The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Thursday, 19 July 2012

PCT In Photos: Week 1

I’ve whittled the 1000 photos down to 72, so it’s time to start sharing them. Week 1 seems like a good place to start.

It’s a poor excuse for a start photo, but we forgot to take one, so this is the closest thing we have. This is exactly where our walk started, in a mesh-sided tent, in the garden of the Sauffley’s house in Agua Dulce.


I’ve included this one purely because it’s the only photo where I look clean! This was only a few hours into day 1:


Still on Day 1, after our first climb we look back and can clearly see where we’ve come from. This was the first hint of the way that the trail hugs the hills and follows every little inlet around. It was also our first (tiny) taste of the PCT’s switchbacks.


It was a lot greener, and the greenery a lot taller, than I had expected. In some places (not here!) the trail was quite overgrown:



I love the colour of these trees!


The bonus of getting up at 3am and being walking at 4 was that we got to witness a lot of sunrises from up high. I took lots of sunrise photos, but in the absence of a tripod (or a very steady hand) most of them are rather blurred:


Collecting water! This is the water source, on Day 3, from which I carried my biggest load of 5-litres of water. The corrugated roof carried rain water to a gutter on the far end, which ran down a drainpipe which you can just see in the middle, which deposited the rain water into an underground tank. Once you’ve brushed the dead, rotting leaves to the sides to reveal the water (no dead chipmunks we could see in this one!) the water was nice and clear – but it did get chemicals and filter treatment before we drank it.

IMG_4225On Day 4 we found ourselves looking down on the plain of the Mojave Desert. When we got down there and walked across it we found that it wasn’t quite as flat as it looks from a distance:


The evening of Day 4 was cloudy, as was the morning of Day 5 when we woke up on the Mojave plain (the only two really cloudy periods the whole time we were on the trail). The cloud was quite localised (we walked out from under it within about an hour) and to the south the hills were glowing an attractive red in the sunrise.


Windfarms! We saw the hugest windfarms! We walked for 5 miles through this one (which hasn’t yet been commissioned), but this was a tiddler compared to the one we walked through on our way to the town of Mojave.


It was properly desert surroundings now too. No sign of all that greenness of a few days before (although this day was the first day that we saw running water, in the shape of a lovely little stream).


As we descended down to the road to Tehachapi/Mojave (walking through a burn area – you can see some of the burnt trees on the right of the picture), there was a green meadow below us. It looked rather out of place, but it turned out that there’s a river down there (not much water in it, mind).



Click here for ‘PCT in Photos Week 2’.


  1. Look forward to more :)

  2. Very interesting Gayle - we are also looking forward to more, but they'll probably not be read for a while as our WiFi window is very small...