I Walked 500 Miles!
Beginning Elevation = 4,650
Peak Elevation = 5,700
Ending Elevation = 4,700
My 41st day of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail began as many others had. I awoke around 6:45am to a somewhat flat pillow (I still love this thing, but it has developed a pattern of depleting air slightly during the night) and with noises coming from a nearby tenter packing up. I had slept very soundly, but did remember times being awake and hearing some serious wind up above.
I peaked out of my tent to see Kool-Aid making his breakfast and coffee. I had planned to get going right away, but pulled an audible and decided to take my time and join him. I made some brown sugar oatmeal, had a Pop-Tart, and enjoyed trying some of his coffee. He makes his by pouring hot water overtop ground coffee that’s placed in a strainer. A bit stronger, smooth and bold as they say.
We took our time packing up and soon noticed Calzone and Cheer out and about as well. While they finished packing up, we strapped on our packs and went to look for the nearby water source.
We found this big cistern. Someone had posted about it in our Guthook’s app, “A bottle of the 2019 Maxwell Camp Guzzler? Excellent choice, my friend! Aged in a concrete cistern in the hills of Southern California, this full-bodied yet highly- quaffable selection is reminiscent of stale rooibos tea with rich earthy overtones and subtle hints of tobacco, manure, and drowned rat.” As you might guess, we were pretty excited about it.
I filled up a liter just in case I ran out of my supply. At 8:35am, after getting our water figured out, the four of us began our hike for the day. We probably stayed together for the first hour and a half or so. Topics ranged from scuba diving to what music was popular when in middle school (N’Sync and Britney of course for me).
We got into some different scenery that I haven’t quite seen on trail thus far. There were sections that looked super green and lush. It made me think that it could be something seen on the Application Trail even. There were oaks that actually had leaves that looks like oak leaves back home (a bit miniature though).
The terrain in the morning stretch was mostly gradual down hill, which made for a decent pace. We all seemed to be dragging this morning, feeling tired, but still…it didn’t seem long before we reached mile 500! Good times were had by all! Calzone led us through and that’s Cheer following behind me…
Kool-Aid didn’t feel like he was truly at his 500 mark yet, since he began hiking at mile 25 of the trail, so he was our videographer. We’ll celebrate his milestone soon enough.
Soon after all the excitement, the trail thought it’d be fun to start climbing again. After staggering up for a mile or so, we ate lunch at this nice spot.
This morning when we replenished our water supply, Brian had been the most depleted, and so was the first to try the cistern water. He complained about it most of the day being the worst water he’s had not only on the trail, but ever in his life. The problem was we were all getting low. We hiked on to another potential source, but this looked just as rough and smelled. At this point, Kool-Aid and I drank our last bits of good water and booked it ahead to the next source, another two miles.
All was well. We made it without getting too thirsty. This was an odd source too, another tank, but it seemed clean and clear and under control. Apart from some ant bitings, this was a great place to get water.
The ladies went on ahead and Kool-Aid and I followed soon after. We’d talked about going another 6 miles to some campsites adjacent to a stream. The trail gradually climbed through this interesting, open oak forest.
We even saw a deer run through. Once we started our steeper decent though, the clouds began getting darker behind us. A bit further on, as we were discussing Pink Floyds, “The Wall,” it began to sprinkle. Our pace quickened as we sought to make a campsite. It wasn’t the original one we’d anticipated, but we didn’t hesitate to quickly make camp around 5:00pm before the rain really started. This proved to be a great choice. We got set up pretty much dry, threw all our stuff inside, and retreated in to the tents ourselves. Hopefully Calzone and Cheer didn’t get caught out in the rain too much either.
Our two tents were quite close to each other. It was nice to have company while relaxing in the tent. Eventually, we each made our dinners and then did our own things before falling asleep. The forecast isn’t great for tomorrow either, so we’ll have to see how it goes.