Day 51 (May 28): PCT Mile 624.3 – 643.7

Keep on Keeping On

Beginning Elevation = 5,550
Low/Peak Elevations = 5,300/7,000
Ending Elevation = 6,700
Weather: sunny, high 60°F, except during short hail/rain shower

Another day of pounding out the PCT miles began just as many before, with my waking with the sunlight. Actually, it may have been the Poodle-Dog Bush this time. Yes, the skirmish with the poodle dog continues still! I may never be able to look at a poodle dog again without acting out in fit of rage. I do believe the war is soon over though, I called in reinforcements in Tehachapi…hydrocortisone anti-itch cream.

Anyway…today. As my friend Vanessa Carlton says, was “just a day, just an, ordinary day. Just tryin’ to get by…” Well maybe not an ordinary day. No day out here is ordinary. I started out in sunshine, a promising sign, but soon walked into a cloud. I feared not, however, for I have been through this before. I was surprised however, when some large animals snuck up on me. More cows people…

It wasn’t long before I emerged on the other side of the cloud. I took this video to try and show that yes it does really seem as though these are clouds and not mere fog. Or, question for the day…what’s the difference?

I took a nice long, probably two hour plus, breakfast stop overlooking this valley. I got a bit of cell service, so got caught up on things of a cellular nature. It was great to see so many of y’all’s photos from the weekend activities!

I mixed up this concoction too…Arnold Palmer for the win!

Further on, I came across a large water cache. Several other hikers were hanging at the watering hole. I talked to Alex/Yardsale and Sophie who I’ve camped with a few times, and they have a tentative plan to get off trail for a week once making it to Kennedy Meadows. I’m also hearing of others I know who are “flipping” ahead to begin hiking somewhere farther north in hopes of less snow.

After filling up with a bit of water, we all slowly kept going. The trail went up a couple thousand feet quickly, and I could see folks up above and down below cruising along the switchbacks.

I had hoped to find a nice place for lunch near the top, but missed all the good spots on the way up. I ended up settling for a so-so spot a little ways after reaching the peak. As I was finishing my meal and packing up I experienced a few droplets of rain despite the sun shining down. I’m sure I’ve experienced this phenomenon before, but now I can most definitely answer that yes Creedance Clearwater Revival, I have seen rain coming down on a sunny day.

I smartly kept my pack cover and rain coat accessible and a bit further on I dunned both. It started out with pea-sized hail for a minute or so, then transitioned to big ole fat rain, using the Forest Gump classification system. This lasted maybe another 14 minutes or so before ending with a hail finale.

I crushed the after lunch miles. At one point though, I had set my pack down and laid my rain fly out to dry from the condensation this morning. All was fine until I was ready to pack up and continue, and realized my pack was covered in ants! No bueno. I moved the pack off what I assume was their home (sorry guys) and began swiping them off (sorry again). Then, I just waited until the coast was clear. Pack on and I was grooving again.

I reached my tent site around 5:45pm or so. Set up and did usual dinner activities. I did switch it up by keeping my sleeping pad out and staying out of the tent to try and see the stars.

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