Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What happened to Forager?

Greetings.....Many of you have been asking "what happened to Forager" and "Why isn't he updating the blog." When the trip ended I needed some time to figure it out. I am currently in a Yoda-like state living in the Green Swamp located in Clermont Florida. I live on a private island surrounded by lakes and a canal for entry. It is a swampy area with tons of natural wildlife. It feels like we live on a nature preserve. Exotic birds, wild hogs, armadillo, opossum, snakes, and you guessed it....alligators. We have an airboat that we take out on the Clermont chain of lakes. It is a very peaceful state of existence and I am working on my Jedi meditation :) Just kiddin about that last part, but it has been a great way for me to transition in to some type of participation in the "real world." I hope everyone is doing well and I will update you on my next adventure soon.


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Looks Like We Made It

Good Evening Friends,
We made it! On September 29th, 2008 at 1:43pm we reached the Terminus Monument of the Pacific Crest Trail located on the US/Canadian border. Simply put this has been the journey of a lifetime and I couldn't have done it without all of your support, inspiration, and sacrifice. Thank you so much! The personal growth I have achieved spiritually, emotionally, and psychologically has equipped me to go out and give the world a great big bundle of love. Hiking through Central and Northern Washington was one of the highlights of the trip. More glaciers, more snow capped mountains, more volcanoes, and breathtaking views. There were also some of the best trail angels and I was the beneficiary of even more random acts of great kindness that further ingrained my hope in humanity. I look forward to sharing more stories with all of you on a personal level. For now I am hitch-hiking down the Pacific Coast. I am in the quaint port city of Bellingham, WA right now. Next we will be headed to Seattle, Portland, Redwoods National Park, Northern California wine country, Santa Cruz, and then finally Los Angeles. Then I will be returning to Orlando and I can't wait to give everyone there a big hug....there will be a small party to thank everyone and celebrate the journey when I return so stay posted for details.....and now...the three biggest lessons I learned on the trail:
1. No matter what happens in life....keep putting one foot in front of the other...no matter how slow, no matter how painful, keep going, and keep trying.
2. Live courageously. As I face my fears in life I gain more peace. The more peace I gain the more giving I can be to the world. I don't think the slogan should be "no fear." I think it should be "celebrate fear." Acknowledge that which we are most afraid of in the world, look the fear straight in the eyes, and then find the courage to live through it.
3. Dare to dream. No matter how big or small our dreams make us who we are. Stop coming up with reasons not to dream and start creating reasons to believe in your dreams!

But most importantly....above all else.....HAVE A PEACEFUL DAY!!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Journey

Hi everyone! I am in Packwood, WA right now....a stones through away from the spectacular snow capped volcanic Mt Rainer....The Washington section of the hike has been nothing short of amazing....Goat Rocks Wilderness is one of the most beautiful places on Earth! I summited a mountain call Old Snowy from which I had views of Mt Rainer, Mt Adams (also another snow capped volcano), the famous Mt St Helens that erupted in 1980, glacier lakes, and huge glaciers all around me. I saw mountain goats that are huge white furry creatures. I saw an enormous elk. Then I really started to have fun...you see...I learned a valuable lesson out here:
Life is a journey, not a destination. Life isn't about what we acquire, it isn't about how much we make, what job we have, where we live, who we know, or even where we end up when we die....those things all have there place, but that is just it....life is about the way we lived while we were here. Were we happy? Did we dare to dream? Did we look our deepest fears straight in the eyes and find the courage from within to charge forward? Did we learn to love ourselves and in the process learn to love everyone around us? Did we share that love with everyone we meet? And most importantly...did we live a life that showed the world our love for God? I sat on top of a 7000 ft knife toothed ridge looking down a valley that seemed so deep it was a different world than where I was....I looked around at all the beauty of God's creation, the mountains, the snow, the lakes, the trees, and the cool breeze that blew my long hair back from my face....A bald eagle soared down to inspect me as it went on its own journey for the day....I couldn't have ever dreamed I would contain so much peace in my soul as in that moment....Instead of crying with joy I decided to do something unthinkable in my former lifestyle.....I looked down the face of the mountain I was on and there was a snow field that went down a sheer drop off about 800 feet down and then turned in to jagged rocks where the snow had already melted. I climbed down off the knife edged ridge on to the snow, grabbed my ice axe from my backpack, and then shoved off a sheer vertical drop at which I descended at the speed of gravity....as the grade eased I was probably sliding down at about 30 miles per hour on my rear end with certain death or serious injury awaiting me when I reached the jagged ice torn rocks at the bottom....in the last 40 feet I calmly rolled on my side and used the ice axe to self arrest, stopping my freight train of a slide down the mountain....I know what you are thinking...what kind of lunatic intentionally slides down the side of a mountain risking death? I do have the answer though....I am a man that has learned the most valuable lesson...life is a journey....a life of quiet desperation is no way to live....life isn't about our achievements....it is about how we got there.....many people will hike the Pacific Crest Trail this year, but none will have the same journey I did....the feeling I got at the bottom of the snow field when I realized I was safe and had made it was like nothing I have ever felt before.....In that moment I felt complete, absolute, and perfect freedom. I screamed at the top of my lungs for minutes before falling to my knees and thanking God for the lessons I have learned on this journey....so please for Forager....dare to dream, have the courage to face your fears, and show someone love today that you normally wouldn't have...and for God's sake.....today....please enjoy the journey!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Welcome To Washington

