PCT Day 71: Trail Magic Galore

Miles Hiked: 38.8

PCT Mileage: 1195.3

This morning I had an alarm set since I knew I wanted to hike a big day and would be tired from the night before. When it went off at 4:45 I could hardly move so I laid back down for 15 more minutes. At 5am I packed up and made a Nutella and English muffin sandwich for breakfast. The sky was getting Brighter by the minute and I hiked out of camp at 5:45. Last night I camped 0.5 miles south of interstate 80. The trail goes through a tunnel underneath it but apparently it is flooded with shin deep water. Not wanting to get my feet wet at 5am this morning, I opted for a road walk that let me cross the highway under a bridge about a half mile off the trail. Im not sure why the trail just wasn’t routed this way to begin with. As I walked by the highway on ramp, I kicked a box of beer in doubt of there being anything in it. Surprise! I scored my first fresh beer off the side of the road in my entire hiking career. I wished for this to happen everyday on the CDT road walks. It did happen once but the beer seemed to be ages old so I couldn’t drink it. Although it wasn’t even six am I cracked open the beer to drink it anyways. I walked the road until it connected back to the PCT at Castle Pass. It was a dirt road and approximately the same distance as the trail was.

Once I was back on trail the entire day was so easy. I purposely planned to do a big day today because the elevation profile looked so easy. There was hardly any climbing today. If I had to guess, any climbs I did do were less than 300ft per mile, and the average grade for the day was 100ft/mile both up and downhill. The perfect grade to put on cruise control and hike a long day. I took my first break at mile 10 to eat second breakfast and filter water. I had a bean and cheese burrito, some Nutella, and coconut almond date rolls. I passed a lot of tents in the first few miles of the day. I always pass so many people when they are sleeping.

The day was absolutely stunning as I walked through hillsides of yellow Mules Ears Flowers and Purple Lupines. At mile 15 it was 10:30am and I received some awesome trail magic from Allan aka “Limit Situation Trail Magic”. He had chairs set up next to a creek with a massive cooler of cold drinks and sweet treats he and his helped baked themselves. I was so happy to sit down for a rest. My drink of choice was a home brewed kombucha that was delicious! Allan says he has brewing it for 11 years which makes sense why it was so good. He does this trail magic 3-4 days a week for a month every year. He usually coordinates with “Chipmunk” who I received trail magic from about a week ago at Ebbetts Pass. Allan had a Darn Tough sock exchange at the trial magic which I thought was the coolest thing. Darn Tough is a brand of socks that a lot of thru hikers including myself wear because of their life time warranty. When you mail them your hokey socks they will send you a brand new pair back for free! Unfortunately I just mailed my socks to Darn Tough last week so I wasn’t in need of the exchange today but there have been so many times I needed a sock exchange! I hung out at the trail magic for about 40 minutes getting to know Allan and the two other hikers that showed up, before I left I got a hug and an awesome tie dye bandana that I plan on carrying to Canada. I also got to take a backpacker meal that was donated. I told Allan about how I was trying to make it to town tonight but I’m on a mission to catch up to my friends. I didn’t want to go to town but I had to because I needed food. The backpacker meal and an extra Ziploc of treats made it so that I could skip town and not stress about timing the miles so much!

I was so rejuvenated after the trail magic. The little bit of climbing I did afterwards flew by and before I knew it I was back on a ridge surrounded by yellow and purple flowers everywhere. I took a break after five miles. 20 miles in for the day at 1pm I was feeling a little tired and my feet hurt. I took a 10 minute break to stretch and rub out my feet. These short breaks help me so much. I felt so much better when I started hiking again. I flew down the mountain through the forest to my next break spot in 7 more miles. To my surprise there was more trail magic! A PCT hiker from 2021 named “The Dawg” was there with his girlfriend. He handed me a beer and snacks including a chocolate muffin, Doritos, and welch’s gummies. I was so glad for all the food and that I definitely have enough to make it to Quincy and skip Sierra City. I hung out there with them for over an hour with six other hikers including Holey Soul and Matador who I met at Chipmunks trail magic. I’m so glad both of the trail magics happened at a perfect break spot for me. I couldn’t believe I got it twice in one day.

After the second trail magic, I had 12 miles left to my end goal for the day. The first 7 miles flew by then my feet started to hurt again so I took a break to stretch and rub them out. The last five miles to camp felt slow. Overall the day was so easy for how far I hiked. I got some awesome breaks with trail magic which made it even easier. I cowboy camped next to the highway that goes into Sierra City. The bugs were bad again and I’m so glad I have a head net now. The trail always provides. Tomorrow my day will start with a big climb!

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird


Published by Deserrae Potts

Thru Hiker Blogger

One thought on “PCT Day 71: Trail Magic Galore

  1. HI Des! I noticed in your selfie the rubber PCT tag hanging on your backpack. I noticed that almost every thru hikers had one in 2022, although never in previous years. Those tags instantly identify you as one of the PCT Elite! Since I’m planning to start in Campo in the Spring of 2023, I’m hoping to score one of those. Where and how did you get yours? Long John Silver


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