PCT: Day 122: Forest fire

PCT Animals

Miles today: 23.9

Trail miles sum: 1060.3

Trail location: 1742.7

Elevation: 5084

Spinning on the turntable: The Allman Bothers: At Fillmore East (Live)

We awoke to the pungent smell of smoke this morning. There’s a forest fire burning about 100 miles away and there’s a great deal of smoke in the air. My allergies gave me a stiff warning flag to remind me that the smoke is not appreciated.

I started hiking and almost immediately ran into a deer.

It really was a nice way to start the hiking day. A long distance shot gives more of an accurate representation of the amount of smoke in the air. The air quality is really poor and the local news advisor was to stay indoors. I kind of think that if I start skipping hiking now due to smoke I’ll be sitting out the rest of the hiking season!

PCT Oregon

Lots of wildfire smoke

The smoke combined with the humidity and temperature really played a number on me. To say that I was slow out of the gate would be an understatement.

PCT Oregon

Green tunnel

The “green umbrella” did an incredible job of killing any breeze, so the smoke just lingered.

My poor physical performance was frustrating. My trail hiking speed was total crap and I was super lethargic. I know how to eat properly for endurance sports and I had failed miserably with my diet yesterday. Sigh. Today, I’m paying for yesterday.

The smoke did add a nice element to the morning hike once I was a bit higher in elevation.

PCT Oregon

Smoke on the horizon

I met two new NOBO section hikers. They just started within the past week or so. It was tempting to offer an unsolicited pack shake down, but I kept my mouth shut. (Honestly though, one of their packs looked super, super heavy.)

Flowers of the PCT

Thimble berries

I’m back in thimble berry territory so I helped myself to a few.

Flowers of the PCT


They’re so fragile that they just fall apart when I pick them. Yummy though. I’m still keenly watching for bears in the berry zones.

I believe this is Pilot rock. There were notifications posted that rock climbing is prohibited right now due to falcon births, or mating, or something like that.

PCT Oregon

Pilot Rock

I didn’t see any lama nor did I see where someone was going to go fishing with the rod and (unseen) tackle box.

Llama crossing

Llama crossing

This is the kind of trail (today) that drives me crazy. If my hiking pole tip goes into one of the crevasse it will lock in place and my arm is nearly dislocated from my shoulder when I continue to move forward and my arm remains behind me with the trekking pole.

PCT Oregon

Super dry ground

I stopped for a break and ate a banana while admiring Pilot rock. Usually I eat the banana while I walk, but today I embraced my sucky day and sat down and relaxed for a few minutes.

PCT Oregon

Getting closer to Pilot Rock

I stopped for water around 11AM and ended up staying and chatting with other hikers for almost an hour. It was nice to chat, but I need to keep moving during the day. Every moment that I hang out and chat is a moment that I’m tacking onto the end of my day.

Flowers of the PCT


Noelle hiked out to meet me and we hiked a few miles back to the van together. We arrived at the van around 6:30, making today a very long day for not so many miles traveled.

I will try to do better tomorrow for improving my hiking speed.


  1. Briget

    But on the other hand – “On the Turntable/Allman Brothers Live at the Fillmore East” OUTSTANDING album! Almost enough to make up for such a sucky day!


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