Hi Everyone! I know it has been a while, but Oregon is God's chosen land! This place is even better than the High Sierra's in California......Snowcapped volcanic mountains......electric blue sunsets........enchanted forests.........mystical lakes that seem to unravel the imagination......especially Crater Lake which is a volcano that had the top blown completely off of it during an eruption......the volcano filled with water over 1000's of years......then...there was another eruption.....Wizard Island was formed on the southwest quadrant of the lake.....In the winter....you can witness the inside of a volcano filled with a 2000 ft deep lake.....with all of your surroundings covered in a white Christmas.....heaven on Earth! Thank you so much to everyone that has encouraged me, or sent food, or just said hello to me on this journey! So for you....here is some Emerson:
From page 39 of "Ralph Waldo Emerson....Nature And Selected Essays"
In the woods, we return to reason in faith. There I feel that nothing can befall me in life, -no disgrace, no calamity (leaving me my eyes), which nature cannot repair. Standing on bare ground,--my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, --all mean egotism vanishes. I sell all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God. The name of the nearest friend then sounds foreign and accidental: to be brothers, to be acquaintances, master or servant, is then a trifle, and a disturbance. I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty. In the wilderness, I find something more dear and connate than in streets or villages. In the tranquil landscape, and especially in the distant line of the horizon, man beholds somewhat as beautiful as his own nature."

Have a peaceful day!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Welcome To Oregon

Looks like we made it! I finally passed in to the state of Oregon on Friday and it was very rewarding. I had a real sense of accomplishment after completing the California section of my journey.....I now have about 950 miles to Canada. Things are going great on the trail and I am really learning a lot about myself. When this journey began it was important for me to communicate to others that I wasn't doing this because I was searching for something. I had already been fortunate to find a great and powerful peace that comes from knowing and having a relationship with God and Jesus as my savior and friend. This journey started because once I really felt that type of peace on the inside all I really wanted to do is go out and experience the beauty and wonder of creation. The trail has taught me a lot though. I realized that I really was searching for something though....I was searching for a way to share that peace I had found with others...what good is such a powerful love if not shared with everyone we are on this journey of life with? I realize that what I really longed for the most was to live a life of peace, love, compassion, and forgiveness and by doing so help others come to know the same grace that I have found in our heavenly father. The magnificence of creation can be seen at its fullest on the trail.....the starry nights, the beautiful forests, and the other animals we share nature with all have a way of making me feel so connected to everything that is real about this life....it is that connection that helps make me feel closer to God than anything I have ever experienced and I just can't help but to want to share that with everyone around.....have a peaceful day!

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Pancake Time!

Good morning from sunny Yreka, CA. I am now only one day away from reaching Seiad Valley and the "Pancake Challenge." Many of you are familiar with my story of how I learned about the Pacific Crest Trail. I saw a show on the Travel Channel that was about resaraunts around the country to "pig out." The Seiad Valley pancake challenge was one of those places and the show mentioned how hungry hikers come off the PCT starving for carbs and try to do the pancake challenge. It is a 5 pound stack of pancakes and I will be eating every last bite! A lot of fun has been had since the last blog. I made it from Old Station to the beautiful Burney Falls state park that was full of you guessed it....beautiful waterfalls...From there my travels took me to Castella and Castle Crags State Park. That park has a very unique mountainous rock formation that looks like some type of ancient castle. From there I took a side trip with Waffles, Sun Tan, Jammer, and Breezeway. We white water rafted down the Sacremento River for three days on tire intertubes. It was quite the adventure! We all lost our sunglasses, popped 4 tubes, got smashed in to rocks, and were drug accross the bottom when we tried to go over small waterfalls....by the grace of God none of us were seriously injured, but we did get plenty of scrapes and bruises. The best part of the story is that Sun Tan and Waffles had a wedding to go to and instead of taking a bus or a car they came up with the idea to tube down the river. We didn't make it far enough so after three days they finally decided it best to get out of the river and find some more reliable transportation. It was a side trip well worth doing! My next adventure is from Seiad Valley where we will finally cross in to Oregon and head for the city of Ashland. I cherish the experiences that I've had in California, but it feels good to be moving on to something new. Until next time.
Have a peaceful day,

