Miles Hiked: 24.8
PCT Mileage: 972.7
This morning I woke up at 5am. I was still tired and I knew everyone else would be slower than me so I laid down for another hour. I was tired anyways. Turns out I was still the first person to leave camp despite being tired and waiting so long. Home Brew hiked out soon after me and we shared the first seven miles of the day together. It was overcast and cold. It started snowing and I couldn’t believe it. At first I was questioning if it was ashes but it is as definitely snow. Seven miles in I took a break so hopefully everyone else would catch up. Home Brew kept going because he was hoping to hike a 30+ mile day today. I wish I could have hiked with him but I was so exhausted and really needed a rest day. Plus I was hoping to spend some time with Pop Rocks since I finally caught up to him. After my shirt break I continued hiking. I had to cross two creeks that required finding a creative rock hope across to avoid getting my feet wet. At the second stream, Spiller Creek, I almost made it across dry before I dropped one of my trekking poles and it started floating down the stream. I jumped into the water after it trying to chase it down. I would be so sad if I lost a pole! When I chased down my pole, I ended up falling in the freezing cold water up to my waist two different times. It hurt and was really cold. I was so shaken up from it. I also lost one of my water bottles that went down the stream faster than I could grab it. Luckily I still was able to save my trekking pole. As soon as I got out of the water soaking wet, I took my phone and camera out of my fanny pack. They definitely got wet. I removed my camera battery just in case, dried it off and put it in my pack. I won’t be turning it on until the next town now. I was so cold I could hardly move but luckily the trail went up a very steep climb right after the creek. I used it to warm myself up. At the top of the climb I reached Miller Lake 11.5 miles in for the day. There I pulled my luckily dry sleeping bag out of my pack, changed into dry clothes, and got inside. I laid in my sleeping bag on the side of the trail for over an hour just warming up. I was still waiting on my friends and couldn’t believe how far behind they must be. I wasn’t even hiking fast. After an hour and fifteen minutes I was warm enough to pack up my stuff and keep hiking. Right when I was about to l ave Pop Rocks and Tiger Lily caught up I was so glad.
Today reminded me so much of Montana and Maine. I absolutely loved it. Most of the time the trail was under conifer trees and there were lots of granite rocks and mud. I got to hike with Pop Rocks quite a bit today since he goes closer to my pace. We went up and over Benson Pass which was really easy but I could feel my fatigue as I went up it. At the top we waited for Tiger Lily. After that we only had 6.5 miles of mostly downhill until camp. We camped on the sandy beach of Bensen Lake. It was one of my favorite campsites of the whole trip so far. It was a cold night so I got into my sleeping bag and tent pretty early tonight.