Tent site- tent site
23.7 miles. 2905ft up. 5281ft down.
Well it was blowing a hoolie all night with absolutely no let up. I woke up several times through the night. My broken tent held up ok though, the stakes stayed in the ground despite the tent being blown all over the place. Even the broken poles held out.
The wind was still super strong when it was time to get up, even when I pushed it back half an hour to 7. It took me ages to pack up having not sorted out anything the night before, and trying to pack away the tent in the gale force winds, so I didn’t get going until 8. The wind was so cold and just so relentless, I was still up over 10,500ft and I longed to get down lower where it would hopefully be warmer.
After an uncomfortable couple of hours battling with the cold and wind it was like someone had flicked a switch and turned off the wind. It became warm and I could finally delayer. I used my quarter litre of clean water to make a chocolate drink this morning, hydration and nutrition. So I was left with a quarter litre of squash.
I came to a side trail where there was a note in a ziplock from 7 days ago saying there was water to be found down this trail. So I went to look for it, I found it but it wasn’t that desirable. I collected half a litre from a small pool but it smelt funny so I decided to carry the half litre but only use it in an emergency and make do with what I had.
I carried on and crossed a couple of the other creeks which were brown and gross.
The terrain was definitely changing, the Sierra was being left behind in the distance, clouds gathered over the mountains in the distance and clear blue skies ahead of me. The trail descends leaving the high elevations behind. The rocks give way to trees and shrubs.
I listen to podcasts for most of the day, out of the speaker because my headphones are broken, but there aren’t any people around. Just the little ground squirrels.
I see a person heading towards me around 2pm it’s a northbound hiker called Shrink (when he told his father he was going to hike the PCT he told him he needed to see a psychiatrist!). He’s going to hike until the weather stops him, which will be pretty soon I guess. He told me it’s about a 4 hour walk to the next water but I know it’s 6 miles downhill which won’t take 4 hours (but it’s taken him 60 days to do 720 miles). I asked him about Kennedy Meadows (there seems to be no solid information about this place. I’ve been told it closes on the 10th the 20th and the end of October, and that they are open into November) he said the store was open 11-4 and they are serving burgers. Oh man, I really want a burger. And a soda. And an ice cream.
I carry on downhill, crossing all the dry creeks and streams. The plants change as I descend into the valley, they become more desert like, dry and spiky. I see the bridge over the river in the distance and break out into a little run. I have been snacking more than usual today to try and keep the stomach pains at bay, but I know it’s water my body wants now. I’ve been 43 miles on one litre of water.
The river is low but at least the water is flowing. I fill up with two litres. A litre to drink and a litre for dinner and breakfast. The swallows nests under the bridge appear to be deserted.
I did consider camping here but it’s cold and it’s only 4:30. I carry on. A small climb takes me back into the sun and it’s a bit warmer, at 5:00 I come to a camp spot, but it’s still early and I decide to go another 2.5 miles. I’m under 8000ft now but it’s still cold when the sun goes behind the hills, I move quickly.
As I approach the camp spot I see a bunch of tents already there, oh no was my initial thought. I cold and hungry so they had better not be funny about me camping with them because I’m not going and further. It turns out to be trail crew and one of them – the Prodigy – hiked northbound this year. They invited me to eat mac n cheese with them and after chatting about the trail we established that we knew a lot of the same people and we worked out where we passed each other on the trail in Washington. I’m glad I carried on to this camp site. It soon got really cold and we retreated to our tents. I was expecting it to be a bit warmer down here but at least there is no wind!
I’m walking thousands of miles for Just A Drop because everyone should have access to clean water. Please donate here, every little bit helps.