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Old Station

Hello Everyone! Greetings from Old Station, California. The last few days have been a lot of fun. I made it from Chester to Drakesbad and then to Old Station. The area near Drakesbad is in the Lassen Volcanic National Park. The terrain included boiling lakes, geysers, hot springs, and Mars-like terrain. The Drakesbad campground has a swimming pool that is filled with water piped in from a hot spring near by. The group I'm hiking with spent the better part of the day swimming in the pool while we were there. I've been hiking with quite a group and I'm sure you'd enjoy their trail names:
Jammer, WingIt, Dr McDreamy, Roller Girl, Coyote, Ratatouille, Wild Child, Marty McFly, Smooth, Jester, Breezeway, Jeremy, and DyNO-mite. These are people from all over the country, from all different types of backgrounds. It is a beautiful thing that on the trail we are united by our lofty goal of hiking from Mexico to Canada on what most call the greatest hiking trail in the world. Everyone sticks together offering encouragement, inspiration, food, and advice to those in need. It has proven to be a great opportunity to set a Christian example on the trail. Many people group Christians in to an extreme right wing category or even in to a wacky extreme leftest religous stereotype. It is very rewarding to show those on the trail that the bulk of us Christians out there are more like themselves than they realize. The Pacific Crest Trail may only be a couple of feet wide, but it is 2650 miles long and a lot can happen in between. I am certain I would not have been able to finish this journey alone, so a special thanks to those both on and off the trail that have carried me through the first 1378 miles of this journey.....only 1272 miles to go!
Have a peaceful day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Made It Through Another Fire

I made it through another fire today....I hiked in to Quincy Laporte Road and then a hiker named "Chuck Norris" picked up about 6 of us and gave us rides in to Quincy around a trail closure. We hiked around an area by Tahoe and then another 38 miles from Sierra City. The landscape is starting to change in to more forested areas with a lot more shade and hardly any snow because we are at lower elevations. I will be hitch hiking up to Chester and getting back on the trail there after the fire closure. The next 10 days has me on and off the trail a few times to get around other fires, but I am only about 11 days away from being able to do the pancake challenge in Seiad Valley! I should be in Oregon in 12 days and finally out of smoke filled California. Thanks to all of you that have been supporting me with food drops! I couldn't have made it this far without you. My funds are running very low so if there is anyone else interested in sending me a food drop send me an email at hemmingwayjones@gmail.com and I will give you info on how to help.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Time Off In Tahoe

Hello again! I made it to South Lake Tahoe. What a beautiful place. The lake is spectacular and the whole area is a huge tourist destination. There are casinos around the lake, but I will be skipping those.....no reason to donate money to them! The people in Tahoe have given me a bad taste though....they cater to the ultra wealthy so us hikers get treated pretty poorly....I went to church this morning and I thought the paster was actually going to ask me to leave...They made me go in a private bathroom, wash off in the sink, put on a t-shirt they gave me, and then he asked me to hang out in the bathroom until the service was about to start....WOW!!! I don't know about you, but the Jesus I read about in the bible would have FREAKED OUT about the way they treated me! The good news is that this is the first city on my trip where the locals have been so crass. After Lake Tahoe there is a large section of the trail that is closed because of forest fires. I will be skipping ahead to an area past the fires, but I wont know where until tomorrow.....Until then

Have a peaceful day,

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hello Again!

