Hot Hot Heat – Day 11: Agua Caliente to just past Mike’s Place 

Snakes: 1

Rattlesnakes: 0

Miles: 14

PCT miles: 115 to 129

We didn’t get up as early as we would have liked. We got walking around 630 or 7. It was already hot at 8am. I had planned to try to push out as many miles as I could in the morning and then rest during the hottest part of the day, but instead every time I tried to rest I was surrounded by some truly terrible horse flies. They were only a little irritating until one bit me through my pant leg – after that I was too grumpy to even try to relax anymore and instead tried to hike on, moving slow reveling in the shade when there was some. 

There was more shade than I had any right to expect the whole way, and for that I was super grateful. But it was still hot – in the 90s from what I could tell – with little breeze and it also felt slightly humid. It was the sweatiest I’ve been on trail so far and I had to take off my long sleeve shirt and just wear my short sleeve and used my umbrella to protect my arms. 

Early on I got some shade and some water with Tarantino, Rick, and some other hikers. Rick was in the military for 20 years and was chatting with two other hikers about the service. There seem to be a lot of ex military out here. Tarantino headed out before me and I didn’t see him the rest of the day. 

Eventually I grabbed some shade with some other hikers, Ashleen, Aaron and Rick again. Since there were four of us the flies had more people to spread their attention to so they didn’t seem as bad. I stayed there for a good 20 or 40 minutes before taking on the heat.

I have a new backpacking snack/meal that I’m enjoying, which is tuna with Fritos. I had it for an early lunch and it was very satisfying, although I never would have considered it before.

I also met a hiker named Lionheart who I’ve been following on Instagram. I think she does 20s every day and she started days after me and is already past me. I doubt I’ll see much of her but she’s awesome. Very nice and she’s hiked the PCT twice before as well as some other long trails. 

After 12 miles in the sun, taking only a few breaks, I finally arrived to a trail angel’s house called Mike’s Place. It’s also the only place with water for a pretty long stretch. A ton of hikers were there resting in the shade of Mike’s porch and there were banana pancakes that had been made earlier. 


I laid on my air mattress and tried to rest but couldn’t sleep. I was super hungry so I had a pancake, then some pasta with dried pesto and Parmesan, and then I was still hungry so I ate some ramen. I sat and chatted with Karma, Amelia, Jesus, Nirvana and Roadshow. Eventually around 530 we decided it was time to leave and find a new camp spot – Karma was especially antsy to go. She doesn’t like to sit in one place very long before the day is done. 

So we got walking… and so did all the other hikers, around 10. We were all headed to a camp spot either 2 or 4 miles away, both of which said they only had room for 1 tent. It was the first time the PCT felt like a competition — who would get the campsite first?!

All that pasta I ate made me pretty nauseated on the hike that went up up up. Lionheart and Scissors chatted behind me which was kind of like listening to a podcast and took my mind off my stomach. I’m never gonna be the Olympic runner to secure a campsite so I let the faster people in my group – in this case, Amelia. 

But no rush was necessary – that “one” person campsite had room for all of us. And the sunset there was gorgeous. I was absolutely exhausted and set up my tent and chatted a little and the crawled in my tent. We wanted to get an early start to try to beat the hot hot heat tomorrow so I gave up on writing this post and passed out.

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