Dustbuster and Chiseled

Trail names.  A rite of passage for these through-country hikers who develop a community as they hike through the States and Counties together.

“Trail names are often colorful and intriguing. Sometimes self named, sometimes given by others. However they originated, they often give us an insight into the bearer or some event that sets that person apart. Sometimes we wonder how they ever got that name. ”  ( http://www.atmuseum.org/trail-names.html)

Another blog, The Appalachian Trials, I found shared this about the psychology of the trail name which, I found very fitting:

“Twelve Percent. Kickapoo. Aviator. Sparky. Iron Chef. Bobcat. Sloth. The Pope. Rain. Lotus. Einstein. Jersey Girl. Bama. Egret. Tum Tum. Hard Times (San Quentin). Robin Hood. Cartwheel. All In. Mama Bear. Ginger. Gilligan.  These are all trail names of people I have met in 29 days on the Appalachian Trail – and this is just a fraction of them.

For most of these people, I have no idea what their real name is, nor where they are from, what they did in the real world, why they’re out here, or what they plan on doing when they’re finished. There are simply too many people to get to know every single one very intimately. What has intrigued me, though, is that 99% of the people I’ve met go by their trail name only – and being a psychologically conscious person, I got to thinking about what these seemingly playful, innocent names represent for hikers.

Quite obviously  a trail name represents a new identity, a new beginning, and a chance to leave everything that was once represented by “John Smith” or “Jane Dougherty” behind. People don’t come out here to talk about their jobs as lawyers or bartenders or car salesmen; they come out here to leave the hassles of everyday life – the stresses of rent, insurance, bosses, student loan payments (and rightfully so, those things suck).

So doesn’t it seem fitting that, in escaping all these discomforts modern society loves to bombard us with, we should form a new identity, a new perspective, and a new way of approaching this adventure we call life? All this would seem, to me at least, a healthy psychological process which a trail name is a merely a vocal signifier for.” (http://appalachiantrials.com/psychology-trail-name/)

So befitting of them both, Lauren is now Dustbuster for her face first slides while slackpacking:

tr5 - dustbuster

And Travis is Chiseled for his chiseled leg muscles.  =)


So LauTrav move to a new acronym – “DB&C” – Dustbuster and Chiseled!

I also discovered  in my research on Trail Names, that the PCT has a hiker’s list when you’ve completed the trail.  It will be so exciting for LauTrav aka DBC to have their names added to the list:

“Walking or riding the entire Pacific Crest Trail is an achievement worthy of superlatives. It represents not just athletic prowess, determination and extreme proficiency in the outdoors, but a devotion and dedication to the magic of the West. To be a 2,600 Miler is to have achieved the remarkable.”  (http://www.pcta.org/discover-the-trail/thru-hiking-long-distance-hiking/2600-miler-list/)

Until next time,

~Linda =)



1800 miles and more

Well, I missed the FB posting from LauTrav about hitting the 1800 mile mark on the PCT, leaving them 850 miles to go.  Seems like a lot to me left but heck, after you’ve done 1800, what’s 850, right?



This is still a momentous occasion and deserving of such recognition.

Then the pictures of “running” the Crater Lake trail showed up!  I know that slackpacking has become a treasured activity as it allows them to run the trail with no pack or just a small pack with a few necessities. After carrying the backpacks, there is much freedom of movement and release in this.  I found this great explanation of slackpacking:

“If you’re at all familiar with the term “slacker” — that is, someone who puts forth minimal effort — you might be tempted to assume that slackpacking means loafing along the trail and never really getting anywhere. That’s not necessarily the case; slackpackers can move far and fast over difficult terrain…

…because they’re carrying a small pack or no pack at all, while most everybody else on the trail will be toting full-on camping gear. You see, slackpacking is backpacking without all that awkward carrying of gear or sleeping outside.” ( http://hiking.about.com/od/Hiking-Glossary/g/What-Is-Slackpacking.htm)

So here are incredible pictures of LauTrav slackpacking the Crater Lake Trail!  Enjoy as Crater Lake is amazing and worthy of everyone putting it on your bucket list if you have not been there:

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Mile 1800 put them at Honeymoon Creek, OR on Map C Page 5: or_section_c_map

You can find the Crater Lake Rim Trail is on Map C page 12.

