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Pacific Crest Trail... photos and journal

Summer of 2001... The Desert continued...

(Page 2 of 10 pages)

Here's a view looking back toward Mexico, just as I was coming into Hauser canyon. This is also the immediate area where I had my first encounter with one of those hot and mad desert rattlesnakes and believe me, that first one really scared me into the air!

From my journal (April 27th, Day-2)..."Today I had every intention of laying over at Lake Morena and help prepare for the Kick-off but after talking with Larry in a quick fury just after wake-up I was suddenly motivated to join nine other hiker's for a 13 mile slack pack from Fred Canyon Road back to Lake Morena. On the way I ran into another rattlesnake but this one was gracious enough to warn me then slid across the trail into the dry brush. It was a relatively easy hike with such a light pack and I was the first one back in 3 hours, 50 minutes."

Annual Day Zero PCT Kick Off
April 28, 2001

I had long planned to attend the third annual ADZPCTKO and that ended up being a most perfect way to begin my summer adventure. Not only was it an opportunity to do some slack packing and to meet some of the greatest folks in the world, but I also learned a lot about making my own gear from many ongoing informal workshops led by some very generous hiker-folk. So many new ideas were generated in my head that with the help of several other hiker's I invented a new kind of backpacking cup that I ended up entering in the homemade gear contest... and it won me a nice leatherman knife. Read on for more details from the celebration...

Here's a photo of the 2001 hiker's attending the ADZPCTKO and what a lively crowd we were!

Here's Roy Robinson , inventor of the famous catfood can alcohol stove. He demonstrated with great detail exactly how to make one then he poured in a so-so amount of alcohol fuel and had a pot of water boiling in just over 4 minutes... very impressive, then just at the moment of boiling the fuel ran out. That's what I call absolute efficency and function with maybe just a tad of luck thrown in!

From my journal (April 28th, Day-3)..."I did a full layover today although there were many tempting offers for slackpacking and I'm now glad that I stayed behind at the lake because I ended up meeting so many new hiker's in addition to some that I'd only knew from various internet correspondence. I spent all morning watching Roy Robinson, Monte, and Bob Riess make their own versions of alcohol stoves while studying and asking a lot of questions.
It was also nice to meet Brawny (Carol Wellman) who along with several others huddled together and helped me to design and make a new drinking cup. While telling Carol about my styrofoam cup, she expressed concern about it being porous which could breed bacteria and may have been why I got so sick on the Colorado Trail last year. Anyhow, we spent over 3 hours experimenting with cups made from plastic water bottles until we finally came up with one that would work and fit snug into my MSR Titan Kettle. Later this evening I entered my cup along with my "super dooper" cooking system into the homemade gear contest. It was a lot of fun as I had to explain it to everyone there and it ended up winning the "Wildest demonstration for making gear with the most useless materials" and I got a leatherman knife as a prize which I gave to Donna Saufley for safe keeping until I could get to her home in Agua Dulce. I was quite exhausted from such an action packed day that ended with a huge bonfire, then eventually a little bit of sleep. There just couldn't have been a better way to start a 2,700 mile hike."

Bob Riess was up every morning earlier than most making sure that breakfast was on and plenty of hot coffee for drowsy hikers like Tom!

Meadow Ed serving up some fine cheeseburgers. Meadow Ed also does a lot to make sure that many of the desert water caches stay well stocked.

Amid a sea of tents is the Bob Riess RV command center parked strategically at ground center.

Mad Monte gives a demonstration of a very old alcohol stove which was very interesting and in great contrast to the great technological advances of the last decade in the Pepsi Can stoves !

No folk's this is not a mad scientist! It's just Bob Riess demonstrating his version of the soda can alcohol stove with a face full of intense unrelenting concentration.

Donna Saufley shares a pleasant conversation with a couple of hiker's.

Join me on the next page as the ADZPCTKO 2001 celebration at Lake Morena continues and I finally get back on the trail.