PCT mile 85 to 101
We let ourselves sleep in this morning. Karma and I both had alarms go off this morning at 5am and decided to ignore them. We ended up getting started around 645 and the morning flew by pretty quickly. We had to get some water at the Third Gate Water Cache, an incredibly generous cache in the middle of nowhere that trail angels hand carry in. Several hikers were already sitting there – Tom, Wiz Kid, and Heidi. We chatted for a while and then Amelia and Karma got started and I got some water. And then – Twerk arrived! It was good to see him again but I had to hit the road so I kept walking. He and a handful of other hikers, including Nirvana, Rachel and Tarantino decided to sit out the heat of the day, but it was only 10 and with the breeze I thought I could handle a few more miles before needing a break.
I pushed on and ended up hiking by myself for the rest of the day. I ran into Dorothy, a man who had to get off trail a few weeks prior because his tent blew away with his phone in it. He’s doing 5-10 miles a day. I ended up helping him reconnect his solar panel after it had gotten lose from his battery pack and giving him some Gatorade.
I kept thinking I’d catch up to Karma and Amelia because I was cruising pretty well, but I never did. But Karma still left me trail encouragement.
Around 1230 I sat down for an extended break in the shade and chatted with Mark for a little while and texted my best friend Sarah and looked at Facebook. It’s not a total disconnect out here and I’m grateful for that.
After that I continued to slowly make my way toward camp. We had planned to do 12 today since we’re in no rush to get to Warner Springs since the post office isn’t open on Sundays and we wouldn’t be able to make it before it closed at 130 on Saturday. But there weren’t any campsites large enough for the three of us around mile 12, so instead we decided to go 16 miles. Even when you try to be gentle, the trail has different plans I guess.
At one point in the trail we could see the little town of Ranchita. I’m pretty sure when my mom was buying our first house she looked at a property there. From what I remember it was a shack with an outhouse and a windmill. I didn’t realize at the time how hard she was trying to give us a home and security with very little money. Sometimes I wonder what she’d think of being out here. I think she’d like it. I think she’d like how intensely it makes you focus on the most important things – friendships, beauty, kindness.
At camp, there were trail angels at the road nearby, Glow in the Dark and Three Guy(?). They had soda and clementines. Glow in the Dark got her name because she section hike the PCT while going through cancer radiation treatment and said she felt like a miniature Chernobyl. It’s really incredible how many people come together to make thruhikes both possible and more pleasant.
I sat and chatted with the group of hikes who arrived before me. We talked about our best and worst parts of the day and made plans to try to see the latest Guardians of the Galaxy in Idyllwild if the timing works out.
My calves seem to be coping better. They’re still a little stiff, especially in the morning, but they haven’t cramped up again. I asked my yoga teacher for a flow that would be good for after hiking so I’ve been trying to do at least part of that before climbing into my tent, as well as a few calf stretches Karma showed me.
I’ve been wearing my shoes and socks without any kind of tape around my pinky toes and haven’t gotten any more blisters! I’m grateful my body seems to be adapting. I do need to be better about giving myself longer breaks at my leisure, even if I’m close to camp. The hardest part of the day was the last 3 miles or so, because I was so close, but my legs really wanted a break and I really didn’t want to give them one and kept cutting it short.
Also: I reached mile 100 today! This means this backpacking trip is currently twice as long as any I’ve been on before.
Tomorrow we’ll be in Warner Springs. I’ve got a resupply box there and my dad is going to be bringing me some of the supplies I left at his condo in San Diego, as well as some fresh fruit and even pizza (!!). We have to stay in Warner Springs until at least late Monday morning. I’m not sure how far we’ll try to go Monday. Leaving there will be my longest food carry yet – 5 days. Woof. It’s going to be heavy.