After 2 nights in Kennedy Meadows, we really wanted to get going. We got a ride to the a local restaurant, Grumpy Bear’s, where we could get our bear can and have some breakfast. We had an amazing feast of huge pancakes, eggs, bacon and hash browns, packed our bear can (finally) and got a lift back to the general store. We managed to take a few photos with our friends before leaving, said our goodbyes and headed out with a guy called Dairy Queen. He wanted hiking buddies for the Sierras. And so a new part of our journey began.
It was a slow morning leaving the Acton KOA. We had a rough night sleeping with the trains, but we eventually got up and left. Shortly after leaving we passed the ‘Golden Spike’ for the trail. It seems the trail was only officially finished and connected in 1995. A very hot morning climb later, and we were on top of the ridge overlooking Agua Dulce. We only had to drop down and walk through the Vasquez Rocks.
It really suprised Kristin, she wasn’t expecting what we got. From the photos below you can see these fantastic rock formations. We were feeling very tired, hot and sore, so we soon moved on into Agua Dulce. We were soon drinking a 2l Dr Pepper and chowing on some snacks we picked up at the grocery store. Thankfully about 0.2 of a mile into the 1 mile walk to Hiker Heaven, Jeff Saufley (Owner of Hiker Heaven) picked us up and drove us the rest of the way!
Finally we can update our blog! Sorry for the silence but wi-fi is scarce out here in the back country!
After a quick breakfast and pack up at Sawmill campground, we head out to our next water supply. We had camped with a guy who was fascinated with the fact that we come from South Africa, and he decided to walk with us for the morning, asking us many questions about our country and heritage. We’ve unfortunately been struggling with our feet again, my new shoes have been giving me blisters, which we expected, and both my plantar fascia have been very tight in the mornings. I was especially slow that morning as we were going uphill and my patient husband walked behind me making sure I was alright.
Day 5 was the start of a really dry stretch, as well as being very exposed to the heat with little shade. It was really tough. Steve and I both have blisters and trying to find the right treatment as nothing seems to be working at the moment. Steve has popped most of his and paints liquid skin on over it which is terribly painful and I just hope it doesn’t get infected. Its difficult to keep walking despite the pain.
We woke up at 5:30 to watch the sunrise, totally worth it! It was beautiful. We packed up and started walking towards our next water spot which was in 3 miles. Once we got there, I prepared breakfast while Steve walked down to get our water. We ate quickly and headed off for a steep decline of about 4 miles(not so good on the knees!), we pushed hard to get down the mountain and only stopped at the bottom once we found a shady spot to dry out our feet. We both popped our earphones on to help us get there, music can make a big difference when you are struggling. By then it was HOT! And we were about to start another big uphill towards Rodriguez spur where we could get more water.
We have finally started our epic adventure! We woke up at 4am in Seattle to fly to San Diego and got picked up by Ron ‘Burning Daylight’ in his big black pick up truck. Ron was great, he took us to a great place by the harbour and got us some fish and chips for lunch… So good!
And finally we arrived at the border of Mexico! We had to repack both our packs and took some photos at the monument. We started walking at 4pm, which meant it was a great temperature to walk in. The desert is beautiful in its own way, with the orange rocks contrasted against the blue skies.
So we arrived in Seattle after 23 hours of travelling with minimal sleep. We were exhausted while trying to buy food and pack our resupply boxes and trying to buy the last of the gear we need. But finally we are all set to start hiking!
Seattle is such a beautiful city, filled with horizons of snow capped mountains, lovely trees filled with spring blossoms, gorgeous parks and chilly fresh air. However, it is a bit strange to be in a foreign country, it’s a bit of a culture shock. The use of the English language, the accent and the culture of excessiveness is pronounced.
Today we fly to San Diego and get picked up and lifted to Campo to start the trail. We are relieved and excited that the day has finally arrived after much anticipation! We’ll probably hike about 10 miles and dry camp. The next time you hear from us will be when we’re in a town with wifi, within the next week.
Wow we’re finally starting! Thank you for all the love, prayers and support, it’s much appreciated 🙂
As you know we’ve been waiting for our passports, which has taken a lot longer than expected and we had to change our flights. We are hoping to recieve our passports today and leave on the next plane out of here. God has decided to teach us some patience before our journey begins 🙂
So hopefully next time you hear from us we’ll be in the USA!
EDIT: We have our Passports, and we have our flights! So if everything goes according to plan, we should be 4 days late and start on the 16th!
We start the trail in 8 days… Eeek!
If you’re coming from a foreign country to do the PCT, it seems a lot more challenging to plan and prepare your trip. Having to apply for visas, trying to find the best flight, buying equipment in the US and only hoping that it’s all the right stuff, and organizing food all add to the stress of planning. But I must say that having contact in the US make all the difference. We are so lucky to be staying with my (Kristin) cousin in Seattle so we can get ourselves organised. So far pretty much everything is in place (we hope), except one major setback is that we are still waiting for our passports to be returned with visas so we can leave the country this Friday! Crazy days!
Hello fellow adventurers or curious admirers 😀 we are so very excited to be finally starting this blog. First things first is an introduction. We are Steve & Kristin Hofmeyr, a christian husband and wife, co-adventures and best friends. We live in Cape Town, South Africa, aka Best Place Ever! Seriously, just google it 😛
Steve, aka Mountain Man, is a software developer. Like all good computer nerds he likes technology, maths and science-y things so you might have to deal with a whole lot of stats, figures and ‘just for interests sake’ information when he’s writing posts. That’s also why he is the budget and itinerary planner between the two of us, because it just works that way. But also has a heart for the outdoors. He enjoys rock climbing, hiking, is a member of our mountain rescue team, just to name a few. Steve is an introverted human, and likes being on his own or surrounded by close friends/family. If you are included in his small circle, then you know you’re really special (like me).
Kristin, aka Willow, is the quiet dreamer and sunshine maker. She is a physiotherapist, who has a passion for working with children but is still finding her way into a career that’s fulfilling. She is generally happy go lucky, always trying to calm any arguments and signs of conflict and listen to people’s stories. She enjoys music, art, quality time with friends and family, giving hugs and seeing smiles. Also she loves being surrounded by beautiful things such as forests, clouds, mountains and flowers. Between the two of us, she thinks of ideas and Steve will plan how to attain them.
We started this blog because we really enjoy doing things together outdoors such as hiking, climbing and spelunking. So.. we are planning on doing the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) this year (how exciting)! Hopefully it will be the first of many adventures we do together. The PCT is a hiking trail in the US which you can read all about here. It’s going to be a crazy 6ish months and will be posting information about our plans and gear as well as the amazing stories along the way. It started off as Steve’s dream, and he started the PCT in 2012 and got to Tehachapi before having to leave the trail after an unfortunate event back home. Now we plan on returning to complete it together. We are filled with nervous anticipation.