Miles today: 19.5

Trail miles sum: 993.9

Trail location: 1676.2

Elevation: 6122

Spinning on the turntable: Bryan Adams; Shine a light

A moonlit photo is an indication of an obscenely early start to the day. I woke at 4AM, hit the snooze twice, then ate breakfast and started hiking by 5AM.

This is a massive hill climb so I wanted to get it done before it got too warm.

The brutal truth is that this part of the trail stinks. It’s a very tough uphill combined with serious bush and shrub overgrowth onto the trail.

Other hikers are completely bypassing this section of the trail and road walking to the next trail crossing. Easier grade and no overgrown plants to strip the skin off the legs. I don’t think twice about hitching a ride on dedicated road walk sections. I do think twice about skipping the trail to walk in the road because it’s easier though.

I’ve noticed that bees like to hang out on my legs when I’m not walking. They seem busy eating, but I’m not sure what’s so interesting to them unless it’s my sweat.

This spring water had a pipe installed. I love spring water! So cold and delicious. Usually my water bottles warm up in the sun, so cold water is a real treat.

The second climb of the day spiked my irritation.

The trail was fully exposed to direct sun. There was a serious series of switchbacks.

There are just sections of the trail that I believe were cattle trails at one point and were stitched together to make the PCT. Technology allows us to look at the big picture of the trail and say “Hey! This makes no sense!” Sigh.

No shade available in this spot!

I threw in the towel on hiking around 6PM and cooked dinner. Tonight was a brand and rice concoction. As an added bonus I added a sausage that I cooked yesterday and froze overnight. I boiled the sausage for a few minutes then added the beans and rice.

Another hiker joined me around 7:30. His dinner consisted of snack foods. I imagine that his caloric intake was greater than mine! All calories are not created equal but some calories sure look more appealing!

The other hiker was trying to convince me to hike the AT but couldn’t come up with any compelling reason other than the AT is much worse in comparison. Huh? I should hike a worse trail so that I appreciate the PCT more?

I haven’t spoken to a single AT thru-hiker yet who has convinced me that the AT is a worthwhile endeavor. Time is precious and my interest in the AT remains very distant. Honestly, the CDT looks like a lot more fun!