. Everyone who knows me also knows that I can eat when it comes to that, well I've lost about 13 kilos (24.2 pounds, roughly) and now I'm trying to get more calories while in town. Now the backpack is too small and pants are falling down while hiking, embarrassing. Back to Pizza Hut buffet.

The stretch from Wrightwood to Agua Dulce was a mix of desert and mountains with pine trees, not too much water so we had to carry a lot of it so that my Scandinavian delicate hydration system wouldn't get cranky again. The headlines in Finnish newspaper were still in my mind, the actual event wasn't as full as drama as you would think. We heard later that from that same mountain a girl had to be evacuated with a helicopter with the same symptoms, 4 other persons got sick at the same place too so my case was only highlighted because I was the only foreigner.
Really close to Agua Dulce the trail was winding through the Vasquez Rocks area witch is famous for being the setup many Cowboy movies, my dad loves to watch those and I like watching them too so it was pretty exciting to walk through an area where John Wayne and his posse had probably slaughtered and bunch of train robbers and hoodlums. I could still smell his glory and their blood there, nice ! Agua Dulce is a small town with 1 mexican restaurant, 1 diner and 1 pizzeria. We hit all of them, my stomach didn't even notice that. The town is also famous for Hiker Heaven witch is a place for hikers to stay free for 2 night max, it's owned by this lady who can be considered as Mother Teresa of PCT. Thank you Donna! We enjoyed our stay at Agua Dulce but it was time to hit the trail again, we've met a lot of people on the trail and we've made some great friendships. You might hear about these people later on our stories ( The 3 Canadians, Justin & Li An, Gabealicious, Fidel Castro and Garfunkel). I'll let Kristen to tell about the rest of our hike to Kennedy Meadows but first I would like to congratulate my Dad on his birthday on June 17th, happy birthday young man!

She said: Kristen here, filling you fine young people in on the rest of the trail drama. Leaving Agua Dulce, we met up with our friend Dirt Monger and hiked about 18 miles or so to the Oasis Cache stocked by the Andersons who we were about to visit (more trail angel love). We made it into Green Valley in the late morning and made a trip into a burger joint for lunch to buy the place out. Back on the trail, we hiked on into clouds and drizzle, which was AWESOME-O. As a hiker, this is fabulous weather to hike in, and as we hiked ever so west to north west, we finally dropped down out of the hills to breathtaking views of the wide open desert. Camped next to a lake with our pal Lightning, and then had a glorious, flat desert walk along the LA Aquaduct. The weather couldn't have been better, in the 70's and windy and climbed back up finally into some trees before hitting the windfarm right outside Tehachapi. Glad to see the wind being put to use on generating some energy and not just blowing us off mountains.

As for Tehachapi, coolest town ever. Nicest people, that all we had to do was look confused (really easy for the two of us) and like complete dirt bags and people would feel sorry for us and offer us rides all over town. Good food, got new shoes (Ville's shoes got so bad, there is not a homeless person on this planet that would consider wearing them), ate, ate, ate, and Kristen got a new pack! And oh boy, am I now a new woman. Literally dropped at least 4 or 5 pounds in just pack weight. That's a whole lot in hiker weight. And now, it's on. I am flying up and down mountains and Ville is just holding onto the back of my straps and holding on for the ride. Thanks Skeeter for not liking your pack and ordering a new one!

Out of Tehachapi, we met such a nice trail angel, John Jackson, who brought us to his house to use his internet, show us his cool shop, load us up with food and water, and drove us out to the trail head. What a great guy! Off we went, back walking into the dry hills to camp in a wind storm (man, you think we would get better at finding shelter in the desert, but no) and had a few long, hot stretches with little water. As we wound through some pretty cool forest (just a teaser), we were back down in the desert and now hiking through dirt biker paradise and hiker hell. Thanks to some lovely trail angels who stock 2 different caches of water, we all don't shrivel and die out there. Going to try and go easy on the dirt bikers, but man, there are trails EVERYWHERE out there and only 1 PCT hikers only trail which seems to be the one trail all the bikers want to ride. And do. And did. And said they weren't. Even tours of bikers. Which tear the trail up really bad and make very deep sand difficult to walk many miles in. Just my rant.

Finally, out somewhere in the desert there was a beautiful oasis of trail magic that some great peeps had set up for weeks to make food and cold drinks for us weary hikers a bit down on the desert by now, lifting our spirits to hike on and up and up and up. Thanks to the good speed, we have been hiking like animals and about 25-27 miles a day now. One day was over 7,000 ft of climbing! Oh boy, and the heat finally kicked in down here in So Cal and the last 2 days into Kennedy Meadows were tough to stay hydrated we would sweat so much. But beautiful it was and practically running into Kennedy Meadows, we have arrived! Finally. Ready for a zero and some eating and relaxation before heading into the snowy Sierras. Except, one little thing missing. Our resupply box with all our ice axes, crampons, gear, food and such. Very, very sad and the sweet (with lack of a better word) lady at USPS was not helpful at all in telling us where it is or when it will get here. SO....plan B, is hike 2 days, hitch out and back here to try and get it if it arrives, otherwise, hike on without safety gear and hope for the best. No mom, we will not be doing that. Kidding.

And just for the record, Ville wants everyone to know, he was not rescued from Fuller Ridge, he only had the flu or food poisoning, but just to make a better story, he is now gay, wants to be a woman, has got a terrible addiction to cocaine, pcp, and is in fact pregnant with a baby seal. Way cooler than the flu.


  1. Oh man, pregnant with baby seal. That's got to be rough Ville. Welcome to KM!! -Treebeard

  2. Poor Ville, too bad for you ;)
    I'm so reliefed that you are ok. At the same time so proud that you are doing pct. Please, be careful there.

    Love you,

  3. You guys make me so jealous. How did I end up back in a 9-5?! You're inspiring me to have another adventure, soooon!! Keep having a great time, I love your posts, (they carry me away for a while when im at work:) -Jenn in Boston