PCT: Day 70

PCT sign post

Miles today: 13.9

Trail miles: 549

Elevation: 6240

Spinning on the turntable: Billie Ellish: When we all fall asleep, where do we go?

Hot is the theme today. Hot like crazy hot temperatures. I’m guessing mid to upper 80’s. The temperature is forecasted to go up into the mid 90’s for the next few days, so I really want to knock this section out before it becomes even hotter.

The first part of the hike was completely exposed to the sun and roasting hot by 8AM. The trail just kept going up.

Guthook Screenshot

Guthook Jun 11

I started hiking at the water source on the left of the screen shot and made it to the water source on the right of the screen around 11AM.

Usually I can just bear down and plow through the heat and elevation gain. Not today. The first six miles wiped me out! The last mile leading up to the water I was stopping every few minutes to catch my breath. Today I feel my age as the younger hikers pass me, one after another.

When I arrived at the creek I heard voices coming from further down the creek near a big tree. I had planned to rest for an hour so I headed for the tree. I was surprised to round a corner and find fifteen or twenty hikers under the tree hanging out in the shade. I picked a spot on the fringe of the group and plopped down.

The hikers all seemed to know each other and bantered back and forth with ease. I’m jealous of their relationships, or jealous of what I perceive their relationships to be. As a middle aged male hiking by myself I might as well have malaria!

In any case, the hikers were very focused on selecting good shade spots. A little too focused in my mind. I was left in a great shade spot all by myself! It turns out I was thinking of shade in terms of an hour and they were thinking of shade and planning for a several hour siesta!

Siesta time arrived and the group of hikers quieted down and went to sleep. I stealth shot a picture.


Midday napping

There were more hikers sleeping below this group near the creek. When I initially began thinking about this scene I was assigning cute and diminutive adjectives. After a lot of thought I decided that the best word I can use to describe this scene was trust in each other. I also envy that!

I collected water and filled my water bottles and bladder. I put up my sun umbrella and hid for the majority of the afternoon. I plugged in my ear buds and dozed on and off for a few hours. The sounds of a young man playing the scales on his guitar reverberated throughout the area on and off.


Under my umbrella

I staggered out of this site with six liters of water. The next water isn’t available for 17 miles. I’m targeting a site that’s about seven or eight miles up the trail to camp tonight. I think tomorrow I’ll just get up at 4:30AM and start hiking by 5 or 5:15.


Wind turbines in the distance

The trail kept going up this afternoon. My miles today are total garbage but I’m beat.

I was trying to make it to camp before 7:30 and barely slid in under the wire. This final hill of the day was just painful.

Guthook Screenshot

Guthook climbing

When I arrived at my campsite I was thrilled to find trail magic right across the path!

Trail Magic

Desert oasis

I signed the logbook and grabbed a bottle of water. I tried to avoid chugging it but it was so good! The water I collected today has a funky flavor, so this was sweet tail magic indeed!

Trail Magic

Water cache

It’s another great example of selfless giving by complete strangers.


Such a sight to see

It’s kind of comforting to note that everyone had a hard time today, not just me.

Bluntly, today sucked. Tomorrow I’ll meet up with Noelle again. That’s the best part, meeting up with Noelle. It makes me wonder why I’m hiking if the best part of the hiking is seeing Noelle….

Tonight is windy as all get out and the tent is flapping like crazy. I’m going to take a sleeping pill, put in my earbuds, and call it a night.


  1. no trail name

    I through hiked in 2016 at age 37, and I felt way too old and a little bit too slow to fit in with the twenty-something hikers. The social feel of the trail really changed after the desert and the party atmosphere disappeared after the Sierras. I ended up hiking alone about 90% of the time and loving it. I’m enjoying reminiscing by following your 2019 hike!

    • mcgarveysan

      So far the trail seems to offer both solitude and a party atmosphere. The hiker can choose which trail they want to hike, but both trails have their benefits!

  2. semipenultimate

    I hope you got off by Sunday, and certainly before today the 11th; it’s to be 97 and muggy as a wet dog in Pasadena by this afternoon and so I can only imagine the griddle-heat out north of the Angeles National Forest.

    • mcgarveysan

      Steve said he’s very very tired of the heat. A lot of hikers are getting sick out here. Dehydration and barfing. Steve is doing okay but he’s pretty sun burned and trying to sit out the hottest parts of the day. He’s extremely careful to stay hydrated and he’s ready for some cooler weather. Supposed to be 100 today, 99 tomorrow and 102 the next day. Dang! 🥵

  3. VFat

    Wish I was there too, and at the same time “My God, I would hate that heat!”.

    Great discipline!

    • mcgarveysan

      This is like walking into a blow torch. Yes, you would hate this heat.
      Wish you were here too!

    • mcgarveysan

      I hate it and I’m not walking in it! Yesterday I went two miles (instead of four) to meet Steve. I literally went from shade to shade and rested. My hat is off to Steve and the rest of the hikers. You and me, VFat, we’re not made for this! 🤣🤣🤣 Noelle


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