Good Morning! Sorry it has been so long since my last post....the High Sierra's are a very remote area and there are no computers and no cell phone coverage for most of the journey....I am now at about mile 1025 of my journey. It was a great feeling walking past the 1,000 mile marker on the trail! I have a lot of catching up to do since my last post so here we go:
1. The Sierras are probably in the top 5 of most beautiful places on Earth. There are hundreds of waterfalls, snow capped mountains of every shape and size, creeks, streams, cascading rivers, deer, bears, marmots, fox, and every kind of squirrel you can imagine. The stars are brighter, the air is more pure, and there is a sparkling spring around every corner. Emotion is our guide in life. Events happen around us and they cause emotion that becomes our gauge of the experience. The Sierras were very confusing for me because there is no emotion that captures the full range of the magnitude the experience provides.
2. Climbing Mt Whitney was everything I had hoped for. I summited the mountain with a guy named "Jammer" from Alabama. We climbed the last 4000 feet at 2am so that we could watch the sunrise from 14491 ft. It was the experience of a lifetime but it was sooooooooooo cold! I started getting a little light headed and queasy at about 14000 ft because of the lack of oxygen, but I will never forget the way the sun looked as it began its wondrous climb in to the horizon. There was a back drop of 12K to 13K foot snow covered peaks all around us. The valley in between were filled with glaciated lakes and streams. The universe became still the instant the sky turned orange with the beginning of a new day.
3. Mirrored lakes......there are countless surprise lakes hiding up at 11K, 12K and 13K feet.....the lakes are formed by snow and ice melt....many of them have waterfalls pouring in to them from high atop the mountain's peak. The water is more crystal clear than you can buy in the store. I took a picture of the bottom of one of the lakes and it just looks like a picture of the ground...you can't even tell there is water there. I found a hidden lake one night right before sunrise. Because of the wild fires there is some smoke and haze in the air. The sunset was a spectacular purple pink orange and red light show that reflected perfectly off the mirrored lake. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.
3. Jane Fonda has nothing on this workout! The Sierras are a grueling test of strength, endurance, and mental toughness. The trail has as much as 25,000 ft of elevation change in a single day of hiking. We hike through snow, ice, rocks, and ford streams. I am now eating 4K to 5K calories a day and still my body is getting leaner. I even ate 10K calories at a stop in Yosemite Valley. But not to worry....they highest elevation is now behind me. I am in Bridgeport California and from here on out the trail doesn't go back over 10K feet.
6. John Muir was the man responsible for the founding of the national park system in the United States. Yosemite Valley was his inspiration. I understand why....there is half dome and el capitan.....they are large granite domes formed by ice ages 13000 years ago.....there are dramatic waterfalls complete with their own intricate system of rainbows, and there is an abundance of peaceful energy that seems to attract man and wildlife alike. One of the most beautiful places on Earth...a must see for anyone!
7. I am currently staying at a trail angel's house. Steve and Mollie Nugent live here in Brigdeport and work on mission trips during the cold months of the year. The have spent a lot of time working at an orphanage in Mexico. They have been a great inspiration to me since meeting them. It doesn't hurt that the view from the back of there house is the Eastern Sierras. Matterhorn peak is just over 12K ft and it is calling my name. I am going to stay here in town for a few days so I am going to climb that peak tomorrow. The world is such a different place from up there. Perspective is one of the most important things in life. Is the glass half full or waiting for some more sparkling spring water?
8. Showers.....ewww....I set my record on this stretch and went 14 days without a shower....do you have any idea how bad I smelled. Really....I walked by a meadow with flowers in it and they all wilted when I walked by! Good thing the Nugents have a shower!
9. What is next? After Brideport I will hike up to Echo Lake and South Lake Tahoe. I will hike around the west side of Lake Tahoe and then up the California plateau in to Northern California. The days will get easier for elevation change so I am going to step up the miles and go for a 50 mile day and then a 60 mile day. I hope my feet hold up! The have already swollen up two full sizes.

Hopefully it wont be so long until my next post. I really appreciate the words of encouragement that some of you have sent me by email. The trip has really become more of a psychological challenge than physical......I am learning a lot about perseverance and strength of character on this journey. I hope that you all have a peaceful day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Let It Burn!

