He's back at it!

People who know me know that I belong on the Trail. I've thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (twice),the Pacific Crest Trail and the mighty Continental Divide Trail. I've hiked many of the long trails here in Michigan including being the first to hike both the Ironwood Trail and the Great Lake To Lake Trail. My next big adventure will be the Israel National Trail starting in February 2017.

The purpose of this blog is to keep anyone who is interested informed of my progress and to encourage those who are able to support me in this endeavor.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First Official ZERO!!

Ahh....Castle Cassidy!
Made it to mile 444 on the trail after a pretty rough week.  Had severe tendinitis in my left ankle and, due to neglect on my part, was hiking without maps.  I had notes and my trusty compass but it was still a big mistake.  With all the detours and re-routes for Poodle Dog Bush and the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog--mylfrog.info I was basically lost and limping north best as I could.  John Cassidy came to the rescue.  He met me at Soledad Canyon Road and brought back to his family's home in Simi Valley, north of Los Angeles.  There, his wife Susie (my housemate Martha's sister) and their daughter (and famous softball pitcher) Amelia made me feel very welcome.  I had a long, hot shower (the first in weeks), did my laundry and had a HUGE dinner at a buffet-style restaurant.  The Cassidy's are very a kind and generous family.  They let me rest, hydrate, resupply and lounge by their beautiful backyard pool.  Spending time with them refreshes my body and renews my spirit.
From here, I'll get back to the trail.  I need to pick up my new backpack at hikerheaven.com .  I love my Granite Gear pack but it's falling apart on me!  Their customer service department is sending me a replacement that I hope will see me to the end of the trail.  Otherwise I'll have to send for the trusty Kelty pack that got me through the entire AT.  It's still in pretty good shape.
Next stop is in Tehachapi for resupply and Onyx after that.  I'm really looking forward to Kennedy Meadows at mile 702.  It's the gateway to the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  Challenges await me there that will test my skills as a long distance hiker.

Peace and Love to all!
Susie, Amelia and John Cassidy


Definately time for a zero!

Tried sewing them, taping them, patching them...
   
John Cassidy.  Not only does he grill a mean double cheeseburger --he knows everything about California.  He told me many interesting facts about history, sights to look at along the trail and cool places to stop.  I told him to grab his boots and come with me.
Desert cut.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

SSG Murphy

Staff Sergeant Shawn Murphy hiked with me when I had a bum ankle and no maps.  He went slower than his usual pace and shared his maps with me.  Plus, he served his country for 15 years in the US Army.  We all owe him thanks.



Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Monday, May 21, 2012

Salvitur Ambulando

Rough day yesterday.  I had 22 miles to go to get the next water.  Hot as hell and uphill all day.  Parts of the trail were choked with poisonous Poodle Dog Bush.  After 16 miles I collapsed and cowboy camped on the side of the trail.  I awoke to the blazing sun after a fitful sleep.  I was sore, dehydrated, filthy and had swarms of gnats feeding on the thick, salty tears in the corner of my eye.  I could not find the motivation to continue until I remembered that the Relay For Life was going on in Taylor, MI.  Those folks had been walking all night and for a good cause, too.  My housemates Martha and Sandy walk even after a long day at work.  Martha's even had knee surgery and she keeps at it!  If they can keep going, so can I!  Salvitur ambulando - it is solved by walking.



MOOSEJAW ROCKS!

A big thank you to Moosejaw Gear stores in Birmingham and Ann Arbor.  Good deals on great gear! Perry at the Birmingham store was very helpful in helping me acquire some gear before the hike.  Visit http://www.moosejaw.com/ to check them out.






Saturday, May 19, 2012

Pocket PCT

It was my pleasure to meet Paul (Tangent) and Alice (Holstein) Bodnar.  He's the author of Pocket PCT, a book that I have found to be indespensible during my hike.  Anyone considering hiking the PCT should buy it.  Check it out at hikethru.com



Friday, May 18, 2012

Jet Skiin'!

Many thanks to Zar (son) and Frank (dad) for taking me jet skiing on Silverwood Lake.  You guys are the best!


Monday, May 14, 2012

Something ate my hat!

Something ate my HAT!
What do you think it could have been?




More pics from the trail.

Some pics from the PCT.  Do you think it looks like I am having fun?
Cows...on the trail
Giant pinecone



                                                  
                                           Sand then snow then sand...

Many thanks to all my helpful food donators:  Sister Carol, sis-in-law Patti, friend Nancy Frazier.  Without all that food love, I'd never get through this trail!






      
True Trail Angels: Princess, Batboy, Rifleman and the RV Gang, the Warner Springs Community Center, Mike Hererra, Lake2lake and Ziggy and The Bear. Thank you!





Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Water

Hi Everyone!  All is well in Idyllwild at mile 180.  Can't believe I made it even this far.  The desert is unforgiving.  Mostly hiking from water source to water source.  Sometimes it's a spring,  sometimes it's a horse trough.  Sometimes trail angels leave bottles of water at a road crossing.  I'm glad for all of it.  
More pics coming soon.


There's no such thing as NON-POTABLE.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mile 91

All is well at mile 91.  Next stop is Warner Springs at mile 109.5.  I'm feeling good. Very happy and having a GREAT time!  I'll send pics from Warner Springs.

ADZPCTKO

Group pic from ADZPCT KO--that's Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off.  More thru-hikers have registered this year than any other before.