I saw some changes in the Drop Box so I’ll see what Travis has uploaded for me.  At times, I wish I could spend hours and days researching their pictures and experiences.  Truly a vicarious way to live but such an enjoyment has made me more aware of the beauties offered right here in the United States of America!

Until next time,

~Linda =)





This post has little to do with here LauTrav are at. It has a lot to do with their camping.  Sarah Grace (their niece aka SG) is very fascinated with the idea that every night LauTrav have to set up tents and cook.  I believe her statement was “that’s a lot of work and ridiculous”.  Of course, she does not have a goal to hike the PCT either.  8 year old’s have an interesting perspective of life.  This is SG’s favorite tent picture:


So the tent.  When I asked Travis about the tents, I got this great email from him with the following information:  “Tents are Sierra Designs Tensegrity 1 Elite tents. I was lucky enough to work with both Michael Glavin & Casey Sumnicht as they developed the tent. In my opinion is offers superior usability and room to just about everything on the trail for a comparable weight (1 lbs 13oz) (except the Zpacks stuff which is amazing but also made of $). https://sierradesigns.com/tensegrity-1-elite/ “

“Our Elite tents are no holds barred, lightweight shelters. Using lightweight, fully Siliconized Nylon fabrics to repel water, we were able to reduce weight, greatly increase strength, and offer better UV resistance. Our Elite fabrics do not to adhere to the FR standard CPAI-84, limiting your exposure to FR chemicals. As such, these tents cannot be sold or shipped to CA, LA, MA, MI, MN, NJ or NY.

This tent is not factory seam sealed.
One trade-off that comes with this awesome fabric is that it cannot be factory seam sealed. It’s a bit of work that you’ll have to take on, but self sealing your tent is lighter, far more reliable, and more durable than seam tape in the long run.” (https://sierradesigns.com/tensegrity-1-elite/ ) Pictures and information taken directly from the website.

I put together a slide of various pictures of them setting up camp or getting up.  These tents are doing a great job considering they’ve been used every night since April when they started this journey:

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Food and eating? As you  know, Travis’ Mom,  Marty Nichols stuffs, packages and sending the life supplies for the PCT Journey about every  week or every 5 days:


This is so LauTrav have limited the amount of weight they are packing on the trail.  SG wants to know if the food in “those bags tastes any good?”.  LauTrav will have to let her know!

Until next time,

~Linda =)


Aug 20 = Crater Lake

We got a post card from LauTrav yesterday of Crater Lake.


The postmark on it is August 20 and is the Crater Lake PO!  Ah, the little clues they send to me to let me know where they are at.  Their secret plan is to make a private eye out of me!

Crater Lake National Park in Oregon is one of my favorite places to visit.  The scenery is amazing.  Here is some information about how the PCT works around the lake:


“The PCT enters the park at its southern border, amid fascinating pumice flats and near beautiful Stuart Falls, with its fine campsite. The trail heads north through a magnificent stand of mountain hemlock, where you’re more likely to see elk than other hikers. Also along this section, there’s a 2.6-mile detour to Union Peak, a rocky scramble that gives you a view of the entire southern half of the park.

The trail follows the rim above Crater Lake for six spectacular miles, then heads north through dry, open country to Oregon 138. Technically, the section along the rim isn’t the PCT, which allows horses and so must avoid the lake. But with scenery like this, who cares?”  (http://www.oregonlive.com/outdoors/index.ssf/2009/08/pacific_crest_trail_five_stret.html)

It’s a beautiful area they are in.  I can’t wait to hear what they liked best or found most amazing.   They were in Section C – Page 10 at this point or_section_c_map  .  I’m sure they are much further now.

