Dec 17, 2012 at 2:57 pm #1297141
I thru-hiked this largely unknown route from Mexico to Canada last spring and summer. I've put together a video of some of the best photos. There are shots of incredible scenery, wildlife, artifacts, flowers and trail life. Please check it out!
Here is a map of the route here.
There are links on the left side of that page that will take you to my gear list, journal and general trail information.
Thanks!Dec 17, 2012 at 10:28 pm #1936221
Michael LBPL Member
Good TR. how long? Days bt resupply?
How hard was water?Dec 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm #1936224
Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
Nice! I'm going to have look through that some more
That must be difficult to get the timing right – like the Steens have a lot of snow until summer, but it's so hot and dry lower down thenDec 18, 2012 at 3:13 am #1936240
Ike JutkowitzBPL Member
@ikeLocale: Central Michigan
I've really enjoyed all of your adventures, and this was no exception. Thanks for calling attention to this little known trail.Dec 18, 2012 at 4:55 am #1936247
Alex HBPL Member
@abhittLocale: southern appalachians or desert SW
Buck, glad you made it! I was following early in the hike and it is nice to see you got to Canada.Dec 18, 2012 at 8:21 am #1936292
I left the border on March 1, and got to Canada on July 11, so it was a total of 4 months and 11 days. That included about 16 days mid-trip picking up empty caches and laying out a new set of caches.
Water was a huge issue down south. That's probably the main reason the trail hadn't been thru-hiked before. With so few water sources, I needed caches. Because I had to drive the route caching anyway, I put out lots of water/food caches, so typically it was only a day or at 2 between resupply in the first 1,300 miles or so. Once I got to the Pueblos in Oregon there was more water so there were far less caches. After La Grande, Oregon, it was a standard thru-hike with no caches.
Timing the hike was a challenge. It hadn't been thru-hiked before so it was more difficult to judge how long the whole hike would take and to a lesser extent, what typical snow levels would be. The Steens were the first real concern, but the Blue Mountains come soon thereafter. Snow wasn't a big problem on this trip. On Steens Mountain, I had to do a short reroute because of high rivers from a rainstorm and snow-melt but other than that I was able to stay on the route. If I were going to do the hike again, I'd probably leave March 1 again. Much later it would get crazy hot down south, much earlier and snow would have been a much bigger problem.
Here is a direct link to my journal.Dec 18, 2012 at 9:04 am #1936304
Nico .BPL Member
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
Great trip! Looks like you passed through a lot of beautiful scenery. I'm partial to the desert settings; looks like there was plenty on that trip!
Thanks for sharing this.Dec 22, 2012 at 7:49 am #1937392
That is an amazing and awesome trip. It made me homesick. I grew up in the southwest, in the high end of the Chihuahuan desert, and your TR brought so much of what I love about the desert back to me. Man, I miss the open vistas, and all manner of spiky things. Thanks for posting.Dec 22, 2012 at 12:01 pm #1937437
Hoot FilsingerBPL Member
@filsingerLocale: Pacific Northwest
Your trip video left a poignant mark on me. Very well edited to tell the story of your trip. Just enough text about your photos and like your photo choices. Especially like the photo of your canned good cache-took me back in time. The T.K Whipple quote at the end of your video may be my favorite quote for explaining why so many of us seek out wild places today. Also impressed with the simplicity of your gear-made me rethink some of my choices.
HootDec 22, 2012 at 12:58 pm #1937444
Thanks Charles, I agree with you about the desert. The desert has it's own magic, and the openness and solitude are major components of the mystique.
Thanks to you, too Hoot. That T.K Whipple should be quoted more widely, it's one of the best.Dec 24, 2012 at 7:54 am #1937903
Steven McAllisterBPL Member
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
Love the desert and this trail is the mother of all desert hikes.Dec 24, 2012 at 8:21 am #1937912
John DonewarBPL Member
@newtonLocale: Southeastern Louisiana
Awesome video of a soulful solo through some amazing landscape full of raw beauty.
Thanks for posting it here.
NewtonDec 24, 2012 at 8:24 am #1937917
Tom ClarkBPL Member
@tomclarkLocale: East Coast
Great trip and great video. Thansk for sharing.
TomJan 6, 2013 at 12:00 pm #1941215
For those interested in the Desert Trail I updated the Desert Trail information page.
There is information on planning, including the caching of food and water, weather, route conditions, plants and animals, hike timing, additional information sources and more.
Thanks!Jan 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm #1941225
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Awesome, awesome, awesome!!!
Although I have hiked every section from Mexico to Death Valley, it never occurred to me to do it as one long hike due to the water concerns. Plus I had never heard of the semi-official named "Desert Trail."
I also enjoyed reading about your 1,000 mile Alaska trip, especially all the wildlife you encountered.
Last year I was impressed with your knowledge of Grizzly Bears, and this prompted me to spend 3 hours yesterday on your blog.
I have bookmarked your sited and moved it to the top of my list.
Thank you for sharing all of this.Jan 6, 2013 at 2:34 pm #1941252
Steven McAllisterBPL Member
@brooklynkayakLocale: South West US
I have also spent a lot of time reading your site and trail journal. The details that you were able to put to text show a lot of effort on your part, an effort that is much appreciated.Jan 7, 2013 at 7:35 am #1941414
George DavisBPL Member
Buck, what did you think of the Nevada section? I lived in Vegas most of my life and have driven everywhere in the state — I would imagine that, especially in the central and northern parts, you were extremely isolated. There's not much out there and hardly any change of scenery until you get close to the Oregon border.
Also, I was looking through your site and came across your smokejumper section — I never even knew that job existed! I now know what I want to do whenever I get out of the military, haha!Jan 7, 2013 at 8:03 am #1941420
Thank you Nick. It would be fun to compare notes on that desert country that we are both familiar with. I checked out your site as well, nicely done! You clearly know what you're doing.
Steven, thanks for that! I really appreciate it and I'm glad you enjoyed the story of that beautiful route.
I loved Nevada. You are right about it being extremely isolated for long stretches, a big plus, I think. For those interested in the Nevada portion of the trail, this part of the video starts just after I crossed the border and Nevada runs until 5:34. My journal has stories and photos of Nevada, too, and Nevada starts at this post to May 29.
I enjoyed Nevada's isolated mountain ranges, artifacts, hot springs, petrified wood, geology, dry lake beds, etc. One day I was walking down the trail and found where a mountain lion had just dragged a young wild horse across the path! He apparently ran off as I approached.
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