PCT: Day 171

Flowers of the PCT

Miles today: 21.7
Trail miles sum: 1956.2
Trail location: 2638.5
Elevation: 6193
Spinning on the turntable: Neil Young: Songs for Judy

It was raining when I woke up this morning, so I went back to sleep. After an hour the rain had slackened somewhat and I slowly began my day.

Trail meal

Oatmeal and muscle milk

This was an attempt at mixing my oatmeal with Muscle Milk. It was gross and burned onto the bottom of my container. When I left the camp at 7:30 I was the last hiker out of the gate.

PCT Washington

That’s a slide of a trail

I’m still having a hard time with my hands being cold and not being able to open granola bar packages. Today I was better prepared and had them already opened and stashed in my pocket. The bars are so hard that I’m biting them with my molars instead of my front teeth. Yes, it’s that cold.

I (and about 95 percent of the other hikers) was not prepared for this kind of weather. This is winter weather, in the middle of September.

PCT Washington

Cold and rainy

It continued to rain for most of the day. Not a drenching downpour but a steady rain nonetheless. Nothing to do except hike on.

The views are….

PCT Washington

No amazing views for me

…cloudy. At this exact location the view of the northern Cascades is considered spectacular. I viewed the wall of clouds, spectacular in its own way.

PCT Washington

A little sun makes it way through

The sunlight streaming through the clouds is amazing to view. The weather seems like December Christmas tree cutting weather, not September weather.

PCT sign post

Pacific Crest Trail

Gotta love this sign! Almost there!

PCT Washington

Yurt in the midst of nowhere

I think that may be a yurt down there in the trees but I’m not positive.

PCT Washington
So cold!

The weather forecast is showing snow for the day after tomorrow. Snow. Get me outta here!

PCT Washington

Made it to camp before the downpour

I made it into camp just in time. The rain was just starting to turn heavy so I picked a spot and quickly put up my tent and set up camp. I just beat the heavy rain, for which I’m grateful.

As I cooked my dinner and smelled the sweet aroma of my neighbors smoking weed I had to wonder if it’s called “hot boxing” if you smoke weed in your tent? I was going to call out and ask them but didn’t bother.

I went to sleep listening to the trees groan as they swayed in the wind. It was not a comforting noise.


  1. Anonymous

    Scott, from southern California, have done a few overnights on the PCT around Big Bear area. Really have enjoyed following along on your journey. I have been a silent voyeur and not commented before. Your comments on acknowledgement hit home. Sometimes I am so distracted by my own fears that I don’t reach out to others.
    Thank you for taking the time to post the pictures and writhe the commentary. I really appreciate your honesty about trail life. I admire your determination to continue even when you have been discouraged.

  2. VFat

    I thought hot-boxing involved a fart…so much for my youthful Marine Corps pranks. But then weed would have gotten us kicked out.

    Two days to go!

    • mcgarveysan

      I had to do a little research at Urban dictionary to get to the bottom of this serious issue;

      Top definition: “The practice of smoking marijuana in an enclosed space (e.g. a car or a small room) in order to maximize the narcotic effect.” The guys in Irish C like to hotbox on the way to In-n-Out Burger.

      #7 definition: “The act of farting in empty elevator to leave a surprise for the people coming in.” I love hotboxing the elevator at my job, especially for difficult co-workers.

      So you were kind of correct!

      • VFat

        I guess the only hot-boxing we do in the Sienna is Chik-fil-a sandwiches…

    • Chainsaw Manlove

      Farting in bed and shoving your partner’s head under the covers to enjoy it is called a Dutch Oven. This may be what you were thinking of.


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