April 27

Today we start the trail. It’s also Lu’s birthday.  We spent the last couple of days doing some last minute gear checks at our host’s house Penny and Jeff along with there two kids Rowan, and Declen.  I think we are as ready as we can be.  Jeff and Penny are, and have been amazing, they will also be doing our resupply boxes for us, which I can’t thank them enough.   Yesterday Lu and I had some free time to go see the beach and then hang out at the Living Room coffee shop to finish some blogging.  The beach was Torrey Pines State Reserve,  La Jolla Cove with sea lions hanging out on the beach.

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    So after this post I will try to post when I can but it might be infrequent. 
  -Phil

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Day 14-21 car

National Park week, better then shark week!
    We left Boise and took another scenic drive to Salt Lake City, through the salt flats, for some reason we didn’t stop to take pictures.  In SLC Lu’s  friend  Theresa Parker stayed up to meet us, we got in town kinda late, and it was super cool of her to let us crash at her place.
     National Park week for us, got kicked off in Utah.  Since pictures are worth more words then I want to write, I’ll stick to the highlights and let the pictures speak for me.
     The first National Park we made it to was Arches, we got a backcountry pass so we grabbed our gear and hiked out to a great spot and camped out for the night.  The next morrning we saw the arches and balanced rock.  If we had more time or if anyone reading this has the time, I hear the Fiery Furnace is totally worth getting the pass or taking the guided tour.

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     Oh by the way, I like flowers so here are some I liked throughout the week.

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     Going though Grand Sraircase Escalante National Monument Lu’s car turned over 200,000 miles so we had a roadside party, more roadside parties needed on future road trips.

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     Next was Bryce Canyon it was really cool but we just stopped there for lunch and checked it out from the tourist viewpoints.  But I did get a couple of good pictures. 

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     ZION!  Zion N.P. I will be going back.  Enough said.  Other then Arches we had to camp on Bureau of Land Management property. ( basically camping on the side of the road) All the parks were full, we knew Zion would be too.  So we just planned to spend the day there, getting to the park early let us do a great hike.  If you can have the experience we had in six hours (not counting the drive in and out, also amazing) imagine what you could experience in a week! Once again I’ll let the pictures speak for me, but so you know they’re from our hike of Angles Landing.  Thanks to my friend Cat in Anchorage, for suggesting we hike it.  Oh I almost forgot Zion is only 2 hours from Las Vegas, really easy to get to.

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      Last, but definitely least.  The Grand Canyon.  It’s more of a theme park than a National Park, see it if you’re close but it’s in the middle of nowhere, so good luck. In my opinion there are better parks to interact with, even with that said what’s life without saying when in Rome.

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-Phil

Alaska and Points South

April 4th Phil and I left Alaska to drive south to Southern California, tomorrow we will start our hike north on the Pacific Crest Trail and after that return south again along the Pacific Coast Highway via bike with a packraft in tow. A hefty endeavor and one I’ve thought about every moment I’ve fallen asleep and woke for the past year. Here we are, we have arrived and after tomorrow we can at the very least say we’ve attempted hiking the length of the Pacific Crest Trail.

Departing Alaska

 

The past three weeks have been a blast, however I will be ever so happy to park my trusty Subaru Outback and not see her for the next six to seven months. Instead my mode of transportation will be ever slower and more calculated. On our drive down we had to replace the rear two wheels and that was a sign to me to go slow, take your time on the rough patches of road or you just might have a blow out. These next months are not about going fast but truly about making sure the load doesn’t exceed it’s limit. Hard to say after we just packed our backpacks yesterday and with 20 miles worth of water (first water source on PCT) my bag is topping out at 50 pounds. But as my Subaru rolled over to 200,000 miles in a beautiful canyon along US Route 95 between the Glen Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park in Utah I’m reminded that with the proper care and maintenance this will be a successful trip!

200,000 miles.. Roadside party to celebrate? Hey, Why Not!