Wow.....so much has happened since I last blogged but I will try to keep it short! I got to hiker town in the middle of the Mojave desert to discover it was simply a combination of trailers with now electricity and an outdoor shower that ran off a garden hose. After hiking a 40 mile day I didn't care and took a shower in the cold night air. I did get a good night's rest in the bunkhouse style hostel and the next morning I was joined by Adrian "Walkeaze" Baird to do another 48 miles through the Mojave to Tehachapi. We had a great hike and he shared coffee and other great trail foods with me. His "Trail Grit" has revolutionized my diet out here. It consists of several grains and oats and can be mixed with spices, jellies, or bacon bits to add flavor. We hit the 1st annual chilli cook off upon reaching Tehachapi and even got to see a reinactment of a wild west shoot out on the downtown square. I went back out on the trail that day to finish the final section leading in to the High Sierra's. That section included some more 100 degree days and another 40 mile day before I finally reached Kennedy Meadows where a fledgling forest fire awaited me. The fire wasn't close enough to the trail to cause a problem, but the forestry service was closely monitoring the containment. I met up with about 10 other hikers at the general store and we spent the first day resting and enjoying hot food. The best way to describe Kennedy Meadows is to say it is the only place on the trail where the locals are grittier than the hikers! I got up this morning ready to hike on and my backpack got a huge tear in it as I packed it. At first I questioned why this had happened. I packed the bag the same way I had for hundreds of miles and all of a sudden it got a catastophic tear. Fortunately there was another hiker with me that is an expert at sewing and he even made his own backpack. After a few hours of sewing on new materials my pack was as good as new. The only problem was that I had lost a day waiting. I decided to hike out with the group tomorrow and then it became clear. The forestry service called the general store and informed them the next section of the trail was now closed because of a flare up that caused the fire to spread and cross the Pacific Crest Trail. Had I hiked out this morning I could have been caught in the fire.....thank you God for protecting me yet again! Tomorrow we will be hiking out on a side trail that avoids the fire and we will be entering the High Sierra's. In a couple of days I will be standing on top of Mt. Whitney at the highest point in the main 48 states......I like to call it God's front yard!
Until next time..............

Monday, June 9, 2008

Snake Eyes

Hello from Sunny Green Valley, CA! Today's adventure finds me relaxing in the manzanita garden of Joe and Terri Anderson at Casa de Luna. We are nestled in at a shady spot amongst the blazing heat of the Mojave desert. The Anderson family is another example of the kindness of trail angels. It has been said that the Sauffley's in Agua Dulce are an example of trail angels with perfect corporate efficiency, and the Anderson's are trail angels that run a hippie hiker day care! There is all the beer and food a hiker could possibly need and some of the guests seem to never leave. I say change the name to Hotel California! There is even one guy here that we think is just a regular homeless guy and not even a hiker, but the Anderson's don't care because their doors are open to anyone. Today's excitement involved wrestling and capturing a rattlesnake that had ventured to close to the back of the home. Upon helping catch the snake we put it in a pillow case and dropped it off in the desert where it would be safer for everyone. I leave tonight to hike 40 miles through the Mojave in the dark in order to avoid the 100+ degree temperatures. Next destination: Hiker Town.
Have a peaceful day!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Things Are Changing

Check out these links to some of the places menitioned in this blog:
Good morning from Agua Dulce, CA. I am about 450 miles in to the Pacific Crest Trail so far and things are really starting to make sense. I have known from the beginning what a great adventure this would be, but it is only now that a true understanding of its importance is becoming clear. The last section I hiked was from Cajon Junction 112 miles to the Sauffley's at Hiker Heaven in Agua Dulce. I managed to see five beautiful big horned sheep, climbed the 9400 ft Mt Baden Powell with beautiful views all over Southern CA, got to see breathtaking scenery along the deserted Angeles Crest Highway, and then hiked back to back 37 mile and 30 mile days in to Agua Dulce after passing the historic Vasquez Rocks. Enough about that and let me explain Hiker Heaven. It is yet again a perfect example of trail angels and their decdication to helping make the hiking experience as enjoyable as possible. Donna and Jeff Sauffley have a beautiful ranch style home in the valley complete with grape vines, horses, dogs, cats, a perfectly landscaped yard with river rock and many varieties of plants, and spectacular vistas of Vasquez Rocks. They have opened their home every year for the last 12 years and have now served almost 3,000 hikers. They have let up to 65 hikers stay here in one night. They do our laundry, give us a bed or a cot to sleep in, provide refrigerater and kitchen, loan us bicycles, and even have a Chevy Suburban that they loan out every day for hikers to run errands with! Some of their friends say they are crazy, but they point to one man as an example for why they choose to serve others so selflessly: Jesus. When I asked the Sauffley's why they do so much they gave me several verses from the bible that talked about hospitality and how we are to open our homes to those in need. They also think it isn't just hospitality that is important, but to truly make all guests feel at home. They have got it mastered!!! It is only after reflecting on the imensity of their contribution to my experience that I was able to have another philisophical realization. God has also been my host on this journey. God made this amazing creation and I am a guest in it every day. God is the ultimate host and has made me feel right at home on every mile I walk through his creation. God is there every moment to help me have the best experience possible while I am here and it is only up to me to put one foot in front of the other and have a loving attitude that gives glory back to God for his creation. Wow....all of that because of a realization made possible only by the kind act of two strangers named Donna and Jeff......Looks like their mission to serve others for the glory of God is working!
Next up I am now only about ten days out of the Sierra Nevada mountain range that has been called the best hiking in the world by some, the range of light by others, and also quickly became one of Ansel Adams favorite canvasses. The hike will be epitimized by my climb to the 14,400 ft peak of Mt Whitney which is the highest point in the contiguous United States.

