Friday, May 29, 2009

Big Bear City, CA

So, after Idyllwild, I was feeling back to normal and hiked back out via the Devils Slide Rock Trail which takes you back to the PCT.  I felt fine on the entire climb back to the PCT and I camped after about 9 miles of hiking that day. Then I descended from Mt. San Jacinto Wilderness 8,000 vertical feet in 16 long, hot, switchbacked, curvy, hot, brush filled miles of trail.  I then slept that night just south of I-10 and unfortunately right next to a railroad line that was quite active.  Those factors did not really bother me, it was the constant winds that supply the wind farm across the interstate with energy that threw my tent around all night.  I woke up with my tent collapsed on top of me and finally decided to start hiking around 6.  The Mesa Wind Park had an office a few miles up the PCT that offered cold water and some shade to rest so I headed in to take a load off at about 930.  When I came back out the heat was already picking up and I knew I had to get to the next water source and find some shade by noon at the latest.  So, that's what I did and I rotated around the shade of a pointy little tree until about 6 in the afternoon.  Then I decided to boogey on out and the temperature was amazing, so I made some real good time to the next water source.  It was there I decided I was going to eat dinner and hike as far in to the night as I could.  That plan however was spoiled when I started throwing up again after dinner.  After losing all of those calories I needed I decided the best thing to do would be rest, get up early, and hike back out, because Big Bear was still 40 some odd miles away.  So I back tracked about 18 miles with little to no energy and finally got back to the Mesa Wind Park Office at noon.  I then informed my parents about the situation and Mr. Haley got in touch with a friend of a friend to come pick me up nearby in Cabazon, CA.  Don Gatch picked me up and got me to an urgent care center to make sure I was alright.  The consensus was basically Heat Exhaustion and I once again underestimated the sun.  Don made sure I got a place to stay for the night and that I was squared away.  After refueling and getting more fluids down I posted a ride for a shuttle to Big Bear City, where I was going to meet up with Kobie and Tom once again, on the PCT email thread I receive.  Then Rick Press, who bought me my Jose Burger at Paradise Cafe South of Idyllwild, responded on the blog that he could probably help out. So about 10 o'clock yesterday he picked me up and we arrived in Big Bear at lunch time and I caught up with Tom and Kobie.  Now we have rented a car and drove down to Rancho Cuchamango (spelling?) to get to a mac store where Kobie has now just received a new iphone after his previous one malfunctioned.  So I'm enjoying a nice zero day, remembering how to drive a vehicle, and might even see a movie tonight.  We'll be heading out tomorrow and the final stretch of harsh desert is awaiting us.  We are looking forward to the challenge and I will keep you updated.  Tom and Kobie's website is here.  They just updated it last night.  

Fly low and beat the radar,


Thursday, May 28, 2009

new pics

I am now in big bear and have uploaded new pics on to my picasa web album thanks to kobie's handy little laptop. will post a more informative blog later. For now, here's some eye candy.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Off to Big Bear City, CA

After a rough stretch of not feeling well on the trail the past day and a half, I feel that is all behind me and I am eager to head back to the trail. I am getting a ride from Trail Angel David Ledbetter, who also treated me to an all you can eat pancake breakfast here in town this morning, much thanks! I have reloaded on food and have been stuffing my face to regain calories surely lost to hiking 20 mile days with little to no food in me. Hopefully I will have a better time on the trail now, I have picked up some NUUN electrolyte tablets as well which were our saving grace on the AT. I am planning on a 4 day stretch to get to big bear, where hopefully I will be staying with Tom and Kobie again (they left to go back to the trail this morning). Stay posted and thanks for everyone who was so worried about my general well being, I' m learning fast how to take care of myself out here! Hope to hear from you all soon, I enjoy the comments!


Saturday, May 23, 2009


Wel,l yesterday was not my day. The jose burger was the last thing I was able to eat, I woke up with some kind of stomach bug night before last and it ran through me yesterday. It all started going south when I cut my shin on some brush in the trail. That wasn't too big a deal, it was bound to happen with all the scrub oak. Then I had to hike 2 extra miles to get water (which was not a problem) and encountered my first close call with a rattler. Then as I was sitting down to fill up my water bladder I gashed my head open on a broken limb that I couldn't see in the shade. As this all piled up I continued to climb,(a total of 3,000ft) and as I was eating a granola bar trying to get energy for the next climb I took my last bite and it came right back up. I wasn't too worried until it happened again laterim the dayanf I started losing a lot of water. Completely drained from the long day I pitched my tent at 8000ft and instantly fell asleep at 7:30. I woke uptuis morning with one thing on my mind and that was getting to town, getting some food, trying to keep it down, and getting rehydrated. So far so good, and as you can imagine all the parents have been on very high concern as I called them last night. I went to the fire station in town and their paramedics checked me out. Rehydration and refueling and rest is the name of the game now. And... Despite all this, somehow I'm still having a good time. Hopefully these speed bumps will stop soon and it will be smooth sailing.

