Miles Hiked: 25.6
PCT Mileage: 608.9
This morning I was so cold and tired I didn’t want to get out of my sleeping bag so I “slept” in. By that I mean I just didn’t get out of my bag until after 6am because I only got about an hour or less of sleep last night. It wasn’t for any particular reason, I just have sleeping issues. Despite sleeping in, I was still the first person to leave camp. I hiked the first seven miles alone before sitting down to take a break. The seven miles were mostly downhill and very cruisey. I ran into some hikers going the wrong direction down the trail freaking out about not being on the map. They told me I was going the wrong way but I completely ignored them and kept hiking down the trail. I looked at the same exact map that they use last night and read about a reroute to the trail that takes you off the GPS track. It was extremely obvious that you were supposed to follow the very well marked and maintained trail with hundreds of hiker foot prints regardless of being on the GPS track or not. I only learned by making a thousand mistakes and I wasn’t about to argue about something that was extremely obvious to everyone else. If you are a little freaked out about being off a GPS track while still on a very well maintained trail I don’t even know what I could say to convince you otherwise that it’s fine. Apparently they tried to get my other friends to turn around and go the wrong way too and none of them were interested in arguing with them either although they at least briefly stopped to tell them they were definitely wrong.
The morning was very cloudy and windy. I kept my puffy jacket on for quite a while. I couldn’t tell if it was going to clear up or not but we haven’t had many days in the desert with any precipitation at all. At my 7 mile break spot I took off my shoes and put Arnicare gel all over my sore legs. Fry and Catwalk ran into me and asked if I wanted to do 10 mile by 10 am. I looked at my watch and saw it was possible so I quickly packed up my things and hiked on with them. It was so nice to hike with other people for a little bit! I haven’t done that a whole lot on this trail. Fry and Catwalk pushed me to hike a little faster than I normally do but I was glad for it. Catwalk and I talked a lot about New Zealand and the Ye Arora since he’s lived there for several years and hiked that trail. It sounds so fun and crazy. At 10am I looked at my watch and we had gone 9.9 miles. We hiked a bit further to hit 10 miles then started looking for a break spot. I was glad because I was very hungry and wanted to eat one of my fresh veggie wraps. The cold foggy clouds were still blowing through so we found a semi sheltered bush to sit behind.
My veggie wrap was delicious as expected. My legs felt so sore today! We all got up to keep hiking together but we lost Fry and Catwalk and I stuck together for a while. We climbed over tons of downed trees that reminded me a lot of the Continental Divide Trail. The clouds eventually went away and the sun came out. Catwalk and I found another break spot in the sun and we ended up sitting there for almost two hours! When everyone else caught up to us we all hiked on the the 600 mile mark together. I didn’t even realize we were that close! After the 600 mile mark was a spring that was our water source. We all collected a tiny bit of water and sat around for a long time. We didn’t have much farther to go to camp but all of us were so tired. We joked that the miles to camp just kept getting shorter and shorter the longer we sat there. Eventually I was the first one to leave. I took my sweet time going the last few miles to camp. Both Catwalk and Lumber Jack passed me and I sat down to take so many 5 minute or less breaks. I listened to a podcast featuring Arlette Laan along the way. She is a hiker I look up to a lot!
I finally arrived at camp around 7:30 pm and set up next to Doggone and everyone else. I was happy to see him again! The place we set up camp was about 0.25 miles off the trail down a dirt road at a place called Landers Meadow. It was so nice to be in a forested area on beds of pine needles and see a green grassy field where the water was. I was too tired to collect any water before going to bed.