PCT: Day 135

Miles today: 18.6

Trail miles sum: 1363.8

Trail location: 2027.7

Elevation: 4950

Spinning on the turntable:

All hiking days are not created equally. I’ve been pushing the miles the past week or so and today it seemed like it was body payback day. My body was just generally unhappy and lethargic.

The day started with a water crossing.

I hiked up river and found a good looking spot and made my attempt. I managed to semi-soak my left foot so I stopped a few minutes up the trail and changed that sock.

My toes pretty much always hurt these days so I’m trying to avoid blisters as much as humanly possible. I suspect that I have several deep blisters hiding underneath the callous’s at the end of several toes. Ouch.

The day started with me trying to be quiet and not wake my tenting neighbors. There’s strict regulations on camping in a certain area a bit up the trail, so everyone was bunched up before the restricted area.

A couple asked last night if they could share my 10 X 10″ area and I’d said yes. I think I was pretty quiet in my camp breakdown this morning, but they might say differently.

The heavy mist was actually kind of nice, it kept me from seeing how big the climb actually was…a bit over eight miles.

I hit my second river traverse around 9AM.

I could feel the roar of the water. It was really, really loud. A couple in their 60’s near the water pointed out where they had just crossed and said it was only knee deep.

I scouted upstream and found a location that allowed me to use my flying ninja skill set and avoid most of the water. (Left foot was slightly moist.) I was pleased with myself and waved a cheery goodbye to the couple with wet shoes, socks and pants.

I continued to climb, and climb, and climb.

Somewhere around 11AM I hit the summit.

Let’s see: 8 miles hiked divided by 5 hours =1.6mph. If my target today was 30 miles that equates to roughly 19 hours of hiking to reach my target at my current pace. Uh, no.

The views of Mt. Jefferson were just amazing! How lucky am I to be this close to the mountains?!?

I ran across an actual equestrian who is section hiking the PCT in Oregon. This is the 3rd horse I’ve seen on the entire trail. I chatted with the rider for a bit about the challenges of riding the PCT on horseback.

Impressive rock piles near the summit. The trail is loose rock and snow.

I maneuver ok through the snow but eat dirt a little while later. The rock I stepped onto shifted and I went flying downhill. I find myself looking around in embarrassment when I fall to see if someone else saw me fall. I’m all alone, yet my vanity still peeks out at the oddest moments.

I stopped for a water resupply at a snow melt off. The water was coolish but not cold.

Inch by inch, step by step, we’re getting closer to home.

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