Tent site – tent site24.6 miles. 5974ft up. 4618ft down.
I slept so well. The temperatures have been perfect. I probably would have been fine without the fly in my tent but I feel safer with it on. I’m not sure what a piece of nylon will do to protect me from anything but I never said the thought was a rational one.
I felt well rested and checked my phone for the time. 22:47. I rejoiced in the fact I still had basically the whole night left to sleep. Getting up was easier because it wasn’t cold.
I’m hiking at 6:30 and I get a beautiful sunrise. I eat my cereal bar and then not long after I shovel down my twix. I’ll eat one finger now and save the other for later. But I didn’t I ate them both, one right after the other.
The trail was so beautiful this morning, and all of the day, and looking back on my pictures none of them really do it justice. It’s also a lot harder to take photos of the trail this year because the sun is much lower in the sky. What were fields of green and wildflowers last year are now golden fields of Autumn. The trail glows in some parts.
The sun streams through the trees and at one point I think in close to finding ‘that spot’ from ‘that picture’ which I had on my computer desktop for so long while I was planning my first round of the PCT. The trail comes out of the trees at several points, through open fields and high on ridge lines.
I hike with out stopping, other than to take photos, until I have done 10 miles in 3.5 hours. I stop on a dirt road and wait for Catwater. I realise I have gone pretty fast so I settle down to read some of my book and eat some crackers. I have already eaten my cliff bar so most of my snacks are already gone by 10:30. Where I sit I am surrounded by wasps. I use my multi-purpose hitchhiking rag as a wasp whip and bat them away. I’m past worrying about them stinging me, I haven’t been stung yet and they don’t seem that interested in anything other than being as irritating as possible.
After about half an hour, just when the wasps are becoming unbearable, Catwater appears and we hike on to get to the next water source 3.5 miles away. We stop for lunch and I pretend I have something for lunch by finishing of my Cheetos while Catwater eats her gourmet rehydrated cheeseburger meal. The wasps can’t get enough of the Orange Cheeto packet and I have to constantly swat them away. One tries to go up the leg of my shorts (yes they are Lycra shorts but I have lost weight so they are a little baggy now) and I fear I have been stung but I think it was just the feel of its pokey little legs on my leg. It’s not relaxing and it’s time to get hiking again and get up the 1500ft of up ahead of us.
Shortly after setting off I have to stop and let Catwater pass me so I can run off into the woods. It’s not solid, the same as yesterday and I swear there is double the amount I have eaten there. I have no disasters today and I carry on, now considerably lighter.
The trail goes up and up and out of the trees and there are some nice views over the hills and down into the valley. It really is beautiful today and it’s hard to do it justice with the photos. Last year it was over 100° in this section and it was quite unpleasant, but now in September the sun is nowhere near as intense and the temperature is quite perfect. It’s starts to get a little hotter just before the top of the climb and the bushes become tall and overgrown but it doesn’t last long.
Catwater is at the top and she has cell service which we haven’t had for a few days. I have a problem with my currency card, and I’ve been slightly panicking that I will have no access to any money. There is no cell service in the next town, Sierra City, and there was no service in the previous town of Belden, so I have to take the opportunity to make a call while I can. Thankfully I manage to get it sorted out and I now have money on my card. Phew.
I skim through my emails and messages, I have a whole bunch of people I need to reply to but I never seem to have the time. There always seems to be something to sort out when I have service or I’m in town. I’m trying to get some medicine sorted out as well as resupply for the Sierra and a new backpack (still not sorted!) and what feels like 101 other things.
Catwater hiked on a while ago and I have to get going if I’m going to catch her up. I move literally 5 paces and the connection disappears. I plug myself into my book, and I almost run the downhill and then I slog my way up the next climb. I had finished my skittles a while ago. I need to add a snack to my food plan because in the last couple of hours of the day I get really hungry and my stomach rumbles.
At one point I check my GPS at a junction and although I’m pretty confident I’m on the trail the GPS tells me I’m 3 miles off the trail. My heart jumps into my mouth. I can’t be that far off trail, I have been following the footprints in front of me. It takes a while but eventually the GPS corrects itself and I am in fact on the trail. Thanks goodness!
I catch up to Catwater who is waiting at the last water source, about a mile before our camp spot. I fill up from a piped Spring which is flowing at a trickle, it takes about a minute and a half to fill up a litre. Then we head to the camp. It’s a nice flat spot surrounded by crunchy sticks and branches which is good.
I eat dinner which is the same as last night minus the avocado, it’s not quite the same taste sensation, but it’s edible and fills me up. I eat the last of my chips ahoy cookies and I am pleased at how light my food bag now is. I cook and eat in my tent because of the wasps. They seem to be everywhere and they just surround you whenever you stop. I zip myself into my tent as they hover outside. Repeatedly bashing themselves against the inside of my fly and the net of my tent. Buzzing incessantly. What do wasps do anyway. Bees, they do good stuff, but wasps, I don’t think there is any point to them. And yes, I am intolerant of wasps.
I’m in my tent listening to the sounds of gunshots! Deer hunting season.
I’m super thirsty and I could quite easily guzzle down all my water, but I will need it tomorrow as there is about 10 miles before water.
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Donate here.