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Can it Be, Our PCT?

May 6th, 2006  · stk

A couple of months ago, we reported that six months worth of our adventure journals, covering our 2,650-mile wilderness journey along the Pacific Crest Trail, were lost. A few days ago, we received an email from an reader who says he might have them ALL. We are thrilled. Find out more ...

Journals Coming Home to Roost?

We don't often check our "Tuxnus" family email account, as Rachel normally uses her UofA email account and I use my business account at gMail. I got quite a shock to discover a 3-day old email entitled "Your PCT Journal". It read:

I just saw your website and the terrible events of your hard drive crash.

I think I have almost all of your journal downloaded as Word documents. I am a section hiker that has been working on the PCT for 7 years and found your journal in 2003 to be the most complete description of the trail, as well as very entertaining. I kept a complete copy as a reference document for my future hiking.

I'd be happy to send you any or all of what I have.

Regards, Tom

WOW ... There is HOPE!

If you didn't hear us moan about it, we lost the journals for our 6-month, 2,650-mile wilderness hike from 2002, in which we followed the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail from Mexico to Canada. The adventure took us 6 months to complete and Rachel journaled (in the-color-of-our-socks detail) the entire journey. We lost it all in a HDD crash at our host We had put out a plea to readers, tried to recover what we could from search engine cache pages and had all but given up hope that ANY would return, let alone the WHOLE LOT!!

We're hoping that Tom comes through with the Word documents and we'll be very joyful indeed!

We've sent him a reply email, only moments ago, and are sitting on pins and needles, waiting for his reply and maybe the return of our (very precious to us) journals.

We might have a new hero, named "Tom". :D

Update: Journals SAFE at Home!!

Tom, a reader who lives in Orinda, California, came through and emailed Word documents that contained our southern California journals. After verifying that we could open them, he sent the remaining on-trail journals! Wahoo!! The power of the Internet and a testimony to the completeness and descriptive writing that Rachel did, while we were on our adventure.

We're still missing a few of the pre-trip entries and quite a number of our cycle tour trip, back down the coast. We'll keep hoping that these turn up and hunting under every rock. For now though, we are ecstatic that our Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike journal entries HAVE BEEN SAVED!!

Thank you Tom!

(On a side note: proving once again that the world is a small place, both Tom and Scott received undergraduate degrees at the University of California at Davis. :D )

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Updated: 4-Jun-2006
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Lost Journals - Please Help!

March 8th, 2006  · stk

Calling All Journal Readers

After a day of soul-searching, frantic emails, file searches and Internet searches, we now have an assessement of our journal devastation. Most entries are GONE. Our only (thin) hope rests with our readers.

IF you have a copy of any of the missing entries below, PLEASE contact us. Thanks!


PCT Journal

  1. CANADA! (Mile 2,658)
  2. Stehekin (Mile 2569)
  3. Skykomish (Mile 2472)
  4. Snoqualmie Pass (Mile 2396)
  5. White Pass (Mile 2298)
  6. Cascade Locks (Mile 2150)
  7. Olallie Lake (Mile 2047)
  8. Cascade Summit (Mile 1907)
  9. Crater Lake (Mile 1829)
  10. Ashland (Mile 1721)
  11. Seiad Valley (Mile 1656)
  12. "Stumbling Toward Canada"
  13. Castella (Mile 1500)
  14. Chester (Mile 1329)
  15. "Trail Questions Answered"
  16. Soda Springs (Mile 1153)
  17. Sonora Pass (Mile 1013)
  18. Tuolumne Meadows (Mile 936)
  19. Red's Meadow (Mile 900)
  20. Cedar Grove (Mile 784)
  21. Kennedy Meadows (Mile 697)
  22. Tehachapi (Mile 555)
  23. Agua Dulce (Mile 455)
  24. "The Routine"
  25. Wrightwood (Mile 366)
  26. Big Bear City (Mile 267)
  27. Idyllwild (Mile 180)
  28. Warner Springs (Mile 110)
  29. Mt. Laguna (Mile 42)
  30. Pre-hike Jitters
  31. Rooster Sends Get-Well Card
  32. Broken Bones & Killer Roosters
  33. Trail Mail
  34. One Month to Go!
  35. Hiking Boots and the NFL Draft

Pacific Coast Cycle Tour

  1. Blowin in the Wind
  2. A Really Gross Farm
  3. Big Grey Little Moo-Moo
  4. Tom and Sheila
  5. Pesky Pete
  6. Prince of Manchester Beach
  7. Thirty-six Damme Eggs
  8. Two the One
  9. Ice Cream Marathon
  10. LOST: A Small Cyclocomputer
  11. On Safari
  12. Into the Golden State
  13. Hamburger Wasteland
  14. Numb Toes & Other Body Parts
  15. Mud Slide!
  16. An Octopus Named Red
  17. Sunbathing Saturday
  18. Visitors from Portland
  19. Internet Woes
  20. Wow. Oregon Already!
  21. A Dear Among Deer
  22. Getting Frisky
  23. 1st Anniversary
  24. Hood Canal
  25. Down to the Wire
  26. Flat Rain
  27. Tossin' Goobers
  28. Casa de Pasa
  29. Meet Scott and Rachel

Note: Hover over an entry for date of that particular entry.


Journal entries with a line through them are ones we have resurrected, from readers or other means. We'll keep this list up-to-date. Thanks in advance for your help!

Words cannot convey the depth of the devastation this has had on our psyche.

* - Thanks to Tom & Sheila!
* - The ONLY backups found locally.
* - Thanks to Yahoo! cached pages
* - Thanks to Tom Kerns!! (a reader from Orinda CA, who had downloaded our complete on-trail journal as a reference)


Continue reading about resurrection efforts...

