PCT: Day 32

Pink desert blooms

Miles today: 10.5

Trail miles: 276.7

Elevation: 7732

Spinning on the turntable: Bleachers: Strange Desire

Big Bear lake was a dud for me. Too much walking between stores and our motel. Food prices (prepared) were crazy high and the quality was so-so. This has been my impression of most trail towns so far though, high prices and lower quality. There’s a fine line (in my mind) between a business making a robust profit and a business taking advantage of hikers. Somewhere (Mt. Laguna?) we paid 80 cents for a pack of ramen. Seriously??? But I digress, so I’ll move on.

We’re finding that it takes us a few days to recover from zero days spent in town. Just kind of a weary feeling from being busy and not sleeping well in town to a transition of not sleeping well on the trail.

Today we caught an Uber back to the trail head and started hiking around 9:30. There was a group of seven or eight very enthused hikers at the trail head. We kept our pleasantries short and hit the trail.

Within thirty minutes we heard them coming up behind us on the trail. Someone was doing some kind of pep cheer and they were yelling back and forth to each other. I found it highly annoying. First day back on trail and I’m suffering from carbohydrate/town hangover and a cheer squad is passing us. As is our custom, we moved to the edge of the trail to allow them to pass.

Once they passed us a younger man dropped into a push-up position and knocked out ten push-ups. We laughed out loud. Go for it buddy! We’re too tired from walking the trail to contemplate push-ups!

Overall though the day was very quiet and we were wondering where the other hikers were hiking.

Cactus blooms
Cactus blooms

We’re still enjoying the super bloom from the massive rainfall this year. Flowers are still blooming everywhere. This was part of the trail today that was nice and easy. The miles can easily click by with minimal effort. A fairly flat path.

Pine forest
Pine forest

This was part of the trail that wasn’t easy. Easy grade but the sharp rocks really hurt our feet. Our shoes (Alta’s) are lightweight and designed for rapid drying and low shoe weight. This equates to not a great deal of padding. Wear boots you say! This is logical and some folks (very, very few) do wear boots. With multiple (10 or 15) water crossings some days, boots aren’t practical. They’ll get wet and not dry out. So, all that to say that sharp rocks cause us, and pretty much everyone else, to groan out loud in pain.

Sharp rocky trail
Sharp rocky trail

We made it to our targeted camp site around 5PM and found a bunch of other younger hikers already kicked back and relaxing. One fellow was polite and told us that there was a empty site another 100 feet up the trail. We recognized that we were being gently shunned, but didn’t really care. We had a semi-secluded site and our own broken picnic table! Jackpot!! We discussed walking back to sit with everyone while we ate our dinner, but decided we didn’t care enough.

Most days we have hoards of folks streaking past us on their way up the trail. Streaking like 22-27 miles per day. I’m not sure what the hurry is though. The Sierra has a snow pack of 188% of normal this year. I think lots of folks (young and older) are hauling ass to reach Kennedy Meadows (Start of the Sierra mountain range and serious snow) where they will sit on their ass waiting for the snow to melt down a bit..but that’s a topic for another day.

Pink desert blooms
Pink desert blooms

1 Comment

  1. Liz from FresnoRetro

    Didn’t think about the snow pack. That will be interesting to see. I didn’t realize you’d be seeing so many hikers along the trail👀


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