On the Trail Again... 
Hi everyone- it's Andrea. Ken resumes his hike today from Donner Pass near Truckee, CA, where the trail crosses Old Highway 40. He thought there might still be quite a bit of snow on the trail but that it was safe to continue from there. He hopes to finish the rest of northern California in the next month. He may not have reliable access to phone or internet for this section, so don't be surprised if you don't see a blog entry from him for a long while. I'll update his map if I hear from him.

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Where am I? 
On Tuesday, May 31, I hitched from Kennedy Meadows an hour and a half to Inyokern airport to pick up a rental car. From there I drove over the mountains, up Highway 99 to Oakland to spend the night at a friend's house. On Wednesday I drove several hours northeast to Truckee (near N Lake Tahoe) to check out PCT trail conditions (mile 1000 of the PCT, where elevations are lower). From there I drove along Rt 89, paralleling the trail, passing near Lassen Volcano National Park (closed due to snow) and ending the day in Red Bluff, CA.



Above 6000 feet I was getting heavily snowed on. Above 7500 feet the ground was very much covered completely in snow. Between 6000-7500 feet the ground had patchy snow. Below that, no snow. In general, Northern Cali is being slammed with rain or snow.

On Thursday I drove several hours to King Range Park to day-hike the Lost Coast Trail. It was a bit busier than I expected, but at least I saw a lot of seals hangibg out. I spent the night in Eureka since I'd always wanted to see the town. I was let down - it was a bit too strip-mally and generic for my tastes.

On Friday I left Eureka, drove all 25 miles throught the Avenue Of The Giants (a narrow road flanked by giant Redwood trees) and proceeded to drive coastal route 1. I stopped in Fort Bragg and Mendocino before heading east to Healdsburg where I spent the night with my friend's, Steve and Jen.

It's been a whirlwind tour of California, some of it PCT related, some personal. My game plan for continuing the hike is still coming together, but now I at least know that the trail in much of Nor Cal is easily passable. Personally, I am still happy to wait for the cold rains to let up and more snow to melt before resuming the hike. I simply would rather hike dry and comfortable and not be cold and wet. I have nothing to prove by tackling a snowy, muddy, cold trail. I'm old enough that I can pamper myself by waiting for ideal trail conditions.

More to come once I get access to a laptop. I plan on adding my driving route to the map, and recounting a few tales from the trail.

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No more desert! Oh, and our pipes froze... 
I am at mile 702, Kennedy Meadows, the END of the DESERT and the START of the SIERRAS!!! Woo hooooooo!

Unfortunately, however, the weather situation isn't all that great, and as evidenced by the snow that fell on the mountains just north of here yesterday, and the pipes that froze at the "hostel" I'm staying at, winter is not ready to release its grip on the Sierra's just yet.

In fact, it's hard to type this blog because my hands are stiff from cold, so I'll keep this short.

Bottom line is that, even without the snow conditions on the TRAIL, the fact is that the resorts and villages that I need in order to resupply won't be plowed out for a few more weeks. I COULD start hiking and hope they're plowed out by the time I get there, but that's not a reasonable risk. So I'm going to find my way to town and either get a rental car or flight out of here. After two weeks of waiting, I'll return to the trail.

More to come when I warm up...

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