Phil and I have been incredibly blessed to receive such love and support along the way from friends and family. Chad, Christy and their little girl Quinn received us in Seattle and will be storing our bikes and gear until we return after the hike. While in Seattle getting new tires we got to catch up with an old college friend Mikey and his wife Sherri and their little one Dylan as well as Alaskan friend Jessica Matthews. Portland was a blast exploring and what made it even better was staying with Nicole, Sam and their boy Tyler in Scappoose, OR. They’re in the process of starting a farm and it was exciting to visit their property. We took a detour to Boise to visit our brother Pete and his kids Bella and Gavin for a weekend. We had a blast with the kids and a special thanks to Pete for agreeing to store my cargo trailer for the rest of the trip. Another detour through Utah and a quick stop to stay and visit with a good friend from my Denali days Theresa in Salt Lake City. That visit was far too short! After taking the week to tour the amazing parks in southern Utah (Thank You, National Park Week, Free Entry All Week!!) we arrived in San Diego on April 23rd to be received by Alaskan friends Jeff, Penny and their little ones Rowan and Declan. They have been fabulous hosts and I’m not sure who’s more excited about us hiking the the trail us or them. Penny and Jeff will be instrumental during our trip as they will have our maps and gear resupply. A HUGE thank you to them for taking on this big task, thank you so much for the support and love you’ve shown us.

Looking up at Angels Landing Zion NP

 

Yeah… We hiked that!

A very BIG thanks also goes out to everyone who has supported us with kind words, texts, emails, phone calls and financially. Phil is feeling much more as peace with all the kind donations to his Go Fund Phil account to help him complete this hike. Thank you to all those who have donated to my Charity Cause and as we start our hike tomorrow all of you will be in our thoughts.

 

What my backpack feels like

 

Much love

-Lucy

Day 5-13 car

So.. I got a little distracted from writing, I’m just going to catch up on the last seven days.  Seattle to Boise; we spent a couple of days with Lu’s  friends in Seattle Chad, Christy, and there little girl Quinn, who were amazingly hospitable while Lu and I got more tire repairs done, and explored the city.

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     Then on to Portland, we stayed in a town called Scappoose 15 minutes northwest, Nicole, Sam, and their boy Tyler made room for Lu and me. Thank you to all of Lu’s friends for hosting us, and a special thanks to Nicole who backed me a delicious birthday cake.

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Portland breakfast

    Heading out of Portland on our way to Bend, we took US rt. 30 instead of interstate  84 which paralleled each other alongside  the Columbia river.  The reward for getting off the interstate, for only fifteen miles you can see five amazing water falls and the historic Vista house in Crown Point, Oregon.  Dedicated in 1918 as a rest stop for travelers along rt. 30,  I wish rest stops where still built to look like the Vista house.  The views you get of the Colunbia river gourge from this stop make it worth the little detour.

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    Our next town was Bend, Oregon.  Lu put her mt. bike together and rented one for me, so we could check out some of there great trails there.  If your into mountain biking Bend is a great place, if your into mountain biking and beer it’s the only place.  There are 16 breweries in Bend, and you can attempt the longest ale trail in the west. If you can make it to 10 you get a free sillpint, all 16 and you get a sillpint and bottle opener. You don’t have to drink at all of them just collect stamps in a pass book, or use the free app and scan the QR codes at the brewery.

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    After Bend  we headed  to Boise, our brother Pete lives there with his two kids Gavin and Bella.  We timed it just right to get there on the weekend, we all got to hang out and spend some time together.  The kids and I flew there drowns, and Pete made a reservation at some hotsprings 45 minutes outside of  Boise.  Really nice place more like a resort setting then the wilderness one in Canada, super relaxing.
     Lu and I did a lot of exploring the forementioned cities, all of which are fun places to go to and check for your self.  I wish we had more time at each of them.  So instead of corrupting your curiousity, do a Google search to see what interests you.  Get out of the familiar, explore, let every step and turn guide your adaventure.  It doesn’t have to be faraway, exotic, or expensive, just somewhere you’ve never been before.
-Phil

Day 4 car. Highway 99

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Hwy. 99 or the Sea to Sky Highway starts just north of a town called Cache Creek, in B.C. and ends before you get into Vancouver.  If for any reason you get the urge to drive, and want to imagine your a rally car driver, while seeing some of the best views of rivers, shear cliff walls of mountains, with grass pastures beneath them.  Wonderful moss covered trees, the third highest waterfall in B.C. and visit the home of the 2010 winter Olympic games in Whistler B.C.  then you need to drive the Sea to Sky Highway.
     I really don’t have the vocabulary to describe how much I enjoyed and how pretty that drive was. Also how much I want to go back already and do it again on a motorcycle, or at least in a car without a trailer behind it.
     As we pulled into Vancouver our last bit of time in Canada we decided to get some Tim Hortons  (what I thought to be a famous donut shop) and hang out in Stanley Park to write post cards and eat our snack, I’d recommend Stanley Park as a  topnotch place to enjoy an afternoon.  But Tim Hortons is just another fast food chain  with stale donuts and ok coffee.

