Rush creek – Middle Fork San Joaquin River, bridge.
18.5 miles.
1886ft up. 4052ft down.

I hadn’t drunk a thing since my few sips of water when I felt faint yesterday, yet I still had a huge wee before bed and another one at 2:30am. My body is doing something weird. On the plus side it warmed up in the night and getting out the tent at 2:30 wasn’t too bad.

We put our departure time back to 7am and when I woke up I was pleasantly surprised to have absolutely no condensation. It was still very cold and unfortunately my sock on the water filter trick did not work and the water inside my filter froze. This means my filter probably won’t work properly, but as there isn’t much I can do about it I’m going to pretend it’s ok and hope for the best!

I was sluggish this morning. Still not feeling wonderful. Catwater was packed up before me and she hung around until I was ready. She wanted me in front in case I keeled over!

It was a clear blue sky, apart from a few clouds still hanging around over Donohue Pass. The snow hadn’t really reached this side of the pass so it was an easy walk down and up to Island (not really a pass) Pass. It’s so small you go over it without really realising it. But I stopped when I got to the top and sat in the sun and had something to eat and drink. I had taken it slowly, at one point I thought I was going to break out into a sweat attack like I did yesterday but I managed to fend it off. I didn’t feel wonderful but I definitely felt better than yesterday.

Looking back we could see the snowy mountains behind us. Feeling the sun on my face made me so happy. I hiked on and soon it became warm enough to take some layers off! It was still windy so the jacket stayed on. The weather continued to get nicer as we descended to 1000 Island Lake and the colours just hurt my eyes with their beauty. I just want to stop and stare.

I stopped for a break and I see three older guys who stopped to chat. I could tell they were from the UK and when I asked them where they were from I said ‘me too!’ They said I must have been here a long time because I’ve picked up some American. They thought I was American! I need to sort that out. It was really nice to chat to them though.

The trail continues to be beautiful, it goes in and out of the trees and along contours. I feel better and better as the day goes on. We pass lots of streams, water is abundant despite being semi frozen. We take regular breaks but keep on plodding. We reach the Agnew Meadows trail head. Pit toilet, trash can but no water. Two out of three ain’t bad.

The trail rolls along until we go past the turn for Devils postpile, but we stay on the PCT which actually gives a great overview of the weird formation. In the last couple of miles to the river there are hundreds of fallen trees, lots of tree roots on show. A massive wind storm came through a few years ago and it looks like total devastation. Luckily for us the trees have been cleared from the trail so nothing to clamber over.

We made it to the river, it was only 5pm but we decided to camp and save the 3500ft climb for the morning. Plus it was starting to get cold again. I had delusions of eating outside but we pitched our tents and got in them straight away to try and keep warm. I had my beans and rice, string cheese and frito ‘burrito’. Every time I eat something I feel grateful I don’t have to carry it.


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