Category: Backcountry skills

Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Carson Pass to Meiss Meadow

This hike was pretty unique. With my coworkers and partners from the U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service, we hiked the PCT today from Carson Pass to Meiss Meadow and the Truckee River. It was a field day during a week of training about the science behind hiker’s impacts on trails. We brought out one of the world’s only Recreation Ecologists to do some extra professional development in light of the increasing popularity of the PCT.

I won’t go into what we talked about during the workshop (we’ll do a post at about it), and instead just say that it was a beautiful day on the trail. I do love talking trail management and relish the few days I got to spend diving into it with other professionals.

Measuring soil loss on a trail transect.

Measuring soil loss on a trail transect.

Responding to a crash on Highway 1

I had the chance to play rescuer yesterday.

Driving uphill on narrow and twisty Highway 1, Tom said “bike accident”. We pulled around the blind corner to block the road from oncoming traffic. I jumped out the car while asking Tom and Ali to find rubber gloves and block traffic.

The female cyclist was on the ground, not moving much, terrified and screaming a little. I held cervical spine immobilization while Tom called 911. The other yahoo (perhaps the driver?) that was at the scene, left with an unhelpful “Don’t call an ambulance dude. That’s like $40K.”

I quickly calmed her down, ¬†introduced myself, did my ABC’s,¬†and reassured her that the Stinson Beach EMS was only a few minutes away. A nurse came by and helped the patient flush the rocks and dirt out of her mouth to make her more comfortable.

It seemed like she just got a facefull of ground and some road rash but I didn’t do a full assessment so I don’t know. We left before the whole ambulance process got too far underway. Not sure if she even got in it. Her nice carbon road bike was pretty messed up. Looked like at least 10 broken spokes.

All my Wilderness First Responder training came in to play and let me stay relaxed during the process.

Carving a whistle

It worked well.

I like carving things. Mostly, I make spoons. My friend found this neat whistle in our campsite in Yosemite’s Return Canyon last weekend. It worked well. I’ll try to copy the design some time in the future.