PCT Mile: 436.11
First, I forgot to post the 400 mile pic from yesterday…
So we left at 5am knowing that water, distance, and heat were going to play a big role in today’s effort. It was 12 miles to our first water source, and it was hot, ugly, and difficult!
We hit the Mill Creek fire station by 10:30am and it was really starting to heat up. The next challenge was that the next reliable water cache was 17 miles away. We hydrated as much as we could and pressed on. We had 12 miles to go before an old abandoned campground would give us a place to rest…but no water. I filtered 4 liters and took off. My Trail Kids are fast. They were gone in 10 minutes.
This is where things got real! At mile 15, my left foot was throbbing and I just wanted a break. My shirt was soaked with sweat and, quite frankly, I was miserable. The heat was zapping my strength in a big way, putting me in a bad mood.
I plodded on looking for a flat place to rest. Nothing! Poodle dog brush and poison oak was everywhere. Finally, I started a descent into a canyon. I saw a flat place at the bottom that looked promising. As I came around the corner, there were my trail kids sitting in what little shade there was. I was gassed! I was thinking of only a rest and trying to get the energy for 5 more miles to the abandoned campground.
I dropped my pack and flopped to the ground. It was about 1pm. As soon as I sat down, Pete started explaining the issue with water and our food shortage. I did not like what I was hearing…at all! Essentially, we had 11 more miles to go; 5 to the abandoned campground and 6 more to the water cache! Are you kidding? 11 more miles? There was a 1200 foot climb to the old campground. Jeez!
I mumbled something to them as they packed up to leave. I wasn’t going anywhere so I just sat by myself and brooded. They were going the 5 miles to the campground for a long rest and finish the remaining 6 in the evening.
This is where the trail gets real. I just had get up and keep going. I really didn’t have a choice. Walking at a pace to conserve energy and minimize sweat, I started for the old campground.
I arrived at 4pm and the kids were there. They were wiped out too. I rested for 2 hours and ate as much food as I could. Nothing really tasted that good but I needed calories. It was close to 6pm and I was beginning to think that I might be able to put 2 more hours in. Suck it up Kev.
My pack was light. The little remaining food and water made the going much easier, and the temperature had also dropped. 2 hours later, there it was. A remote fire station with plenty of water!!! I had hiked over 30 miles today. There aren’t many people on the trail knocking out 20’s and I hit my first 30.
I learned a lot about myself today…