"Surely the brightest and best of all the Lord has built...It has the brightest weather, brightest glacier-polished rocks, the greatest abundance of irised spray from its glorious waterfalls, the brightest forests of silver firs and silver pines, more starshine, moonshine and perhaps more crystalshine than any ther mountain chain, and its countless mirror lakes, having more light poured into them, glow and spangle the most." --Ansel Adams writing of the Sierra Nevada

Have a peaceful day!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hooray For Hollywood

What a great stop this has been! We spent the night at our favorite trail angel Adrian's house last night in Glendale just outside of Hollywood. Him and his wife Snookie were gracious enough to let us take hot showers, gave us a warm bed, and even took us out for some hot and delicious Italian food! After dinner they even took us on a tour of Hollywood where we saw the walk of stars, Mann's Chinese Theatre, and an overlook that gave us vistas of the whole city. What a night to be a hiker! We are driving Pebbles back to LAX to fly home at 8am...I will be back on the trail shortly after that, to make my ascent of the 9400 ft Mount Baden Powell....and then head back down for five days in the scortching Mojave desert.....Pray for me! :)

Have a peaceful day!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Made It To Cajon Pass!

Today "Pebbles" (Debbie) and I made it to Cajon Pass! We got there and there was a short .4 mile walk to a McDonald's! I started by gorging myself on 3000 calories worth of sausage egg and cheese McGriddles....heaven in a plastic wrapper! I want to share with you Pebble's top ten list of things she enjoyed on her PCT section hike with me:

10. The beautiful and quaint village of Big Bear City
9. Viewful and immense vistas from the mountain tops
8. Camping...specifically being read to from "The kindness of strangers" by Mike McIntyre
7. The great feeling of physical exertion and physical challenge
6. The tasty treats waiting at the Cajon Pass McDonald's
5. Seeing three different rattle snakes from less than 5 feet away and not being bitten once
4. After 4 days of hiking stumbling down a mountain and finding an ice cream truck waiting by the side of the road to sell us 6 varieties of iced delicacies including snickers ice cream bars and snow cones
3. The amazingly wonderful and refreshing beaches of Silverwood Lake
2. Coming within 150 ft of a 140 pound mountain lion and getting to enjoy its beauty without becoming lunch!
1. Trail Angels.....they are the people that make us realize how important selfless dedication to others is. They are an example for us all.

The sense of accomplishment seems to be the overwhelming reason in retrospect to deal with the pain of blisters and body ache....That comes from any worthwhile activity so follow Pebble's lead and a sense of accomplishment in your own adventure today!


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Forager Heads Back To The Trail!

The day is here! I am heading back out on the Pacific Crest Trail after a 5 week work/stay at the Nature's Inn here in Big Bear City, CA. The best part about the next five days of hiking is that my girlfriend Debbie has flown out to hike with me. She will be hiking with me to an area called Cajon Pass at an intersection with I-15. I look forward to sharing some more great stories with you. Until then....

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Let It Snow..Let It Snow...Let It Snow!

You guessed it! It is Christmas in May....ok not really. But it is snowing right now in Big Bear City, California. It is absolutely beautiful and it brings a peaceful tranquility to the air that is unparalleled and indescribable unless it is experienced. It is a great reminder for me that God made this amazing creation for us not to destroy, abuse, or misuse, but instead to experience in all of its glory. Today is one of the best days of my journey simply because I am free. Free to appreciate the simplicity and wonder of something as white as snow. I hope you all have a day full of simple pleasures.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Winding Down In Big Bear

The stay here in Big Bear City is winding down now. I will be getting back on the trail now in about a week. It has been a real blessing here at the Nature's Inn. I have been fortunate enought to meet about 300 of this years Pacific Crest Trail hikers that came through here while I was working. I met people from all over the United States and from all accross the globe. I have benifited greatly from other hiker's advice and I have been fortunate enough to do my part to make other hiker's stay here as enjoyable as possible. It has been a great reminder that serving others incredibly more rewarding than serving myself. The experience is one more thing driving me towards working for a non profit organization when I finish the hike. I was also able to start my book while here in Big Bear. The book is only about 10% complete so far, but I look forward to continuing the adventure and finishing the book near the end of my hike. I hope you all have a peaceful day!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bugs don't taste like chicken