Stay thirsty my friends,

-- Post From My iPhone

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vive Jose

No, not that jose, I have just endulged myself with supposedly the best burger on the trail. As you see in the pic, a half pound pattie, bacon, Swiss, avacado, mushrooms, and a heaping pile of fries. The man who invented the hamburger was smart, the cheeseburger smarter, the jose burger...pure genius. That's all for now, will be in Idyllwild,CA tomorrow night.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Warner Springs Ranch

Well tonight I am much much closer to the trail, just a 3 mile road walk, which I will do tomorrow morning. I am staying with Tom and Kobie and we will be heading out at the crack of dawn. I will be in Idyllwild, CA in about three days, give or take. Thank you to everyone keeping up with the blog and for supporting me through my not so fun time off. Although, I was able to type up my 5th year Architecture School Thesis Proposal from my iphone, so it wasn't a total loss. No cell signal at the ranch, I'll try to update from the trail in the next couple of days.

Over and out,

Everybody loves Ramona

Well, after two days in Julian, CA (apple pie Capitol of the world) I have moved further from the trail the past two days in order to see an eye dr. Due to complications with my contacts. I saw an eye dr in Ramona yesterday and he gave me a new pair of contacts, but wants to see me today ( in an hour) because he wants to make sure everything is ok. I feel fine and am hoping for his clearance, then I have a ride scheduled back to the trail this evening. I will be putting back in at warner springs and catching up with the two guys I started with, kobie and tom ( and finally hiking again tomorrow. It has been a long and frustrating layoff, but I'm glad everything is working out and the full length of the trip has not been jeopardized.

Fly low and beat the radar,

-- Post From My iPhone

Saturday, May 16, 2009


i dont know why the link won't work...try this if you're having trouble

Julian, CA

Taking a Nero (near zero day-not really hiking) in Julian, CA after getting in around 7pm last night after a scorching day of 30 miles and 100+ degree heat. I definitely pushed it too far the past three days, 77.6 miles. I've been hiking with some real cool guys, two of them I started with in Campo, CA (Kobie and Tom), I left them yesterday morning to get to Julian in time to get to my Bounce Box at the P.O. I caught up with Jeff who just graduated from Texas Tech with a masters in Biology (I met him on the first day but we've been passing each other back and forth ever since). We split a hotel room last night after I was severly dehydrated yesterday due to an underestimation of how far away the highway was and the energy draining powers of that hot desert sun. We we're treated to dinner by a lovely couple last night when we got in to town at the local Mexican restaurant, its always nice to receive a little trail magic. I'm uploading pics now and trying to upload a video too, we'll see what the San Diego County Library computer system allows me to do. The biggest thing that the pictures do not really capture is the scale of everything out here, it is much larger than that of the Appalachian Mountains. The link to the pics should be top right of the blog. My next stop in town will by Idyllwild, CA and I bounced my box up to Big Bear City, CA.

not sure if the sound works.

All for now,


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Day one

From the border to lake moreno county park, 20.6 miles in the bag. There was a killer climb at the end of the day that threw a tough blow, otherwise I felt good and have plenty of time to recover for tomorrow...I think. Enjoy the pic, I'm turning black out here!

-- Post From My iPhone


You gotta do work to do work.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

San Diego

Hanging out in San diego right now, with
"Robert reiss at the trailhead". There are three other hilers leaving for the beginning in campo California tomorrow early; tom, coby(so?), and heidi. I might try and hike with them for the first couple of days depending on their pace. Mr. Burchardi was a phenomenal help today picking me up from the airport and making sure I was good to go and ready to make some miles, Thank You!

All for now,

-- Post From My iPhone

He's in CA

Spoke with Spence and my dad and he made it safely to California this morning and they spent the day San Diego getting final provisions. He's staying the night at a Trail Angel's house and they're hitting the road for Campo, CA where the PCT begins. Stay tuned for further updates about our favorite PCT hiker, Warpzilla.

Bandanna Ben

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Got a one way ticket

Things are finally falling in to place for the start of my PCT thru-hike.  My final exam is in 4 hours, Bandana Ben is on his way to Charlotte, Graduation is Friday, and my flight leaves RDU at 630AM on Tuesday.  I've got a base weight right now of 15 pounds (without food or water) which puts me around 30 with full food and water.  I am compiling a gear list for all you followers out there.  Ben's Dad, Mr. Burchardi is picking me up from the airport in San Diego, CA just before lunch time on Tuesday the 12th and will help me get where I need to go from there.  I am now officially being sponsored by Mountain Khaki's for the thru-hike.  They will be running a blog/twitter on me called "Where is Spencer Now?".  They provided me with a good bit of apparel for the trip in return for emailing them pictures and descriptions of my latest experiences.  Stay tuned for a gear list and updates from the West Coast.  

Warpzilla Out