Shade Sleeping – Day 44: Cottonwood Creek Bridge to Tyler Horse Canyon

PCT miles: 534.9 to 541.5
Miles: 6.6

Rawhide and I mutually don’t get up to go hike a few more miles. Instead I sleep until the sun starts heating up my tent, so I move my tent and sleep some more until it comes for me again. Then I pack up my tent and just lay on the ground. There are probably 30 hikers doing the same, setting up in the shade and moving their positions when the shade disappears.

It is amazing how much I sleep today. I wake briefly and make myself ramen and then lay down again. I’ve never seen so many hikers be this quiet. Normally it would be a party, but today it’s sleep and shade. 

The plan is to hike out in the evening. We’re only going to go a few miles. This would let us hike into Tehachapi the day after. 

Around 2 pm I see a bunch of hikers quickly get up and one yells – trail magic! A hiker from last year, Z, has driven up with coolers full of soda and fruit and hot dogs. The entire group of hikers get up and we crawl above the bridge to get magic and meet Z. Z didn’t expect to see so many hikers – who would? – and so makes a quick plan to head back to town for more supplies. In the meantime we set up his grill and he cooks us some hot dogs.

I eat, but my stomach isn’t feeling good. I assume it’s from the heat or from the night hiking and that it will be fine by tomorrow. 

We sit around. Z makes more food but I don’t take it because of my stomach and around 630 we hike out. As I’m hiking my stomach starts cramping and everyone gets ahead of me. The wind has also really picked up and the gusts are knocking me around the trail. I end up night hiking the last hour and a half by myself, being hit with the wind on a thin mountain trail while being totally afraid of the possibility of a cougar, and the only wildlife I encounter is a garter snake. 


But I make it to camp and set up my tent. Rawhide says she’s going to try to get up at 3 but I don’t think that’s a possibility for me. I crawl in my tent and the wind blows it around, blowing my sleeping quilt inside, too. I strap my quilt to my pad and that solves that. It’s a warm night, I’m not even cold, but it’s nice to have. And then I fall asleep. 

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2 thoughts on “Shade Sleeping – Day 44: Cottonwood Creek Bridge to Tyler Horse Canyon

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