It’s 10pm, and after setting up camp at 7pm I expected to be well asleep by now. Just after I’d cooked dinner and brushed my teeth, two hikers called Spark and Carrot arrived. We got chatting and soon learned that Carrot and I are both avid bloggers and both know the wonderful Dirty Girl who has sent us amazing goodies along our travels! We talked blogs for hours. Carrot was super envious of my Suntactics solar panel as she isn’t able to keep her phone charged to write everyday on the trail, and was impressed with my set up.
As you do with all new hikers, we talked about the hikers we know in common, the date we started, and relived some of the most memorable moments of the trail. I thoroughly enjoy these social interactions, especially after a full day of hiking 23 miles solo.
I broke camp around 6:30am and was determined to reach Wolf Creek 8 miles away before taking a break. My Aussie followers will know that Wolf Creek is the name of a movie thriller set in outback Australia. Don’t see it if you’re planning a trip to Oz, I can’t even bare to watch it. I listened to two Missy Higgins albums and some random tunes to pass the time this morning as my mind was ticking over the miles and I needed a distraction.
I was super hungry by the time I got to the creek and almost out of water. Now that we’re at a lower elevation I’ve had to start treating water again with my Pristine drops which takes 5 minutes to mix and 15 until the water is safe to drink. Between water purification, drying out my sleep gear and making breakfast, I spent two hours at Wolf Creek. It was 11:30am by the time I hit the trail again and the temperature was scorching!
I passed a couple of south bound day hikers with a beautiful Golden Retriever and after chatting for a minute they said I was the most articulate PCT hiker they had come across. They said when they asked some of the others about how many miles they were averaging they were met with incomprehensible blank stares, like they hadn’t spoken to or seen another person in months. This made me laugh, I’m a lot more chatty after food so they got me at a good time!
I came across another day hiker ahead of me who kept looking behind him and generally didn’t give out a good vibe. I think I’ve been freaked out by a story Rufiki told me about a day hiker that stalked her. She now carries capsicum spray which I think is a real shame. I can tell you I wouldn’t want to try and mess with a female thru hiker who is at the peak of their physical strength carrying two sharp hiking poles. I decided not to converse with the guy and just said a quick hello when he let me walk past. I got a little stunned when I stopped to take a photo further down the trail and realised he was still close behind me. I thought I could either try to out walk him or stop at the next water source and let him go by. I went with the latter option which was perfect as he disappeared off into the distance and I took the opportunity of jumping into the small rock pool under a waterfall to cool off which felt incredible!
After the swim the trail climbed up towards Ebbetts Pass and Highway 4. This is when the storm clouds started blowing in. I should have known! Now I was trying to out walk the storm. I made it to the highway and on the other side I got excited when I saw coolers with PCT hikers written on it. Sadly they were empty, only just, according to the hiker log as Orbit who gave me the cookie yesterday had snagged the last beer. Good trail karma for her!
As I was about to make myself a very late lunch the thunder started getting louder and the rain started coming down. I went to lower ground after an older hiker Otter came back down the trail for shelter. Once I’d eaten I hit the trail again in the rain. Jug passed me again too and said the lightning was at least 9 miles away – far enough for me. I must have left lunch until too late because I became so tired I almost considered taking a nap at 5pm. I still had four miles to go to the campsite I was aiming for but I simply had no energy. I ate a couple of bars and stripped off my rain gear which was too hot, then gave it my all to make it those last few miles. The scenery was exquisite, I felt like I was walking through a scene in Shrek with wild flowers, rolling hills and jagged peaks in the background.
I felt so much better after food and seemed to wake up when my new hiking company arrived this evening. I need to do 20+ miles again tomorrow which will take me to Carson Pass. I hear the mosquitos are bad between there and Echo Lake which makes me a little nervous about reliving some of the horrors of the earlier parts of this never ending section!