Saturday, April 19, 2008

Congratulations Fainers!

To Lea & Ian Fainer, David Harrison Fainer was born just before 6 a.m. today. As his grandfather, David C. Fainer, said about the first few minutes of life for young David H., "he weighed 7 pounds at birth and then promptly and lost 4 ounces." He's healthy, and that's what counts. A picture will be posted once we get one ourselves :) Congratulations Lea (& Ian), you did it! We are a very proud aunt and uncle.

To Jane & Steve Fainer, the first 100 miles of the PCT was completed around 4 p.m. today. We now must repeat this feat 25 and a half more times. Whoopee!

After completing this outstanding feat, we took to competing for the title "Best Aunt or Uncle." As the true blood relative, I decided that such a title could be bestowed through the playing of Rummy and Yahtzee. Two games of Rummy and three games of Yahtzee later, Jane was crowned by a huge margin, "Best Aunt." Her duties begin in 6 months.

In the ongoing saga of close brothers insulting one another, I must say that if Ian can sire a son, we can finish the PCT.

Friday, April 18, 2008

They call me Dr. Steve

Good morning how are you, I'm Dr. Steve. I'm interested in feet. I'm
not a real doctor but I am a real Steve. I am an actual Steve. I look
like a Steve.

I like to fix blisters, I think I'm getting good but I can handle
criticism. I'll show this picture of Jane's feet and you can tell me
if you think I'm getting better with blisters.*

*sung to the tune of "Dr. Worm" by They Might Be Giants.

We're onto Warner Springs next. The next time we blog we will be a
proud aunt and uncle. Please pray for Ian and Lea, as well as baby
Fainer, who should be coming into the world sometime today!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Days 4 & 5

From mt. Laguna, we decided to kill ourselves with another twenty-
miler to Chariot canyon and when we arrived... No water.

So I left Jane to play house and set up camp while I played hunter
gatherer and went down river to search for running springs. Half a
mile away was my reward: sweet nectar of life complete with floaties.

Back at camp, Jane set up the tent and made our little house a home
filled with sleeping bags and dirt. Dinner was a glorious combination
of idahoan potatoes (instant of course) and trader joe's Indian
vegetables. It was an inspired meal meant for kings, but we ate instead.

And then there was today. 14 miles plus a 12 mile hitch to Julian (our
first hitch hike of the trail!). The sun beat down upon us as we
descended into desert country. And Chad, with the socal surfer accent
that only goes with people named Chad, was our savior on the side of
highway 78.

But let's not forget all those miles almost didn't happen because I
lost Jane ten minutes into our morning. Well, actually, she just
missed the trail junction and kept going uphillpn the road we were
traveling. I left camp a few minutes after Jane and yelled to her from
the trail junction and had to assume she went left. Ten more minutes
of hiking netted me no sighting of her so I put down my pack and ran
back to where the trail split. Fifty yards from the junction I hear a
timid holler for me. Reunited and it felt so good.

Then we hiked those infuriating 14 miles, got to this quaint little
tourist stop, and enjoyed walking the main drag in our rain pants (the
only other pants we have).

The next few days will be even more waterless than the last five. Next
stop - 109 miles.

Finally, for the bird watchers out there, the other day I kept seeing
these amazing hummingbirds. All i wanted to do was ifenrify them.
Today at the world famous birding store in Julian I discovered those
little guys were just giant sphinx moths. Those were some big bugs!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

To our readers in Salina, Kansas

Staying at a cozy inn (the Mt. Laguna Lodge), Steve and Jane enjoy one
of Aunt Diane's favorites, a "red beer"* - tomato juice and beer. For
you coastal dwellers, Steve likens the red beer to a beverage mullet -
the veggies take care of business and the bubbles bring the party.
*Warning: this beverage, like a mullet, can only be responsibly used
by an adult!

After hiking 11 miles uphill and reaching our highest elevation thus
far (over 6,000 feet), we have parked ourselves in room 18 to enjoy
the finest wood paneling $59 can buy.

Happy 1st day of work, Erik (and Tom too)!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Day Two Highlights

Starting at 9 am makes 13 miles feel like twenty.

Met three other hikers today: Sedgie from Spain, Bill from Chicago &
So Far who just finished biking from Florida to Long Beach. So Far is
a trailname (asin so farso good) and clearly this trail brings out the

Fiest night in new tent. I dropped a rock on Jane's foot while
pitching it and it was the only time I got yelled at all day. Today
was brutal, but Jane was more upbeat than me.

Also Erik, Jane says thank you for all the great music - it has helped
her climb over 3,500 feet in mountains in two days.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Day 1 Ends With Royal Treatment

20.6 miles - check.
Sore feet, shoulders, and hips - check.
Bellies full of papa Fainer's delicious tacos - check.
Too tired to tell you anything else - check!

Except that the Fainer parents are wonderful for getting up early to
drop us off and wait for us to arrive tonight with hot dinner in hand.
Also Megan, only hawks and crows today, so nothing too exciting. But
this is rattle snake country so stay tuned for other wildlife updates.

You can see Steve's tired face below as proof of our exhaustion.