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Backbone Trail Trek 2010
Reviews from Hikers

The following review comments were received from hikers on the Backbone Trek of 2010:

Lynn L., Ventura, CA:

First, our trek was just wonderful and I agree with Jerry that the group was simply terrific. No laggers, stragglers, or complainers. What fun. Tomorrow, the Tuesday group is doing the bit we didn't do, so will drag my weary butt out to see that small portion; we start from Mishe Mokwa. Anybody want to come?

Second, I found an assortment of bugs in everything -- under my shoe inserts, caught in tent wrinkles, in tent storage sack, etc. So, suggest you shake everything out really well before storing.

Third, the stats: Cumulative gain per my altimeter: 13,390. Cumulative loss: 12,430. Not sure loss makes total sense but have to factor Will Rogers elevation in, etc. I have distance at 65 miles, but would be interested in GPS numbers.

Fourth, the link to my LA Times article about climbing Mt Whitney is http://www.latimes.com/travel/la-tr-whitney-20100509,0,1791128.story. The photos headlines are a bit different than the hard copy, but still fun. Enjoy!

Carol G., Camarillo, CA:

Well that was one very enjoyable week. Great trails, beautiful vistas and wildflowers, and a fine group to enjoy them with. Ending each day with a delicious meal and a glass of Reggie Red (ok Ė sometimes even two) was splendid.

To the coordinators and volunteers: many thanks for all you did to make it an enjoyable event. It is a well-oiled machine you have running there, impressively so. Fellow hikers: it was a real pleasure to learn a bit about each of you. If anyone is on Facebook, it would be fun to connect there. I am sure that Brian and I will return for another trek, and hope to see many of you when we do.

Ken J., Camarillo, CA:

Congratulations for all!

I too had a great time ... even though mine was a lot shorter than yours.

I enjoyed meeting each of you. You are all an inspiration to me. Perhaps I'll be able to give it another try next year.

FOR LYNN: I really enjoyed your LA Times article re your Whitney trip! I've been to the summit twice (when I was a lot younger) and could really relate to it. It was a hoot! Congratulations on this remarkable achievement!

Mary S., Topanga, CA:

Hello fellow trekkers!

John and I had a great time. We've always loved living in the Santa Monica Mountains but this week-long trek gave us a new appreciation for the entire National Recreation Area. Great weather and a fun group of people made for a marvelous adventure.

Lynn your article was great. Very well written and humorous. We both enjoyed reading it. I'll be sure to send you all a copy of the article from the Topanga Messenger newspaper once it's published. I expect it to run later this summer. Hope to see you on the trail(s) again soon or at a future BBTrek. Until then, be well.

Barb T., Thousand Oaks, CA:

I had such a good time and feel like Iíve made many new friends doing this. Now I look at "my" mountains and say, Iíve been there and there and there. Iím amazed at the beauty and ruggedness of these mountains and want to learn more about the geology and history here. Thanks for so many good memories of fun times and I hope to see you on next yearís trek or sooner.

Mary A., Huntington Beach CA:

Dear All,

It was a wonderful week that I will never forget. The Santa Monica Mountains have a whole new meaning for me. What a grand experience to be able to live in them for a week. And with such great people! I appreciate the team that puts all of it together and the behind-the-scenes activity that goes on to keep everything going smoothly. Lynn, great article. Barb, if I were closer I would enjoy coming to Sunday's event. A special thanks to Diana and Mel for encouraging me to come and participate in the trek.

Alan S., Santa Maria, CA:

Thanks for everything, Jerry. The terrific weather and the interesting company, plus the great food, it was an even better experience than I had hoped.


Susan S., Berkley, CA:

Hi Jerry,

It was a truly fantastic hiking week. We really appreciated all the effort and time you and your support staff invested. I personally felt quite indulged and don't have any suggestions for improvement. I suppose you could invite us to bring our own clippers to "trim as we go!"

Brett B., Encino, CA:

Hi Jerry,

I had an amazing time on the 2010 Backbone Trek, everything was great: the hiking trails, the hike leaders, the volunteers, fellow hikers, the campsites, the food and of course the price. I am sure many hikers have different reasons for completing the Backbone Trek but for me this definitely stands out as the biggest physical personal achievement to date in my life, as you know when I had signed up I had my doubts that I could actually complete the entire trek and I sure managed to exceed my own expectations by successfully completing the entire hike with no difficulties or injuries. Also I would like to commend the Trails Council for being so accommodating to all hikers by taking into account all the different levels of fitness of hikers and personal preferences and also making the trek available at an affordable price, making the trek more accessible to the greater public rather than charging much higher prices as competitors do for similar types of trips.

Regarding how the hike can be improved for next year - as per my comments above everything was great, the only thing that I would perhaps change is to allow more time on the last day, it appeared that we were in a huge rush to complete the hike to cater to a minority who for some reason wanted to get to Will Rogers State Park ASAP and also leave ASAP. I don't think anyone would hurt by arriving say 30 minutes later at the end and enjoy multiple rest breaks and photo opportunities as we did on other days.

Once again thank you for the opportunity, I absolutely loved the hike.

Fondest regards,