[pct-l] Switchback's After Action Report - 2009 Kickoff

hiker97 at aol.com hiker97 at aol.com
Wed Apr 29 09:06:02 CDT 2009

Another great Kickoff this year.? Super fun.? A cloud was hanging over me this year with my back hurting.? But I tried my best to hang in there.

I drove down Wednesday to Warner Springs Ranch resort.? I sent a lot of time in the 104 degree hot pool and swam laps in the 81 degree warm pool.? The hiker dinner Thursday evening was great with about 15 hikers.? Lots of laughs.

On Friday I drove over to Scissors Crossing, but no hikers were around to take up to Julian for breakfast.? I have never seen that before.? I got out of my SUV and yelled to see if anyone was camping in the bushes, but no response.? This was about 6:30 in the morning.? So, I headed up to my breakfast cafe and had a neat breakfast and read the morning paper.? I bought 4 LARGE cinnamon rolls and headed over to Pioneer Mail Campground.

I found 3 thru hikers just getting ready to leave the campground and I gave them the sacks of rolls. To say the least, they were very grateful.? The smile on their faces was reward enough.? Each stepped forward to shake my hand vigorously.

I pull into the Kickoff at Lake Morena Friday morning and see old friends.? This is great.? The Wagon Master eyes my bright yellow T-shirt, which says, "Homeland Security since 1492" and has four Indians with rifles on it.

I go over to campsite #22 and see my pals LaZorra and Sly.? I set up my tables and gear.? Interesting, only one person had me paint their shelter stakes this year.? Usually this is a big attraction.? My free Pringles are a big snack hit again this year.? Also, Peppermint Patty is at Campsite #22 too.? She gave me a secret smoke treatment for my pinched nerve in my neck-back.? I asked her exactly what the smoke thing was for and she said it was to cleanse the body of evil spirits.? I said if I had know that I would have asked for a double.? Meadow Mary gave me some reflexology for my back and that with the smoke helped temporarily.? Cool.? I am getting an MRI this Thursday.

I donate a bottle of Pacific Crest wine to the silent auction and Meadow Ed (he has a new trail name, but I do not remember it) told me that it got $30+.? You can get yours at Trader's Joe.? Very cool to have.? By the way, Ed told me he was having the big big big Food Ruck at Walker Pass?the first week in June this year.? I will be there with others to feed and help PCT hikers.? Last year, I think we helped over 120+ hikers.

AsABat and I have a long talk about politics and how we think the things should be run.? It is a good thing we are not in power.? A lot of people would be in for a shock.? Say, my campsite did not get toilet papered this year.? I did not put up a campsite.? Neat.? Once again, Switchback is one step ahead of those who would do him harm.

The SuperSecret's seminar had the biggest crowd ever.? There must have been about 25+ hikers there.? I HAVE SINNED!? I did NOT do my dehydrated water, condensed water or Hiker Snow Cone demos.? I was too played out after my SuperSecrets seminar.? The hikers will have to do the trail this year "Old School" and not have the advantages of my inventions.? Next year I will try again for the Class of 2010.? I had a lot of people have me make them my World Famous Hands-Free Umbrella Holder after the seminar.? The Wagon Master and the Kelty Kid were in the seminar audience and were harassing me while I gave my talk.? I get no respect.

I feel like wondering around over at the vendor's area.? There is a sea of faces and heads crowding around.? I spot a baseball hat in the crowd that says, "Sex Instructor.? First Session Free" and immediately yell out, "REINHOLD!"? Instantly the response is "Switchback".? So, Unsupported JMT and I hook up.? Lots of laughs.

I decide to buy a new pack, stove, and shelter system.? These will now be the new standard in backpackerdom, since Switchback is now using them. Sales for these items will probably go up ten told, so get yours soon.
1.? www.gossamergear.com - Mariposa Plus pack.
2.??www.sixmoondesigns.com?- bug net and Gatewood Cape.
3.??www.gossamergear.com - Trail Designs Caldera Keg - GVP cooking system for solid fuel tablets.

Late Friday I decide to head into Pine Valley to stay at the motel (no large bath towels - next year I am staying at the very nice motel off Tavern Road).? I had a great trout dinner at Calvins and then went back to my room to watch NBA playoffs on the tube.? The bed and hot shower felt great for my back.? Wow.

Saturday I bought some books and then the Incredible?Hulk and Dicentra (of One Pan Wonders book fame - www.onepanwonders.com) and I went into Majors at Pine Valley for a great lunch.? Lots of fun.? 

I decide late Saturday to drive back to near Victorville, CA and then Sunday morning a short drive into Las Vegas and home.? The Kickoff?was lots of fun and neat to see many old friends and meet new ones.? This is a great event every year and the herd was excited to get started north and lay siege to Hiker Heaven.

Respectfully submitted,

Switchback the Trail Pirate 

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