PCT SOBO DAY 16 – avocados are great

Tent site – tent site
21.7 miles 5194ft up. 4418ft down. 

I fell asleep mid type, and it was one of the best nights sleep. The temperature was perfect and I didn’t wake up once. It’s always more of a comfort knowing there is someone else in camp. 

The bugs were already out in force so I packed up quickly, chucked on my bug net and left Drake cooking his breakfast. 
Today would consist of a big up, a bigger down and a big up. 

Through the trees this morning the bugs were, of course, a total pain in the ass, so I kept my headnet on. It felt a little cooler this morning which was nice. 

It wasn’t long until I came to a creek crossing labelled ‘cascading stream’ on my gps. Well, it was definitely cascading. I remember crossing this last year without much problem, but this year I had no choice but to get my feet wet.

I put my little shoes on and made my way over. The last bit came up to my bottom. It will be a soggy few miles while they dry out. Once you get out of the trees you get great views of the cathedral rocks, but really as far as views go there isn’t much else. Mostly trees. 

I didn’t see anyone for ages then I ran into 4 people in quick succession. K2 and the particularly grumpy and unfriendly John. It annoyed me for a while. No matter what my state of mind I’m in, at the very least smile and say hello to everyone I meet. A few people didn’t speak, and I get that. You can’t stop and speak to everyone. I speak to lots of people and it significantly slows me down, it will get trickier as I start to see more people coming north. So far section hikers are far outweighing thru-hikers. 

When I reach the top of the climb I stop and eat my second avocado and Fritos. Oh it was so good! I had been thinking about it all morning, when I looked at the clock it turns out it was only 10am and I had already eaten most of my days food! 

There was a gentle cooling wind (I can’t  use that obvious phrase anymore) and it was nice to be cool for a while. 

I met a lady called Sylvia and she is hoping to get to Canada. She only started yesterday and is worried about her mileage. I tried to give her a little advice. A man called Jan joined us for a chat and he had encountered John too and he also thought he was grumpy. That made me feel better.

On the long descent I ran out of water and needed to make it to the creek to refill. I met a German man heading south on this section. He offered me water which was nice but I declined. I wasn’t in a desperate situation and the huckleberries were keeping me going. 

When I got to the creek I had caught up with my first full SOBO – Andy from Denver. He started 4 days before me but hadn’t quite got this thing nailed yet. He doesn’t start hiking until 9 or 10am and that means he carries on walking until dark. He said people keep telling him he won’t make it through the Sierra. And yeah I’m worried about it too. But what will be will be. 

I see some trail crew who are clearing away some of the brush. Nice. 

My shoes have some holes so I’m getting some dirt coming in. I stop for water before the second climb and shake my shoes out. I’m making good time and I’m due to get to camp at 5:30pm. That’s pretty early. I could carry on another couple of miles but it’s to a tent site for one and I’ve already told Andy he should aim for there. After that there isn’t another one for about 5 miles and that’s too far for me today. 

By the time I’ve slowly made my way uphill, stopped and spoken to a man called Tangent and admired the lake it’s about 6pm when I roll into camp. It’s a little brown patch just off the trail and a quick bushwhack gets me there. I put my pack down and I get attacked by hundreds of mozzies. Again. The tent goes up, my stuff gets launched in and I follow. I kill the 25 bugs that made it in with me and lie down on the ground. My back hurts from my pack and my feet and legs are pulsing. A couple of girls come into camp, they camp nearby. I can’t see them but at least I know I’m not alone. 

It’s a dry camp so I’ve hauled 1l up the last 4 miles to make sure I have enough water for dinner. I make Pasta with lasagne sauce topped with chilli cheese Fritos, and I have hot chocolate and actual chocolate for desert. Nice and leisurely. I read a bit of my book while I eat. 

Drake rolls into camp and pitches his tent near mine, but a bit too far away for us to have a conversation. I can hear him killing bugs. The bugs are swarming my tent. Hopefully when the sun goes down they will disappear. It’s considerably cooler tonight, we are higher and there are a few clouds gathering. 

It’s a good job my tent is made of mesh because the smells my body is producing right now are particularly gross. 

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I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.

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