Monday, August 14, 2017

Day 6 - PCT mile 1274... 10 mile day

Trains came by three times last night. 9pm, 1:30 am and 4:00 am. Guess which time they blew their horn? Yup. Right in the middle of the night. I had my earplugs in but it still woke me up, though I was able to go back to sleep. Dang it was loud in that canyon!

My alarm woke me at 5:30 but as usual, I ignored it till closer to 6. Quickly packing up I wove my way through many campsites, trying to find a way to get back up to the road, which leads to the PCT trailhead. I surprised a few folks walking by but I had to do it. 

Crossed the railroad tracks 

and found the trail register, the first one so far this trip. It appears there were two folks more energetic than I. 

Then this...

Hang gliders? Really? Who knew?

Then the day started in earnest. Four miles of up. In fact, to keep myself occupied I counted the switchbacks... 39 of them. 

For real. Fortunately the temperatures were cool at the beginning and even later when I started sweating buckets, switching to face up canyon would allow a cool breeze to begin to evaporate the sweat. Nice. 

This area is known for having tons of poison oak and it is true, though not so much it couldn't be avoided. It is starting to turn colors now. 

Once having gained those switchbacks I still had another 3 miles of climbing to do. It was just kind of a grind and the trail moved from oak woodland to manzanita and ceaonathus bushes. Scratchy and pokey but doable. Just difficult and in the full sun. 

There were springs along the way so I didn't have to carry too much water at any one time. 

I finally got to the top of the climb and eventually the trail entered pine trees again. Much nicer for hiking in, for me. Cooler and more to look at. I passed a lilly pond. 

Then, 2 miles shy of my target mileage today, I gave it up. I guess the climb did me in and I wasn't into walking any more. So here I am, hammock up, dinner eaten (spaghetti tonight), locator beacon sent off to wherever it goes and I'm done for the night. Hopefully I'll have more energy tomorrow. 

This spaghetti is ground turkey cooked at home with Trader Joe's sauce, then dehydrated. I added freeze dried carrots and previously cooked and dehydrated pasta, zucchini and basil. With Parmesan cheese it makes a pretty good dinner. Much better than the commercial stuff and way cheaper. 


  1. That's quite a climb! I'm impressed that you counted the switchbacks. Did you keep count in your head? I'm imprested with your mental discipline because I would have gone on various thought tangents and lost count. ha!! It's been fun reading your updates. Happy trails!!

  2. Each time I switchbacked up canyon I knew I was on an odd numbered switchback, which helped with the counting. I only counted to help me feel I was making progress. Thanks for reading along!

  3. Your meals are better than the ones I have at home - being the gourmet cook that I am (not). Donna and Sara say hi. We did a hooray for Shelly around the green sauce bowl. And of course none of us ate it! Hot hot hot! I love seeing the pics of your hammock set up at the end of each day. Brings a nice closure.