PCT Day 27 – Wednesday May 10
Mile 278.4 to Holcomb Crossing Camp Mile 294
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 15.6
Feet Ascended Today: 860
Feet Descended Today: 3175
Current Elevation: 5230
I slept for 11 hours last night from 6:30 pm to 5:30 am. Holy crap! That may be a new record for me. I woke up groggy and a little out of it but otherwise refreshed. I took a little extra time this morning to stretch and make myself a big breakfast of oatmeal with trail mix and to eat it all. I took some Ibuprofen, along with my vitamins and joint pills, before hitting the trail at 7:00 am.
And what do you know, I felt a lot better today. The weather was great, the terrain was easy – downhill but gradually so – and the trail followed along a creek for most of the afternoon. I love being close to a creek because it means I don’t have to carry as much water and because there’s typically more shade. And because, well let’s face it – creeks are pretty.
I took more time today to cook food that I know I’ll like. I don’t think I’ve been eating as much as I should be and that may be contributing to my lack of energy. I bought a small brick of colby-jack cheese the last time I resupplied and I’ve been adding it to my meals. For lunch I made a salmon quesadilla with a foil pouch of salmon and using the lid of my cookpot which doubles as a frying pan. That was AMAZING! So much better than a tortilla with peanut butter and jelly. Although to be fair I had one of those too after the quesadilla because I was still hungry, but this time I used apricot jam instead of raspberry jam and added some chunks of dark chocolate. Mind blown!
My tent was covered in moisture this morning because a cloud socked in the hill where I had camped last night. But by morning the cloud had gone, and it was nice and sunny. I could see Big Bear Lake down in the valley below this morning as I hiked, which had been obscured by clouds last night.
In the late morning I walked through a burn area, and saw lots of charred trees dotting the landscape. I never know where to pee when I’m in a burn area as there’s usually not much foliage or places to hide. Sometimes you just gotta drop your shorts and pray to god nobody comes around the corner.
Around midday, the trail began following Holcomb Creek. I found a great spot to have lunch by the creek where it widened to form a small pond. The pond even had ducks. I spread my sodden tent on some rocks to dry in the sun while I ate my quesadilla.
The trail crossed the creek several times throughout the afternoon. I decided to stop at a lovely spot near mile 294 around 5:00 pm. I could have easily done more miles today but I wanted to enjoy a relaxed evening and go to bed early. I set up my sleeping pad right next to the creek so I could cowboy camp and listen to the crickets and the warble of the creek.
Apparently I must have fallen asleep because I heard another hiker come by around 8:00 pm to get water. My sleeping bag was already covered with dew and bugs were buzzing around my face. So I put up my tent (but not the rain fly), hoping that would be enough to keep out the bugs and the damp. I woke up a few hours later even wetter. This time I put up my rain fly and it helped to keep the inside of my tent dry, but it didn’t make for a very restful night.
Apparently cowboy camping right next to a water source isn’t a great idea. Lesson learned.