50th Anniversary Trip - the PCT and Ft. Hunter-Leggitt


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North America » United States » California
December 27th 2017
Published: January 30th 2018
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Pacific Crest TrailPacific Crest TrailPacific Crest Trail

Start of the PCT as it leaves Walker Pass heading to a series of switchbacks climbing to the top of a ridge.
Wednesday, 12/27. This morning we drove through Ridgecrest, CA, and on to Walker Pass where the Pacific Crest Trail crosses CA highway 178 on its way north to Canada. Ridgecrest is a small town where Cheryl Strayed, author of the book 'Wild', had her camp stove repaired before continuing her PCT hike from Walker Pass. We parked at the pass and hiked about 5 miles north, following in Cheryl's footsteps, before stopping at a sheltered saddle between two small summits where we ate our lunch of two cold cut combo subs that we had left over from the previous day. Soggy but delicious. It is a scientifically proven fact, to which I can attest, that food definitely tastes better on the trail. After returning to the car, we drove on to Lake Isabella, CA, and the Paradise Cove Lodge where we spent the night.



Thursday, 12/28. Up a bit later this AM for the drive to Ft. Hunter-Leggitt where we would spend the night. Ft. Hunter-Leggitt is an active US Army base that mainly trains National Guard units for deployment or for their annual 2 week training period. While we were there, it was pretty non-busy. Not much
Pacific Crest TrailPacific Crest TrailPacific Crest Trail

Looking back at the switchbacks we climbed to get to the trail along the ridge.
happening there, but that was all good for us. The fort occupies some 160 thousand acres in the mountains of central California, though only a few of those acres are in the garrison cantonment area which is restricted as to access.

We took it easy today since we had already had three good days of hiking, and it was about a 4 hour drive from Lake Isabella. The route took us along CA hwy #46 (previously US hwy 466). Along that highway we stopped at the Blackwell's Corner Mini Mart where we bought some souvenirs. It so happens that James Dean's last stop, just before he was killed in a traffic accident in September of 1955, was at this same place. The store, which had a large likeness of him outside, made sure you were aware of this fact. A little later we passed the James Dean Memorial Intersection where the accident occurred.

After arriving at the fort, we toured the historic Mission San Antonio de Padua, established in 1771, which is located right outside of the garrison cantonment area. After the tour, we got our miles in walking around the base. Lodged at the Army Hotel on
Pacific Crest TrailPacific Crest TrailPacific Crest Trail

Looking east from along the trail.
the fort and enjoyed the nice facilities at an economical price.


Additional photos below
Photos: 17, Displayed: 17


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Pacific Crest TrailPacific Crest Trail
Pacific Crest Trail

Looking west from along the trail.
Pacific Crest TrailPacific Crest Trail
Pacific Crest Trail

Along the trail as it travels along the west side of the ridge.
Pacific Crest TrailPacific Crest Trail
Pacific Crest Trail

Another looking west from along the trail.
Pacific Crest TrailPacific Crest Trail
Pacific Crest Trail

View looking east from the saddle where we had lunch.
James DeanJames Dean
James Dean

Large likeness of James Dean outside the Blackwell Corner Mini Mart.
California Highway 46 (old US 466)California Highway 46 (old US 466)
California Highway 46 (old US 466)

Along this stretch of CA 46, the Paso Robles Highway, just west of Blackwell's Corner, James Dean died in a car wreck. If you are too young to know who he is, Google him.
Salinas ValleySalinas Valley
Salinas Valley

Just a random picture from along the highway to show how flat the valley is.
Mission San Antonio de PaduaMission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Antonio de Padua

In 1771 Father Junipero Serra established this, the third mission, in California. The mission is located just outside the Ft. Hunter-Liggett cantonment area.
Mission San Antonio de PaduaMission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Antonio de Padua

The Padres garden inside the mission walls.
Mission San Antonio de PaduaMission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Antonio de Padua

A side chapel at the rear of the sanctuary.
Mission San Antonio de PaduaMission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Antonio de Padua

Entrance to the side chapel.
Mission San Antonio de PaduaMission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Antonio de Padua

The front of the sanctuary. Note the ceiling arch over the altar.
Mission San Antonio de PaduaMission San Antonio de Padua
Mission San Antonio de Padua

Looking toward the rear of the sanctuary. Note the murals on the side walls and the unusual ceiling.
California Condors ??California Condors ??
California Condors ??

These vultures were roosting in a tree near sundown on Ft. Hunter-Liggett. They look like California Condors to me, but could be turkey vultures. Can anyone tell??


Tot: 1.351s; Tpl: 0.046s; cc: 9; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0322s; 1; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 1; ; mem: 1.6mb