PCT Mile: 519.8
I fell asleep by 9pm last night, but by midnight, the wind was getting violent. I was awakened by a large gust. The inside of my tent was completely covered in a fine silt that was sifting through my internal bug net. I also noticed that the outside of my tent was wet. So far, things were holding up. Please wind, don’t get worse!!!!!!
Riiiight, as if Mother Nature really cares what I think. I fell back to sleep but at around 2am the “you know what, truly hit the fan”. A huge gust of wind jerked the stake out from underneath the rock collapsing half my tent. It was soaking wet from the blowing fog and getting muddy from the silt. The wind was blowing so hard that putting the stake back in was going to be useless. So I hunkered down deeper in my bag and prepared to battle my tent smacking against me for the rest of the night.
After a couple of hours, the inside of my tent was turned into a muddy hell. My sleeping bag was getting soaked and everything I have on this trip was covered in a fine dust. Even my teeth were gritty from the fine dust! I was “effing” miserable!
Finally, the sun was coming up and I needed to get out of there. The fog was thick and the wind was howling.
Everything I owned was wet, muddy, and trying to leave me with the wind. Just get moving! Jennifer said that I should take a picture of my tent, but in my haste, I forgot. Here’s a visual. Take your tent into the backyard. Lay it on the lawn. Throw sand and silt on it. Spray with a garden hose. That should do it.
I got up the hill and noticed that the spork I use for eating was not attached to my bag. Crap! I turned back to camp and found it on the ground. Wonderful, now let’s go hike 20 miles. Damn this is fun.
This was the day that I knew would eventually arrive. What am I doing out here? Why am I putting myself through all of this?
I had knocked out only 6 miles by noon. Normally, it’s 12 or more. I had no motivation to climb. I didn’t even eat breakfast. I just wanted out of there. My number one objective was to get low enough in elevation so that I could dry my gear. Then I would make decision on how far was hiking today.
I was taking a break on a log when two of my trail kids walked past. It was great to see them. I told them my story, and it felt good to get it off my chest. They said that they were going all the way to Hiker Town. Wow! That’s about 4 more hours of hiking. Okay. I can do it.
I hiked for 2 more hours and then took a break. I pulled out my wet gear and let it dry somewhat before starting up again.
I arrived at Hiker Town a little before 6:30pm…another 20+ under my belt.
Now the Antelope Valley has nothing but grain fields, but there’s a guy who owns the only cafe and gas for miles around. It’s called the Neenach cafe and market. He shuttles hikers to his place every hour. I took my trail kids to dinner. They really helped to lift my spirits.