Posts Tagged ‘pct’

P1000580By Cameron Consumption McKirdy

My dad and I have been planning this one for awhile. We hiked half of the Ramona Loop and lots more on Mount Hood in Oregon. It was brutal. The hike was almost 18 grueling miles. We crossed the Sandy River several times, and were on the epic Pacific Crest Trail.

First I will list the gear in my day pack. I rocked a black Kelty day bag with a new U.S.M.C approved 3 liter Camelbak hydration system. I recently got that at a Navy Exchange. Here was my checklist: compass with whistle, emergency poncho, Mylar blanket, Bear Grylls Gerber Ultimate Survival kit, Moleskin plus padding, Coleman biodegradable eipes, caffeine pills, lighter, various fruit and nut bars, GoPro Hero 3 Black on my head, Panasonic TS4 digital camera, Vibrams, Coast LED flashlight with with white and red light, extra socks, Chapstick with SPF, cash, mace pen, Coast Rapid Response 3.0 knife, 12 hour glow stick, Tillamook County turkey jerky, natural bug spray, and hand warmers. My backpack was on the heavy side with all the extra stuff. It weighed maybe 25 pounds.

To begin we hiked from our spot at Lost Creek campground. It was an easy climb along the Sandy river. We crossed it on a temporary wood bridge to get to Ramona Falls. I’d never been there. It was spectacular, and massive. I filmed the waterfall, and snapped pics.

Along the way I spotted several types of mushrooms popping up. Unfortunately, king boletes are a few months away from harvest. I did find out at the Ranger Station that they only give out 20 mushroom collecting permits per day, and commercial hunting is not permitted. Amanita Muscarias are in season. But of course those are hallucinogenic and poisonous. I found a few russulas too. In addition, I identified and tried huckleberries. They aren’t my fav, but were better than nothing when I ran out of aqua.

We met lots of people on the trail. Most were on day hikes like us. The route from Timberline Lodge to Ramona Falls was popular. I wish we did that, because our hike sucked. We were mobbing hardcore for 10 hours straight. We only had a few brief breaks, just long enough to catch our breath, check the map, and grab a snack.

Cameron McKirdy hiking on the trail

I wore new waterproof Columbia boots. They held up, and had lots of cushioning. My tall Nike Dri-Fit training socks helped too. They were dry at the end of the day, and shielded my legs as we bushwhacked the unpopular, overgrown trail. We almost didn’t make it back before nightfall! It was getting dark quickly in the forest. So we had to book it all day. I was dumping buckets of sweat. I went through my entire 3L hydration pack, plus 1.5 coconut waters.

The pain of hiking that much basically nonstop was draining. My feet hurt, knees ached, and balls were sore. Women complain about childbirth, but try hiking with a big pair. I stretched along the way, but my hamstrings were tight. If you plan on doing a trek like this, bring pain killers just in case. I will be sore tomorrow, but didn’t cramp up or anything. I managed.

It will be a day or so before I get back to civilization, and can upload pictures and HD video. I got great shots of the canyon, mountain, and river. The highlight of the day was when pops and I used sticks and hiking poles to cross the rapid Sandy river. It had a path of loose rocks and wet logs. We made it across fine, but my dad realized he left his boots across the river. I got a good laugh in and filmed him tip toeing to safety. So he had to cross 3 times then. He changed into sandals, and me the Vibrams, so we didn’t get our boots wet. More soon. Thanks for visiting the Survival Bros blog.
Sandy River and Mt Hood

Cam McKirdy at Mt Hood

Sandy River Canyon near Mt. Hood

Mount Hood Waterfall in Oregon

Dad crossing the Sandy River for the 4th time.  He won’t leave his boots behind in the future.

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It’s Cameron. I’m checking in from the road. I’ve lost track of how many days straight I’ve been camping. Right now I’m blogging this from the top bunk in a friend’s RV.

My Dad and I left the Oregon Coast two days ago. We threw all our gear in the truck, including two bikes, and golf clubs. We almost brought the cataraft, but we have a full plate. Did I mention my father loves buffets? You know we went to Izzy’s Pizza already.

On day one we hiked 4 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail near the popular attraction Three Fingered Jack. It’s in the Cascade Range in Oregon. The forest there was scorched in the 2003 wildfire. It’s a beautiful wasteland. Dusty, but boasting epic views of mountains all around.

I would have taken pictures on our first hike, but my iPhone 4S got wet and fried the day we left. It was in a case, but soaked up just enough dew from inside my tent to fail. I should have put down a tarp. My bad. $300 later, I finally got a new 32 GB Apple iPhone today at Verizon wireless. I had to have a camera on our trip.

Tomorrow we will leave Redmond and enter the forest surrounding Mount Jefferson to begin backpacking. We’re squeezing in a round of golf at Eagle Crest also. They have the best real grass, outdoor mini-golf course. I’m gonna get a hole-in-one.

I’ve been to Whole Foods, REI, Dick’s, and other outfitters, so my backpack is loaded. I have plenty of food for three days on the PCT, plus of course my sleeping bag, tent, and the rest of the camping essentials. This week I picked up a Kelty sleeping mat, and a Jetboil stove. Now it’s time to rest. Thanks for following the Survival Bros blog. More from my trip soon. It’s almost 1 AM where I’m at. Night.

Update: I tried to be lazy today. It was 95 plus degrees in Redmond and Bend today. My first priority was to stay hydrated. I chugged more than a liter of coconut water this morning, plus a Dutch Bros coffee my dad brought back.

We ended up golfing The Greens at Redmond today. It’s well maintained and challenging. We played 9 holes and walked. It was hot! I thought about following my ball into the water hazard. I only lost one.

After golf I went out on the town in Redmond. I sifted at the Goodwill thrift store and found a Zen Garden, a great bicycle fender, and a book on juicing vegetables and fruit!

Then I found a huge antique mall! I could look at collectables all day. I checked out silver and copper coins, old toys, and priced other oddities. I found a Buddy Lee doll, and a hand painted sign offering pony stud service by Champ. I took a quick photo.

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The weather is wild in the Bend area. You can see snow on the mountain peaks, but it’s sweltering. It’s dusk now. My buddy’s dog and I have been looking out the window at the flashes of lightening. The thunder is tremendous. Growling like my belly after a workout. And the lights are flickering. There was another bolt! It’s the Wild West out here.

I still have to pack my backpack for our 3 day hike starting tomorrow. Right now my gear is scattered around the RV. I will get to it after I stretch more. I feel ready to charge The Mount Jefferson wilderness, but there will be more challenges ahead. Really our trip is just about to start. More soon.

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