Until next time,

~Linda =)

2/3’s of the way there

On August 17, LauTrav crossed the 2/3 mark! Amazing, right?


This puts them on Mile 1779 on Page 2 of Oregon C via the maps we are following: or_section_c_map

This put them close to Fourmile Lake in Oregon:

Fourmile Lake is located in Approximately 40 miles from Klamath Falls, Oregon off of Highway 140 near Lake of the Woods. Fourmile Lake is the last lake south in the Sky Lakes Wilderness area. The Sky Lakes Wilderness straddles southern Oregon’s Cascade Range from Crater Lake National Park southward to Fourmile Lake and Highway 140. This is a beautiful lake next to Mount McLoughlin with a high elevation mixed conifer forest dominated by mountain hemlock, Douglas fir, white fir and Shasta red fir. Around the lake itself there are extensive stands of lodgepole pine. The lake is at 5744’ in elevation, top of McLoughlin is 9,495 feet (http://www.southernoregon.com/lakes/fourmilelake/index.html )”

They look fantastic:13938523_10211005964604510_4383451682280602988_n

That’s all for now! Until next time,

~Linda =)



Hello Oregon!

By the time this goes live, LauTrav may be at Crater Lake, OR for their next drop.  Life has been busy for everyone and they keep moving right along.  As most of you are aware, they were 2 weeks behind and the finish date of October 2 is quickly going to be here.  I can’t believe how fast the two weeks before school started went with all the dr apts, school supplies/clothes, shopping, last minute get-it-done before summer is gone trip, and just the basics of keeping up 2 businesses and the house, has made time fly.


I got a call from Lauren on August 13, as they were 3 miles off I-5 to catch a ride to Ashland. There they were planning to stay a few day with Travis’ friend before heading out again.  They were going to do some of the trail slack-packing to make up time.  I’m a week or two late on posting this due to my own schedule.

Lauren put of some great pictures on FB (thus lessening the urgency for me to post) with some great information.  I’m presenting them in a slide show.

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From Lauren: “The last few days have been filled with highlights and accomplishments.
As we left Seiad Valley, 2 turkeys came out of nowhere and started chasing us down the road. With trekking polls in hand we fended them off and eventually got away unscathed but it was not for lack of trying on the turkey’s part.  California gave us one last parting gift of a grueling 7,000+ foot climb on a 100 degree day but we finally said goodbye to the golden state.  Not long after entering into Oregon we then reached 1700 miles. It is hard to believe there are 950 miles left.   Today as we reached I5 into Ashland we lucked out again and hit some trail magic.  The last bit of news is Travis finally got a trail name. The group today at the trail magic christened him Chiseled (for his legs) and chiz for short.”

Oregon only has 6 maps compared to the impressive 18 maps that California has.  I realize just how big California is when I look at them.  Here are the Oregon Maps (there is no “a” map):

This is by no means to allude that this part of the hike will be without it’s trials and difficulties.

Until next time,

~ Linda  =)




Etna, CA

I got a quick note from LauTrav letting me know they had reached Etna, CA on August 8th, 2016.  There was not a picture upload to go with it so I pulled some pictures and information from the internet.  They shared the people of Etna are amazing!  Enta is on page 13 of Section O (ca_section_p_map).

main street

Etna is a small town close to the border of CA.  It’s located in Scott’s Valley at the foot of the Marble Mountain Wilderness in the Siskiyou Mountain (Cascades) Range.  The population of Etna is 737 (2010).


Etna attracts visitors who love outdoor activities.  The USPS sees an increase in business with the PCT hikers.  When you look at these amazing scenic pictures, it’s easy to understand why folks who love the outdoors would find themselves in Etna!

When this posts on Wednesday, they’ll be in Section Q (ca_section_q_map) or possibly R (ca_section_r_map) depending on how long they stayed in Etna.  Section R is the last section of California and they’ll be headed into Oregon.

Until next time,

~ Linda =)   (sources:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Etna,_California; Google images for pictures)