It has been a fantastic stay so far in Big Bear City....I am counting down the days until I get back on the trail, but it has been wonderful meeting all the hikers as they come through town. I have made a lot of great friends that I plan on keeping in touch with for a long time. I was able to go out on a day hike yesterday with my boss at a place called Onyx Summit. Now that my trail name is Forager I have some goals for unique things to eat including: snakes, grubs, general bugs, ants, grasshoppers, fish, and anything else interesting. Yesterday I had the opportunity to eat some tasty termite larvae and they did not taste like chicken! They were small and slimy, but they really didn't have any taste....I look forward to adding more things to the list that make all of you go ewwww gross :) Until then I hope you all have a peaceful day!

Back on the trail in 14 days....

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

He works hard for his money!

I am working hard and loving life here in Big Bear City! I have been doing odd jobs around the Nature's Inn and tomorrow I will be starting on a log fence that will surround a prayer walk. I work with some great people here.....There is Ed, the owner of the Inn and my boss who is anything but typical (long haired, bearded, eccentric type), there is Gerry, a 6'3" Cajun man from the swamps outside New Orleans complete with the full accent, and then there is Robyn the housekeeper (aka Silverfinger). There are also various side characters like DeWayne and his dog Baby, and then also the occasional vagrant that stumbles up looking for something to do....We have a lot of fun here and the Inn is full of hikers so there is no shortage of excitement. It looks like the day I will be back on the trail is May 28th so that will give me plenty of time to save up some money....I don't need to buy gear any longer because the earlier mentioned Trail Angel Adrian is going to loan me some very expensive ultralight gear to continue on my adventure....He has a heart the size of California!!! Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to hearing from everyone!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Forager Is Born

The Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off weekend was a lot of fun....It took me all the way back to a campground at the beginning of the trail...There were about 700 people in attendance. There were barbeques...gear vendors...information workshops.....and videos of past hikes.....The weekend was a great weekend and also very special because many of the hikers that have been killed on the trail were memorialized....I have also been given a new trail name which I was proud to accept....A hiker named "Thumbs Up" came up with the name "Forager" because of my decision to find food along the trail. Then Allen from Portland suggested I take Forager for a symbolic meaning because of the spiritual nature of my adventure. He said that I am always looking for the limitless bounty of the universe. So...I accepted the new trail name and at the kickoff it took like wildfire....now everyone knows me as Forager. So....this will still be the hemmingway adventure, but the trail name for me is now Forager... :) I am back in Big Bear City now and starting to work on a log fence that will be surrounding a prayer walk...This is really shaping up to be quite the adventure! Have a great week!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Hemmingway Gets A Job

Greetings from the Pacific Crest Trail! I am still in Big Bear City and have actually landed a job for the next three weeks working for a land owner in the area....The Sierra Mountains are still getting ice and snow so I am about 4 weeks ahead of schedule. The forestry service doesn't recommend reaching that area before June 15th and if I keep going I will be there by May 15th (way too soon for safety). I was fortunate to meet a man named Ed that has givin me the task of building a log fence for a small park he is putting in near downtown Big Bear. He is giving me room and board at his hotel for the time while I am here and a nice pay check to go with it....So basically I'm getting paid to put up a fence in a beautiful ski resort town while I live here for at no cost! The kick off for the Pacific Crest Trail starts tomorrow and the @ 500 hikers that start the trail this weekend will be in the Big Bear area in about three weeks....just in time for me to get back on the trail....more to follow on my adventure here in Big Bear....So far it is shaping up to be quite an experience! I have attached a pic of Big Bear...
Happy Trails! Hemmingway Jones

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Can You Bear It?

Greetings from Big Bear City at Mile 275 of the journey! I have been hiking with a man that calls himself "Thumbs Up". It's been going smoothly, but not without incident... I noticed bear tracks in the woods yesterday, then heard the roar. Turns out, there is a nearby "stunt animal" training facility. We were in no danger. Still curious, we walked to it, saw the bear that we had heard, took pictures of it, and continued on our hike. Well, not a day later we arrived in Big Bear City. News is that the bear that we just taken pictures of had killed his trainer that very same day. Here is the link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080423/en_nm/bear_attack_dc_2

I'm going to hang out here for a few days. On Friday the Annual Pacific Crest Trail Kickoff party begins. This is when most of the "thru hikers" begin their journey. It is said that this year around 500 people will attempt it, and about 200 will finish. I plan to be one of them, so keep checking back... many more posting to come...

