Tent site – tent site
22 miles. 1293ft up. 6910ft down.
I woke up thinking it was morning and found it was only 10:30pm, then I woke up nearly every hour. I should have popped and Aleve PM. I tried to guess how far away Catwater would have camped and what time she would start in the morning. I decided to get up at 6 and wait until 7. She came up the hill at 6:50 just as I was packing my tent away.
We walk on together and have a chat. It’s cool and cloudy. Today is mostly downhill so it should be an easy day. We come across a cache left but some mountain bikers (with the date on – I wish everyone would put the date it was left on a cache) with come cliff bars. Very thoughtful. We have been seeing bike tracks all along the PCT for a few days. Does this make it better?
Not knowing about the cache meant we were carrying enough water so we left it for others. I got a fleeting bit of cell service and managed to put a post up about the cache in the facebook group before losing connection. Catwater lagged behind, distracted by cell connection. I carried on and listened to my Audibook (I’m listening to the story of the trapped Chilean miners) and waited at the next water source.
The PCT crosses a lot of dirt roads and you can forgive the bikers for not realising they are on the PCT at times. However, that was not the case today!
We then began the long descent through the canyon and down to mission creek. We were hoping for a speedy descent but the trail was really rocky and it was tough going. The middle of the canyon was full of trees which followed where the water was. At one point we crossed through the trees and over the water and there were so many different tracks I lost the trail and ended up having to scramble up the side of a steep bank to get back to the trail. Safely back on my little path I carried on to the last listed water source on the water report before our intended camp spot. We loaded up on water and carried on. I slowed down today, making sure Catwater was never too far behind so we ended up camping at the same place. The trail then crossed mission creek about 8 times and there was water flowing at every crossing which was very frustrating! At least we were going downhill. The trail passed through some reeds and overgrown stuff that I had no memory of from last year.
We see a load of bear tracks on the trail, they last for a long time, this bear took quite the stroll down the PCT, the tracks are going the opposite way to us, but we know the bears are out there, we have no idea where they are but I’m sure they know where we are. We saw three young lads with guns. They were out unsuccessfully hunting for quail. They were really nice polite guys. They asked Catwater her age and told her she was an inspiration – which she is.
When we got to the camp spot I realised it’s the same place I camped last year and where BubbaGump and Ranger gave me the beginnings of my trail name. No water here this year and I was kind of relieved to know I hadn’t lugged all that water down here for nothing. We have lost over 5,000ft in elevation so it’s much warmer here that it was last night. Although I was in a much warmer spot than Catwater by the sounds of it. It remained cloudy all day so the sun wasn’t too hot which was a relief for my face.
It’s just before 5pm so we set up while it’s still light. I’m not really hungry so I don’t eat a proper dinner. I just eat some cheese and pringles (all these sweet things and cookies I’m carrying and all I want to eat is cheese and pringles – I’m never going to get this food thing right) then I eat some cookies.
The moon rises. It’s two days off from being a full ‘super’ moon so it’s really bright. I don’t need my head torch to see anything. There are no stars because it’s so bright. I try not to lie down too early otherwise I will go to sleep too quickly. As I’m sat with the door of my tent open writing this, I see two creatures run past pretty close. I think they were Coyotes. As I lie down to go to sleep I feel really hungry. Too late now. Its a real pain in the ass that it gets dark so early. Neither of us like walking in the dark so that means we are in our tents really early and end up lying down for about 12 hours.
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.