All The Way Down – Day 18: Mountaintop Campground to Rusty Pipe and Faucet Camp

PCT miles: 190.5 to 205.7
Miles: 15 + 2 packless miles to get in n out

I don’t want to get up this morning so I take it slow and stay in my bag and eat breakfast and then very, very slowly get my things together. Cate and I are chatting as we pretend to get up for the day until finally we can’t pretend anymore and get it if our tents. I get walking and realize I haven’t peed yet so stop to squat and shortly after Cate and her husband Mike catch up to me. Cate tells me she’s slow and I tell her I’ve been hiking alone a lot and would love the company so I proceed to spend the rest of the day hiking with them. 

Today is a long, long day of downhill – all 15 miles we plan to do are downhill. Eventually I do the math and realize we’ll be descending 6200 feet today alone (before slowly hiking back up the same amount to Big Bear.) I’m glad that the downhill is pretty gentle, and for a good portion of the hike I even consider it pleasant, but just like in normal life – too much of a good thing sucks. By the end of the day my feet were pounding and my outer hip muscles were sore. 

We did get some pretty cool views though.

And we hit mile 200!

(Mike, Cate, Me, Scissors)

The other big adventure today was that when we got to camp, someone said there was Lyft and Uber service and an In N Out nearby. You can’t say stuff like that around here without thruhiker ears perking up, and before I knew what I was doing I’d ordered an Uber big enough for six people and Ship Wreck, who Cate, Mike and I had been leapfrogging with all day, was organizing orders for people who couldn’t fit in the car. 

What we didn’t realize was at the bottom of the road we were on was a gate, and the Lyft driver called me to say he couldn’t come any further up the hill. So six hikers booked it a mile down the hill – which we have to descend again tomorrow as it’s part of the official PCT – to get to the Lyft to take us to the In N Out. Still, it ended up being worth it.

After we ate we collected the orders for our friends back at camp, for another ride, and then hoofed it back to camp. The mile walk back up the hill was rough, but people were so stoked and grateful as Ship Wreck, who was carrying most of the food, got a hero’s welcome.. When I got to camp I got set up in my tent and Facetimed with Mark and showed him the mountain I’d climbed down. It’s always good to talk to him but it also makes me a little homesick.

In other fun news, tonight I am nursing some armpit chafe. Sometimes I think thruhiking should really be called A Series of Unfortunate Chafing. 

It may rain tonight, which would be my first rain on trail. I didn’t think there was supposed be thunder but I can hear it in the distance which honestly makes me nervous, but not much we can do now.

I’m not really sure what we’re doing tomorrow because I haven’t had a chance to look yet. But basically the plan is: Get closer to Big Bear.

8 responses to “All The Way Down – Day 18: Mountaintop Campground to Rusty Pipe and Faucet Camp”

  1. From all the blogs I’ve been following it definitely seems like the mental challenges are as real as the physical ones on the PCT. Without a doubt you have faced your mental and physical rollercoaster and won. It’s so early in your adventure and yet it seems you have found new insight into who you really are – a great gift!


    1. The mental challenges are definitely huge out here, but I imagine we’re only at the very beginning of them. Here’s hoping for some tenacity!


  2. Awesome views! Great pictures!


  3. Oh, and you missed book club last night and the chance to talk about Slacker. We missed you! Everyone is following along and we are all so proud of you!


    1. typing too fast… that was supposed to say the chance to talk about gay porn. You are a slacker.


      1. I am deeply saddened that I missed this conversation.


  4. “A Series of Unfortunate Chafing” HAS to be the title of a chapter in your book haha. Can’t wait till you make it to WA so I can come hike with you. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yessss!! If I make it to Washington and don’t hate hiking, take me to the pretty places!


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