PCT: Day 203: The heat!

Day: 203

Direction: Southbound

Trail location: 1367.8

Cumulative miles hiked: 2086

Miles hiked today: 5.18

Elevation: 2217High/low temp: 102/65/20-50

Spinning on the turntable:

Did I mention that it’s really hot? It’s hot. Today I’m headed for Belden and I’m planning to take a day off trail. IF I can snag a motel room I’ll stay for a day and a half.


I had planned to bypass Belden and continue onto Quincy, but my general physical feeling of fatigue helped push the scales towards taking a day off. I noticed the last two mornings that my hands have a mild case of the tremors. I’m laying this at the feet of my diet.

My lunch companion

I’m eating healthy, but perhaps just not the best food, or the quantity of food, for the amount of physical work that I’m doing. I’m guessing that my daily caloric intake has been around 1500 calories and my daily caloric expenditure has about around 8k.

I need to juice up the calories. A pit stop in Belden should allow me to add a few more snack items to my food trough.

I met a Canadian fellow, Hot Rod, from British Columbia the other night. He’s 64 and hiking towards home. He was losing about 1lb of body weight a day earlier in the hike. Crazy! He was off trail for a spell trying to sort it out. He’s now carrying almost 2lbs of food per day. That’s crazy!

So, I’m trying to find the balance between not enough food (which is clearly where I’m at!) and too much food. Too much food means I have to haul it up and down the mountains and won’t eat it before I hit the next trail town.

It’s a down hill haul to Belden, and I am still sweating like a cow. I may have discovered one piece of the puzzle though. The humidity level has some gigantic swings in this valley. When I’ve been starting my hike in the morning the humidity is closer to 50%, dropping down to 20% during the day, and then spiking back up at night.

So the humidity in the morning explains the morning sweating, even when I’m taking it easy coming down a hill, and I think the afternoon sweating is just “normal” due to the heat. That’s my theory anyway.

Hurray! I’m so thankful that I was able to snag a hotel room in Belden! AC and a small diner to boot.

So a guy walks into a bar…

I’m planning to stay here for about 36 hours. I’ll leave around 2AM and night hike out of here. I have a monster hill climb ahead of me and I don’t want to do it in the heat of the day….hence the night hike.

Up I go!

I’m not a fan, at all, of night hiking. I like to be able to look around at the scenery to help the time pass more easily. But I’m hopeful that the lower temperature 60F (compared to 104F) will make the climb out of Belden a bit more bearable.


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