PCT: Day 210: Fire Burnout

Day: 210

Direction: Southbound

Trail location: 1418

Cumulative miles hiked: 2148

Miles hiked today: 14.82

Elevation: 6455

High/low temp humidity:

Spinning on the turntable: Coldplay: Everyday Life

Hiking through a burnout section isn’t the most exciting thing in the world.  In fact, it can be a little boring. 

I’m starting to come to the conclusion that many hikers may have left this section of the trail not due to fire hazard, but due to the sheer boredom of trekking through a big area with minimal shade or vegetation.

A different kind of pretty

It’s interesting to me when I run across discarded mining equipment.  I have a mental image that the area I hike through is far from civilization and remote, but the mining equipment tells a different story. At one point in time, someone was mining in this exact location.  It’s fascinating.  How did they manage to get the equipment to this site?

This was the discarded equipment about ten feet from where I slept last night. I was about 500 feet away from the river. There was a Guthook note that the PCTA didn’t wish for anyone to come remotely close to the river. I may have been a rebel…

Today is another uphill slog.  I’m trying to find the joy in my discomfort, but I’m not doing a great job.  This just seems like a slog at times.

The different faces of the burned tree bark is interesting to me too.  (Hey, there’s not a whole lot to look at!)

I’ve found that most thru-hikers that ask, and most don’t, about my hiking status are a bit dismissive about my being a section hiker.  I’m no longer part of the club.  This morning I was chatting with a NBTH and he was really excited for me that I’m going to finish this year.  We even did a fist bump!  It was the first hiker that’s really shown any enthusiasm that I may possibly wrap this up this year.  It’s crazy to think about, but still too far in the distance for me to contemplate.  First I need to get my ass up this hill!

This may be the “closest” I’ve ever hiked to a burn out section in relationship to the time of the fire to the time I’m hiking through.  I’m guessing that this area burned last year.  I kept seeing all these holes in the ground and didn’t understand what they were.  Then in dawned on me, the holes are actually from where tree roots burned completely away.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  Where once stood a tree, now there’s just a few holes in the ground!

I did find the holes to be problematic in sections where the tree roots had traveled under the trail causing a partial trail collapse. I also stuck my hiking pole into one burned out hole that was filled with ash…any my pole sank about ten or twelve inches before I was able to regain my balance and arrest my fall.


  1. Mr. Boogie Nights

    I’ll bet those “you’re just a section hiker” jackasses are…young? Judgemental, immature in some respects, self-centered, not good at selecting criteria to assess other humans.

    But then maybe that just describes me.


    Maybe they’re just numb and exhausted.

    • mcgarveysan

      I’d say that I confuse the NBTH. I look, smell, walk and talk like a TH, but I’m too early on the trail for a SBTH.


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