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Updated: 6-Aug-2006
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Dark Adventure Days

March 7th, 2006  · stk

Adventure Journals Lost ... "POOF" into the Ether

I don't often cry, but I did this morning. In a very twisted turn of events, I've managed to lose the journals for two of our biggest adventures: The Pacific Crest Trail and West Coast Cycle Tour (from Vancouver to San Francisco).

We emailed our journal updates to a service called "Diary-X", where they've been sitting ever since. After losing our guestbook entries in a similar "here-today, gone-tomorrow" kind of fashion, I made it a point to make a text backup of our entries ... or at least, I thought I had.

We received an email from Tom & Sheila, PCT friends. They had followed us on our journey, reading our Diary-X entries. Then they hiked the trail in 2004, using the same Diary-X journaling solution. They reported to us that the site had gone belly up and that all of the journal entries were magically, iretrieveably gone.

  Diary-X has suffered from an unrecoverable drive failure. Due to a combination of issues, the last backup (from December 2004) contained only configuration files and other non-essential files. We do not have any other backups for the site. All journals, user information, forum posts, templates, images, and everything else are all irrecoverably lost.

I first took the news casually, patting myself on the back for having made backups some time ago. When I searched my computer for the backups, I broke into a cold sweat when I couldn't FIND THEM. Now, instead of patting myself on the back, I'm kicking myself around the room, as it appears I had only thought about making them, which only proves that if you think about something enough, it's not actually the same as the DOING OF IT.

Fortunately, for Tom and Sheila, their journals ARE backed up and they have a hard copy that their Dad made, while they were on the hike. We have a hard-copy too. One that Rachel's father meticulously kept for us, while we were hiking the 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada, over that 6-month period. Where is it? Well, we mailed it to Scott's grandmother to read, when she showed an interest in our journals (and wasn't savvy enough to read them online).

It was never mailed back. :'(

We even mailed our old ISP, thinking they might have backups off the mail server, which could resurrect our "sent mail" folder from April 2002 to October 2002. No such luck.

So, the journals that Rachel wrote, each night in the tent, after hiking 12 or more hours during the day ... appear LOST. POOF ... into the Ether ... gone. The links to our PCT Journal and West Coast Cycle Tour now point to the Phoenix version of Diary-X, with a link that explains what happened.

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Elk Island National Park

October 27th, 2005  · stk

Included: Printable Map with the Hiking Trails of Elk Island National Park. We played hooky one day and took Alex hiking at the nearby Elk Island National Park. We spotted moose, deer and bison. Oddly, we didn't see any Elk! If you live in the Edmonton area, there are some great hiking trails at Elk Island National Park. I went to the Parks Canada Elk Island National Park website, but was disappointed with the quality of the hiking map there. So I scanned the hiking map we got at the Elk Island National Park entrance booth and included it with this entry. We hope that you enjoy your hike and Elk Island National Park!

Playing Hooky & Hiking Mid-Week (Shhh!)

Every once in a while, you just gotta forget your responsibilities and take some time for yourself. With winter bearing down on us like a freight train, each day without snow is truly a gift. When yesterday blossomed with a blustery, warm wind, we decided to take some time and enjoy the day, before the long, cold winter locks us inside for too many months.

The original plan was to pull Alex out of day care early and go for a bicycle ride along the river valley. Rachel didn't ditch classes, but when you're a full-time student, one can ALWAYS study and she has plenty of that to do (plus an upcoming term paper to write). Scott is nearing the end of a bathroom remodeling job and just getting started with a big website project - taking time off helps neither one. Alex is the only one without many responsibilities, though we're sure she'd be the first to say, "No" and correct us! When we reconvened in the afternoon, the warm wind had turned chilly, so we opted for a hike instead.

As a Christmas gift from his inlaws, Scott received an annual Canada Parks Pass, which we had yet to begin using. (We didn't use it at Jasper National Park, in June, because we were just 'driving through' on our way to Vancouver and they don't charge an entrance fee for through traffic. We were going to use it at Waterton Lakes National Park, on our Glacier bicycle touring trip, but (a) we forgot the damn thing at home and (b) we only cycled across a small portion of the Park and were never assessed a fee. So ... the time limit is running out, so we thought we'd get the clock ticking on it and take a trip to Elk Island National Park, just 35 kilometers east of Edmonton.

MAP: Hiking Trails of Elk Island National Park

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Updated: 4-Aug-2008
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International Appalachian Trail

October 22nd, 2005  · stk

Mt. Katahdin to the tip of Gaspé Penninsula

For many thru-hikers on the AT, the trail ends atop Maine's Mt. Katahdin. No longer. Now thru-hikers can elect to continue north, following the IAT to the true geographical conclusion of the Appalachian mountain chain, at Cap Gaspé, where they dive into the Atlantic ocean.

The trail is only a few years old. Not all of the land has been acquired, so there remain sections of the trail that follow roads, rather than a wilderness track. Still, the scenery is amazing and while walking along the northern shore of the Gaspé Penninsula, one can spot Killer Whale, Seals and other marine life.

We have a "dream list" of adventures that we'd like to do. We've done one long hike, the PCT, in 2002, from Mexico to Canada. Perhaps, one day, we'll do the AT as well. (If not the whole thing, then maybe the northern portion, including the IAT - which appears to be a very intriguing addition to the AT.)

More information on the IAT:

SIA-IAT Website - Good slide shows, history and description of the trail sections.

IAT Organization - Trail history, maps, membership & official trail association.

Budder Ball and Zokwakii's 2003 IAT Journal - After hiking the AT in 2002, these two thru-hikers turned their sights to the IAT in 2003.

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Updated: 26-Feb-2006
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