-Phil

Day three in car, hot water and bears

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Brown bear at border

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Liard hot springs

Day three hot water and bears.

    We woke up on the third day in Liard.  I was excited because of how early I was able to get up, after driving extra long to make up some time we lost on slow roads.
     Liard is in B.C. Canada, there are some spectacular hot spring there, and waking up early meant I could spend extra time exploring  them.  Here comes the onion in the ointment, I was unaware of the time zone we passed through leaving the Yukon so was my phone and alarm clock.
     I know what you’re thinking, no one wants to spend more time in Canada then they have to.  So, if you wake up late just get going, keep moving.  But not me my friend, we made our coffee and breakfast at the hot springs with my jet boil saving that lost hour.  (BTW  if you didn’t know I love Canada)
     The road is still great driving with some great views, I could keep talking about it. I would rather not bore anyone, so I’ll recap some animals I saw along the way.
     Some with pictures.  Brown bear, rock sheep, sorry none for the rest; moose, elk, cairbou, prairie dogs (I think?) black bear, traveling cats (picture included).

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Second day in the car

I planned to make an entry everyday, but cell service and long days of traveling are making it harder than  I thought.  So, I think there will just have to be days were I double or triple up.
     While it seems to me, most people find road trips boring.  I just have to say to them, they’re on the wrong roads. The ALCAN  (Alaska & Canada highway) is a mix of amazing beauty, and some cautious planning.  The planning isn’t  to difficult; bring extra  food, snacks and get gas every chance you get.  Download lots of music and podcasts for the times you don’t  feel like talking, and the road/tire noise or car rattle gets to be too much. Reading out to each other is fun also, lu’s friend Chris recommended, minus 148° it’s a really good read, about the first winter summit attempt on Denali.
     The beauty of the road starts with the fact that the ALCAN is one of the most isolated roads in North America.  If you hate traffic, drive this road.  If you’re anything like me you’ll get excited to see another car going the other way.  So, in a few days when I’m stuck in LA traffic, I’ll go to that happy memory of isolation up in the Yukon.  Then there are the trees, endless acres of trees.  Black spruce everywhere, other than the road, it’s truly untouched land with no clearings other than natural ones from wildfires.  The mountain views are  wonderful, Lu and I have some great weather sunny cool days, the crisp air seems to let us see farther as we rise over a mountain pass, seeing the panoramic views, roads we traveled, and roads we would be.  Behind us the Alaskan Range, and ahead the Wrangell-Saint Elias.
   Our first night on the road we stayed short of our planned stop, do to rough road conditions and slow driving.  We stayed in a place called Destruction Bay, love the name, someone should produce a Metal festival there.  We woke to one of the rear tires low on air just a slow leak that we watched with every fill up, till we got to White horse and fixed it.  But it was leaving Destruction Bay where the road paralleled Lake Kluane, a big lake at the bottom of a big Valley with big high mountain walls, as the road bends around the lake on the other side of the valley you look back and feel like a micro machine (a famous toy from the 90’s I played with) rolling along the bottom of a giant mixing bowl.
   Tomorrow Laird hot springs!
-Phil

Hidden Message

Loading my bike on my car this morning for the long drive south I noticed a little message printed right there just for me. ‘Adventure without Limits’ Yogi tea, you ain’t got nothing on this bikes message!
  

Day one in the car

So Murphy strikes as it seem Murphy’s law does, we just left Anchorage one day later then planned do to last minute car maintenance.

I was happy to delay our departure to spend more time taking care of last minute packing, which Lu took care of like a champ.  There is no way I could have done all the planning she has for this adventure.

More importantly, it was super nice to have extra time to say goodbye to all the amazing people I met and Lu introduced me to.  All of which I believe are some of the most supporting, kind, helpful people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting in my adult life.  People I’m  humbled that they would call me a friend.

-Phil