PCT: Day 228

Direction: Southbound 

Trail location: 1649.7

Cumulative miles hiked 2019/2021: 2295

Cumulative miles hiked 2021: 278
Miles hiked today: 13.09
Elevation: 8587High/low temp/humidity: 72/51/20

Spinning on the turntable: P!NK: All I know so far

I Started the day with a 2 mile, 2 thousand foot uphill climb.  At the apex I was just shy of 11k elevation. I’d like to say that I flew up the hill with winged feet, but I’d be lying. It was a painful slog. I’m not even remotely accustomed to the added weight of the bear canister, plus seven days of food, which I’m guessing is about 14-15lbs. This is when the discussion about daily hiking distance versus pack weight really starts to hit home. This next segment is about 75 miles. I’m averaging about twelve miles per day. 75/12=6.25 days. I’m adding a measure of security and packing enough food for seven days.

UP and UP!

Carrying food for 7 days, so I’m guessing at a weight of about 15lbs.  Carried 2l of water so that’s about 4.4lbs (The first water source was ten miles into the hike)….So with a base weight of about 18lbs, plus accoutrements, I’m guessing I was slapping the backpack weight scales at around 40+lbs. This is insanely heavy for me. This was also the week that I bumped my caloric intake to try to slow down my weight loss. So when I say that I staggered up the hill, I mean it.

If I can bump up my daily miles, I can decrease the amount of food that I’m carrying. Decreasing the amount of food I’m carrying means I can (in theory) hike further/faster. Honestly though, after a day like today, I don’t think I have much more gas in the tank.

Made it to the top!

The added weight has my right leg sending distress signals. It’s not a happy camper. I’m trying to remember to push off with my left leg instead of my right leg when I’m making a big step “up”.

I passed six pct hikers, two NBTH that looked like total shit, three section hikers that looked pretty dang good, and one hiker who was dressed like it was December, and didn’t speak English.  

I’m enjoying the big views, it’s quite nice after being boxed in/under the canopy with trees for quite a spell.  Section hikers told me the views in Yosemite are amazing.

I noticed an immediate difference today with the sunshine, UV rays and lack of overhead cover. I broke out the sunscreen and lathered up at lunch time, 10:30AM. Today was a good lunch day since I hiked away from the camper. PBJ sandwich, two boiled eggs, a small bag of chips, a cheese stick and a few cookies. If only every meal was this nice!

It’s actually fairly enjoyable to start bumping into more section hikers. They seem genuinely enthused when I tell them that I may be able to wrap up my entire PCT trek this year. I don’t want to jinx it, so I’ll hush up.

This afternoons trail

There’s two different trails here…There’s the PCT, which was a ridge line walk and then dropped down to the “Z”, or there was the shortcut that effectively cut out half of the “Z”. Being the good hiker that I am, who likes to follow the rules and save the integrity of the wilderness trails, I took the longer route, and cursed myself for a good 30 minutes while I worked my way down the “Z”. I generally don’t have leg weakness issues, so it’s a bit bothersome that my right leg is thinking about pulling up lame. I’m looking for the first practical water source to settle in for the night to rest my legs and feet.


1 Comment

  1. Heidi Halverson

    You are so awesome! Your attitude has changed. I can tell from reading the blogs that you are getting into it. The first hike days for 2021 I was concerned because you didn’t seem that into it. Now I think you’ve got this. So proud (and jealous) for both of you. Go get this Steve – It’s yours for the taking! You totally deserve this.


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