Riding the PCT with Mustang George

I just bought a very green mustang horse (named “Mustang George”) who has never encountered a backpacker before. I would like to ride him on the PCT north of me, but fear how he will react to some of the strange things hikers do around horses. I decided it would be safest to give hikers a heads-up that we are ahead on the trail and provide guidance on how to act around a horse by placing this sign trailside where we enter the trail. Hopefully, this will help ease George into his new life as a trail horse. (I also hope this will provide information to many hikers who have no experience around stock and will likely encounter them at least once on the remainder of their PCT journey.)

Guthook app update (version 10) is buggy

I’m not sure which devices and OSs are impacted, but the most recent updates for the Guthook app are buggy and cause the app to be useless for the sorts of purposes PCT thru hikers use it for. I updated to Guthook version 10 a few days ago and still cannot get the app to work. Here is the most recent email with Tech Support at Atlas Guides (the company that developed this app).

I would recommend that hikers NOT update this app (and turn off automatic updates) until you are in a place for a couple of days with reliable WiFi and can fix any problems that arise.

I put out a sign alerting hikers of the problem.

Update: Once I was in a place with WiFi, I uninstalled and reinstalled the newest Guthook app, as instructed, and it returned to working as expected.

Riding the first 40 miles of the PCT

I had a week+ of free time on my hands and a good weather forecast for SoCal, so I decided to do some horse camping down south and ride as much of the PCT as time and snow conditions allowed.

Gracie and I spent our first several days doing day rides out of Campo CLEEF, an equestrian facility within “spittin’ distance” (as my grandmother would say) of the southern terminus. Of course, there was the obligatory picture at the monument.

Trump’s new border wall is visible in the background. (This section of wall used to be a solid 12-foot concrete barrier.) There is a Border Patrol station in Campo, so this section sees a lot of Border Patrol traffic along the road bordering the wall.

From a distance, the wall totally changes vistas. Because it is not solid, you can sometimes sees odd light patterns that it creates.

Electronic surveillance is everywhere.

Anyway, off we went on our first foray from the southern terminus. Here’s the obligatory picture of the first milepost.

A few miles in, we passed another sign signifying the distance in each direction. I couldn’t help sending friends a bunch of texts that we were going for broke, and there was only 2,647 miles to go.

We did the first ten miles as an out and back, then moved to Boulder Oaks as our base camp for the next 30 miles.

The only federally-designated wilderness in this section is Hauser Wilderness. The PCT goes through a tiny corner of it.

Looking back at it from the south side of Hauser Canyon, the beautiful view is marred by two giant power lines that run along the wilderness area’s southern boundary.

Part of this route is (still) used by undocumented immigrants, as shown by the sign and water cache.

We continued day rides near Lake Morena

and up to the Lagunas. Snow lingering on the trail from a storm last week kept us from continuing on.