PCT: Day 78

Miles today: 16

Trail miles: 651.3

Elevation: 4980

Spinning on the turntable: The Alarm: The best of the Alarm

That’s my view from my tent this morning while I was eating breakfast. Not a bad way to start the day!

I knew that today was going to be another hot one and I was not disappointed. I hit the trail by 6AM and set a relaxing pace. Today was primarily downhill with Noelle waiting at the other end of the trail. Yesterday afternoons hike up a mountain, in full sun, kind of zapped my energy, so today the plan was to conserve.

Last night I had the camping area to myself. Many of the hikers were breaking out their maximum speeds to make it to a party at Walkers pass. I reveled in the solitude. I’m not sure that placing a semi-introvert into an environment that allows for as much isolation as wanted is a wise move. I may actually be in the process of becoming more even more introverted.

In any case, the day started with spectacular views.

I still pinch myself that I’m out here hiking and actually quit my job. Hard to believe, but still true, three months later. When I think about my old job I shoot off a few emails and txt messages to my former colleagues. It’s so weird; for 17 years they were such a huge part of my life, and today, they aren’t. I didn’t realize how much I’d miss some of them! Rest assured, I’ll get over it.

Part of the trek today was a few miles of road walk. I really dislike road walks. These roads are for ATV, not automobiles.

Ruts, rocks, loose gravel, gigantic potholes all team up to keep me on my toes. I must pay attention to almost each step to insure proper foot placement.

There was no escaping the sun beating down on my bean. No shade.

Speaking of my bean, I think I’m ready to upgrade from my black cap to something with a big rim. A cheap Walmart cowboy hat might do the trick. My ears are on a repeating cycle of burn, peel, bleed, heal, repeat. I find the idea of a cowboy hat silly, but I’m tired of burned ears.

This was my waterhole this morning. It was just deep enough to fit my water bag into it for filtering. One of the upcoming waterholes has an annotation in Guthook that it may be contaminated with Uranium.

No, I’m not kidding. Anyway, my water tasted funky again so I doused it with Gatorade concentrate and hoped for the best.

I’m not sure what these bushes are but they smell absolutely wonderful!

The 650 mile marker really didn’t mean too much to me, it’s another step in the correct direction. 700 miles is the prize, Kennedy Meadows, the end of the first section (Southern California) of the PCT.

KM is so close I can almost touch it. I need to either pull two bigger days in a row for my miles or spilt it into three days. I’m leaning towards three days, but if I feel good I’ll keep going tomorrow.

I’m going to start hiking at 5AM again tomorrow. I want to knock out the initial 2500 foot climb before it gets too bloody hot.

I will not miss this heat!

1 thought on “PCT: Day 78

  1. Boot camp at MCRD in San Diego in the spring/summer of 1979…I remember well the burn-blister-bleed-scab-peel cycle on the tops of our ears, as our covers didn’t cover our ears. And back then we weren’t issued sunscreen. Thirteen weeks in the sun marching on the grinder. But we were only outside in the sun for 3-4 hours a day – you’re out there for way longer!

    A sombrero would look cool…then you can say “We don’t need no steekin’ bad-ges” in character.

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