Hemmingway Jones

Friday, April 18, 2008


I have some pictures for you at www.flickr.com/photos/9111286@N07
I haven't uploaded pictures from my camera yet, but I have been traveling the last few days with a group of guys from Chicago that have some great pictures uploaded...enjoy!

The best picture is me crossing the snow and ice at
(A picture of me crossing steep snow and ice on the side of a mountain)

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I Made It!

Okay...I made it...I am in beautiful Idyllwild, California. It is a small resort town tucked away in the San Jacinto Mountains. I climbed to an elevation of over 8000 feet over the last two days...I climbed through treacherous ice and snow that blocked the trail which I wouldn't have been able to do without an ice axe. I was fortunate that a "trail angel" lent me a great carbon fiber ice axe on Saturday. I spent Saturday and Sunday in Anza, Ca and met a great 77 year old woman named Donna. She is a retired chef and she made home cooked meals for me all weekend :). She also took me to a great non denominational church on Sunday. Everyone was really nice and I made a lot more friends....Yesterday wasn't without incident though...imagine me falling on the ice about 5000 feet up from the bottom of a canyon and the only thing that stopped my slide was the ice axe...Thank God the "trail angel" I met let me borrow his! Needless to say this trip is definitely challenging! I know God is with me every step of the way though. I may stay here in Idyllwild a few days to give the snow and ice some more time to melt...

Trail Angel: volunteers that set up free water stations and camping areas along the trail to help out Pacific Crest Trail Hikers...Also known as great all around people with a servants heart. The more trail angels one meets the easier the trip becomes.

With love to all,
Hemmingway Jones

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Voice of Truth

After the first four days I thought of quitting. I had ten great reasons.

*Total exhaustion
*Scorching, stinging blisters covering my feet
*Sprained left knee
*I am completely filthy and stink to high heaven
*My back muscles burn like someone putting hot coals on them
*I have 2600 miles to go
*I am running out of food
*No hot meals
*No showers
*Most importantly, I really miss everyone

But.... all that being said, I was able to listen to music on my Ipod because of the solar charger gifted to me by my friends Bob and Marta.

On the fifth morning, I was trudging along and a song called "The Voice of Truth" started playing. The words are:

The waves are calling out my name, and they laugh at me reminding me of all the times I've tried before and failed. The waves they keep on telling me time and time again "Boy, you'll never win, you'll never win". But the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says "Do not be afraid". The voice of truth says "This is for My glory" (God's). Out of all the voices calling out to me I will chose to listen and believe the voice of truth.

No matter what your insurmountable challenge in life is, I pray you'll listen to the voice of truth. I know that I am choosing the voice of truth, and so for now...the adventure continues.

140 miles now completed.

Hemmingway Jones

Monday, April 7, 2008

Chapter One

It has been quite an adventure. I've travelled about 40 miles so far, mostly up mountains. I'm suffering from some exhaustion, a twisted knee, and some blisters, but am in good spirits none the less. I've met some friends along the way. Further details to follow.....

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Basic Info

The backpacking journey will be on the Pacific Crest Trail which runs from the Southern California/Mexico border and goes north through California, Oregon, Washington, and ends eight miles in to Canada. The trip is approximately 2700 miles and will take about 6 months to complete. Each year about 300 people attempt to hike the entire trail and only about 150 complete the whole journey. To send me emails I can be reached at hemmingwayjones@gmail.com . I look forward to all of your comments!

Hemmingway Jones

All We Need Is Love

The day is finally here! Today I am flying out of Orlando at 5:45pm to my first destination of San Diego California. I will be on the Pacific Crest Trail by lunch time tomorrow! I thank all of you for the support you have poured out over the last two months as I have prepared for this journey. The biggest blessing was the immensity of love, kindness, and inspiration that you all gave me. This has already been one of the greatest experiences of my life because I have been able to see the true nature of everyone around me. We all go through some type of inner struggle in life and it is the love we share that binds us. It is through that loving connection that I will be able to bring every single one of you on this adventure with me. Thanks again and remember... All we need is love! :)

Hemmingway Jones

Monday, March 31, 2008

In The Beginning

This is the first official post of Hemmingway Jones (aka David Green). It is important for any backpacking adventurist to have a trail name and I have chosen Hemmingway Jones. I hope you enjoy stopping by from time to time to participate by following my adventures.

Hemmingway Jones