Day 13 – Wednesday April 26
Mile 131.5 to Mile 145.4
PCT Miles hiked today : 13.9
Feet Ascended Today: 1720
Feet Descended Today: 2005
Current Elevation: 4404
Today is the day I decided to officially embrace my trail name, Unicorn. It’s the name I’ve always wanted, and also my Burning Man name, but I was hesitant to use it as I didn’t want to name myself. Trail names are supposed to be given by other hikers. But my trail family wasn’t able to think of anything else and folks have started to call me Unicorn so Unicorn it is. Yay! Unicorn really does suit me. And I do wear the best Unicorn hat ever.
I woke up tired and sore today after last evening’s slog but I felt a lot better than I had the previous evening. I was on the trail around 8:00 am and off towards Tule Spring. It was hotter today than yesterday, and I drank more water as I walked. My foot was still sore despite the stretching and Ibuprofen cream and I went slowly.
When I reached the junction for Tule Spring, I could see that a spur trail led downhill about 1/4 of a mile towards the water source. And who was trudging up the hill but Cool Breeze! We hadn’t seen him since the Warner Springs Community Center and were happy to see him. We made loose plans to meet up later in the evening at the Walden Water Tank near mile 145 and hiked down to get water.
We took a leisurely break at Tule Spring, eating lunch and filtering water. The water actually came out of a hose! How civilized. Stefan’s knee was hurting him and GT’s bronchitis, which she was struggling with prior to beginning the hike, was acting up again. We were a slow bunch today.
The afternoon was relatively uneventful. I went slow and felt bad that I wasn’t able to go any faster. At some point I have to hike more miles per day or I’ll never make it to Canada before the snow starts falling. I feel impatient but if I hike any faster than about 2 miles per hour my foot pain is excruciating. I feel frustrated as I don’t know what to do. So I keep hiking every day and stretching my leg and ankle and foot and I take breaks and hope it sorts itself out.
I reached the Walden water tank around 5:30 pm. Cool Breeze, Stefan, and GT were already there with their tents set up. It was a fun quirky site and included life-sized cardboard cut-outs of Walden and Henry David Thoreau, along with a little free library. And 2 picnic tables and a garbage can!! Eating dinner at a table is such a luxury after having to sit on the ground. I learned that the Underpants guy decided to keep Captain Underpants as his trail name which kindof made my day.
A few other hikers were already there listening to music from an iPhone with a Pringles can for an amplifier. The group of hikers, who later adopted the crew name “The Slowbo’s”, were Potato Volcano, Apocalypse, and Josh (who didn’t have a trail name at the time but was later named Aladdin). It was a fun relaxed evening, and the sunset was amazing.