PCT mile 306
Since starting the PCT, I haven’t been sleeping well at night. Last night was not exception. When I awoke, I could tell that this was going to one of those tough motivational days. I rolled out of my sleeping bag, and was on the trail by 8 AM. That’s late. I’m usually up and out well before 7.
By noon, I had only hiked 10 miles. It was time for a break so I started looking for a logical place to rest. I came upon a nice shady spot where some of the hikers were hanging out. Posted right next to the trail, there was a sign, “Free meal at Splinter’s Cabin”. That was 3 miles away. I ate an energy bar, chugged some water, and started truckin’. In trail terms, 3 miles in one hour is pretty easy.
Splinter’s Cabin is a covered barbecue area and a popular trailhead for people doing day hikes out of Lake Arrowhead. Some trail angels had set up a barbecue and brought fresh fruit, baked beans, sodas, snacks, and meats and cheeses for sandwiches. As soon as I walked up, one of the men asked me if I wanted one or two hotdogs. Two fingers went up right away.
I chatted with several of the hikers as I ate my two hotdogs and 6 tangerines. Those tangerines were money! Bam Bam showed up a little later and we decided to hike together the last 7 miles down to the river. After a long rest, we took off.
Now, here’s where I learned that it’s, “every man for himself”, when it comes to getting into camp late. I pushed myself really hard for those 7 miles, but couldn’t hang with Bam Bam. I was the last one to camp, and quickly discovered that there were no flat spots around the river! Many of the hikers had arrived early, and staked their claims. Frustrated and tired, I sauntered further down the trail and finally found a reasonable spot to cowboy camp.