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Longstride: Trail Journals

Hiking and Backpacking Trail Journals by John “Longstride” Bafford

A feed by John “Longstride” Bafford

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Day 184: All Good Hikes Must Come To An End

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-21 04:01, modified on 2018-11-10 19:40

Six months ago, I left Campo, California, and began my second epic-length adventure. Slowly but surely, I hiked my way through the Southern California desert, the snow-covered mountains of the High Sierra, the lava fields of Oregon, and the forests of Washington. Through dirt and snow, river and forest, smoke and fire, heat and cold, I made my way ever further north along the mountain wilderness of the Pacific Crest Trail. Today, finally, that adventure comes to its end.

read more (1886 words, 4 photos)


Day 183: “Bridge Under Construction. Not Open For Use.”

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-20 03:34, modified on 2018-11-08 22:17

The penultimate day on the trail may have started off slow, but the afternoon was full of beautiful scenery and an epic lake as my six-month-long journey nears its conclusion.

read more (1187 words, 7 photos)


Day 182: The Last Road

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-19 01:54, modified on 2018-11-07 16:42

A twenty-mile day, some scenic, and some not, saw us several “lasts” on the trail as we approach Canada: the last road crossing, the last fire closure, and the last wilderness area

read more (1476 words, 8 photos)


Day 181: Saving the Best for (Almost) Last

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-18 03:27, modified on 2018-11-04 22:24

A beautiful day of hiking awaited us as we started on the last leg of the trail, departing Rainy Pass and making our way more than halfway towards Harts Pass.

read more (1250 words, 7 photos)


Day 180: Rainy Day to Rainy Pass

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-17 03:16, modified on 2018-11-09 21:09

A wet, rainy day fittingly brought us to Rainy Pass and took us into Mazama, the last trail town in Washington. With only about sixty miles to go to the border, the end of the trail is almost upon us.

read more (1845 words, 6 photos)


Day 179: A Wild Bear Appears

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-16 00:06, modified on 2018-10-28 19:50

Today, we left Stehekin, our final resupply complete, and set off on the first half of our hike to Mazama, the last town on the trail. Today was notable for one reason: I saw my first bear of the trail.

read more (1090 words, 3 photos, 1 video)


Day 178: The Final Resupply

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-15 03:54, modified on 2018-10-28 18:13

Although we were a little sluggish in breaking camp this morning, CareFree and I set out from the campground at 7, heading towards Holden, and from there, Stehekin, making it to town when we needed, but only just.

read more (1823 words, 5 photos)


Day 177: A Rainy Washington Marathon

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-14 05:09, modified on 2018-10-23 23:23

With yet another very wet day in Washington, we managed an earlier start than usual and made great progress, hiking further than a marathon down the trail and making it through the first part of the Bannock Lakes Fire Detour, ending near the Holden mountain retreat.

read more (1649 words, 8 photos)


Day 176: More Marmots Than Hikers

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-13 04:10, modified on 2018-10-23 19:48

Another wet, soggy day in Washington, CareFree and I continued to push through the Glacier Peak Wilderness on our way to Stehekin.

read more (1622 words, 7 photos)


Day 175: The First Glimpse of Winter

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-12 01:56, modified on 2018-10-18 22:36

After one of my most miserable nights on the trail, CareFree and I continued our trek through the northern Cascades, entering the Glacier Peak Wilderness, where we got rained and snowed on.

read more (1519 words, 6 photos)


Day 174: The Washington Rains Continue

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-11 02:18, modified on 2018-10-18 21:19

The weather today was dreary and wet, a soggy trek through the mountains as we made our way north. With just over 21 miles today, we remain on our schedule to reach Stehekin on Friday, making up a tiny bit for the short day yesterday.

read more (1185 words, 6 photos)


Day 173: Why Stick To One Naming Theme When Three Will Work?

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-10 02:51, modified on 2018-10-15 22:19

A short day today set CareFree and I on our way to Stehekin, our final trail town. The end of the trail is almost in sight!

read more (1581 words, 4 photos)


Day 172: Red Key, Red Door

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-09 03:18, modified on 2018-10-14 05:53

With an “early” start, eighteen miles, partially through rain, brought us to Stevens Pass and Skykomish, the penultimate trail town. Now with less than 200 miles to go, the end of the trail is fast approaching.

read more (1735 words, 7 photos)


Day 171: A Deceptively Nice Day

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-08 03:08, modified on 2018-10-13 03:12

A ten mile long climb aside, today started off nice enough. But the first rain (and lightning!) in almost two weeks was not as much fun, and my tent once again failed to perform its key function of keeping the rain out.

read more (1049 words, 4 photos)


Day 170: A Spectacle of Views

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-07 02:06, modified on 2018-10-12 05:10

With three more days to get to Skykomish, CareFree and I made good progress today. Although it was a bit cold this morning, which slowed our departure, a strenuous 20 mile hike kept us on-schedule for town.

read more (646 words, 4 photos)


Day 169: Across Katwalks, Around Lakes, and Aside Ridges

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-06 01:53, modified on 2018-10-11 02:04

Today was a beautiful day for hiking, only a little cool out, with mostly clear skies. After a short detour to drop my cousin’s daughter off at school, my cousin brought CareFree and I back to Snoqualmie Pass so we could begin our next section to Skykomish.

read more (645 words, 6 photos)


Day 168: One Last Zero in Auburn

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-05 05:20, modified on 2018-10-10 21:54

Today was a mostly lazy day, but importantly, I completed my last resupply of the trail. It should also be my last zero. Once we get back on the trail tomorrow, we’ll begin our last push to Canada!

read more (579 words)


Day 167: Towards the Last Resupply

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-04 03:44, modified on 2018-10-09 21:00

Today started off cloudy, cool and humid, with fog on the next ridge over. We were happy, though, that the fog was not on top of us. CareFree and I managed to get hiking before 8 am, heading to Snoqualmie Pass to meet my cousin and head to Aurburn, a suburb of Seattle, to resupply.

read more (837 words, 7 photos)


Day 166: Zig-zagging Our Way North

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-03 01:43, modified on 2018-10-05 21:55

Yesterday’s science experiment confirmed that, yes, two people in a tent definitely make things warmer. Naturally, that didn’t make it any easier to get out of our sleeping bags and start hiking.

read more (874 words, 4 photos)


Day 165: An Unexpected Tent Guest

Permalink - Posted on 2018-09-02 00:31, modified on 2018-10-01 23:18

It was cold and humid overnight, with a constant wind. Fortunately, I continued to be dry in my tent, and warm in my sleeping bag. Well, not completely dry; the water bladder in my pack leaked again, but at least the water was coming from inside my tent and not outside, and it only got the floor of my tent wet.

read more (1290 words, 6 photos)