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

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