June 27, 2016
Bushcamp (mile 1543.4) to bushcamp (mile 1566.3)
We woke up to orange clouds in a pale blue sky. Another beautiful morning in northern California!
It was hard to get going. We knew the longer we waited the hotter it would be so we managed to peel open our eyes and were on the trail around 6:20.
Fixie hiked with us all morning. The three of us traded stories which made the miles fly by.
We took a short break in the shade around 8 am. Fixie diagnosed Laurie’s recent foot peeling and cracked skin issues as athlete’s foot 😦
We’re not sure where Laurie came in contact with this fungus. She’s worn flip flops in most public showers. Hopefully we can find some cream in our next town stop in a few days to get rid of it.
At 9:58 am Andy checked his watch.
“We have gone 9.9 miles”
Without communicating we all started running.
At 9:59 we had done 10 miles. Another 10 by 10. Yay!
To celebrate we took a 35 minute shoes off break in the shade, trading snacks amongst one another. A young deer walked within 15 ft of us, swatting mosquitoes with it’s ears.
The next 2 miles we walked over rocky trail down to Highway 3. We saw Speed resting in the shade. He was gathering trash since a nice person at the campground had offered to drive it back to town. We all pulled out ziplocks. Trash doesn’t weigh much but it is nice to lighten our pack, minimize volume, and remove smelly items from our packs any chance we have.
From here the trail climbed. We walked in a line of 4 sharing tid bits of our lives. Being early afternoon the temperature was warm but luckily the trail skipped in and out is the sun.
About 2 miles in we stopped to get water from a spring. Speed continued on, Fixie and Andy went in search of water and Laurie sat and watched the packs. Andy and Fixie returned after 15 minutes with 1 inch of water between them. This was our first seasonal water source that wasn’t flowing.
We continued on another 1.8 miles with dry mouths to another seasonal spring. This one was overflowing with clear, crisp and delicious water. Water tastes so good when you are thirsty!
We carried on up the hill. It was a gradual up. The trail was soft and our bodies were tired but nothing hurt.
Mosquito Lake outlet was a nice steam with pools amongst the rocks. Laurie and Fixie took a dip while Andy soaked his feet. The water was refreshing and much warmer than Deadfall Lake the day before.
Having learned from the previous dry spring we loaded up on water. The next reliable stream was in 12 miles and while we all thought the seasonal ones would be running, we didn’t want to depend on them and end up without water again.
Our packs were heavy just as the climb got steeper. We slowly made our way up the hillside, stopping to catch our breaths and soak in the stunning views.
It’s really beautiful here. We can hardly believe our eyes. Another thing we can’t believe is that we are hiking south (ok southwest) for roughly 50 miles. Some people have a real hard time with this since Canada is to the north, but for us this is the PCT. This is where the PCT takes us. Trail builders wanted us to see these mountains. And for this we are grateful.
We had a snow field to cross four tenths of a mile from camp. It looked easy from afar but was somewhat tricky. Laurie postholed down to her thigh but thankfully there weren’t rocks hiding underneath the snow.
Shortly after we came upon a seasonal stream gushing with cold, beautiful water.
“It’s a mirage. It’s not really there” Andy jokingly exclaimed.
Sucks that we carried as much water up the hill in the heat as we did but we’d rather have it than not.
Around 6 pm we rolled into camp. Speed was sitting under a tree cleaning up after eating dinner. The three of us sat down near him and enjoyed a luxurious happy hour of cheese and Luke’s Crackers.
We chatted as we cooked and ate. It was a nice day, and probably the most social day we have had on trail.
It is only 8:30 and we are ready for bed. Maybe we will actually fall asleep before hiker midnight (9 pm) tonight. Well, at least Laurie might.
Tonight we are grateful for good company and strong legs.