Camping: PCT mile 1186.77
The 5 of us woke up in our little camp behind the highway 80 rest area, adjusting to the morning. It’s a strange feeling to wake up and not be on the PCT, and usually my first instinct is to find the trail. I made the last of my oatmeal and had a cold cup of Starbucks instant coffee, then took off just behind Michael. The rest of the crew was still getting ready for the day, but I figured we would catch up later, or we wouldn’t. Either way, everything is working out, plans or not.
The hiking was smooth and soon Pockets caught up with me at a hiker hut. We saw that Danger Spoon and CrackerJack had stayed there the night before, so we were not too far behind them. We would likely not see them until town the next day, but I was happy we hadn’t put too much distance between us. It’s funny how much I miss people after just a day, I’m so used to having them around. Pockets and I enjoyed catching up though, we chatted about our experience since we last hiked together as we walked. It was not too difficult but it was still quite muggy. My face and body were covered in a layer of sweat that clogged my pores, my skin having as much trouble breathing as my lungs.
We got to the top of our mid day climb, and suddenly a breeze came through changing the entire day. We paused and savored the delightful change in temperature, realizing how much the humidity was slowing us down. With this wind, we could hike on a lot farther. We ended up hiking 15 miles before lunch, where we sat at a campsite enjoying some much needed protein, shade and rest. The decision was made to hike another 11 miles, so we got back to it.
Doc and Michael caught up with us at a spring, and we all started to get excited for Sierra City the next day. The plan was to hike 3 miles, eat dinner, then hike another 3 to an established campsite. This would be a 27.54 mile day, Pockets’ biggest! I did a 28 mile day in the desert, but haven’t done any days that big in a long time. I felt strong and we succeeded in making it to our destination. The last mile was hard, but only because we were exhausted by then. When we arrived at camp, Danger Spoon, CrackerJack, Hand Me Down, Handstand and Pancake Man were already there. We had some great conversation and laughs before heading to our respective tents. It has been a long day, but it was a great success. I feel great and happy, looking forward to town tomorrow with my friends. We are getting real close to the halfway point!