PCT Day 42 – Thursday May 25

PCT Day 42 – Thursday May 25
Acton KOA Mile 444.3 to Mile 460.8

PCT Miles Hiked Today: 16.5
Feet Ascended Today: 3541
Feet Descended Today: 1792
Current Elevation: 4015
Steps: 48995

I’m now back on the trail after 3 lovely days off with my sweetie Daniel in L.A. It was SO GOOD to see him.  This morning he drove me back to the trailhead and I had to say goodbye to him all over again. It was just as hard as last time if not harder. I bawled my eyes out. Being apart from him is definitely one of the hardest parts of hiking this trail for me. Yet here I am still.

New Shoes!

In my time off trail, we went shopping and I was able to get some new gear. I got new shoes because my last pair were pretty destroyed and you’re really only supposed to put about 400 miles on trail running shoes before replacing them. I got Altra Lone Peak 3.0’s size 9.5, same as last time, although I’m wondering if I should’ve gone up a size. It feels like my toes are occasionally hitting the end of the shoes which is a bad sign (they didn’t on my old shoes). But they feel heavenly otherwise. I also got new trekking poles so I don’t have a broken pole any more (although my repair job held up pretty well if I do say so myself). And I got a new pair of Injinji hiking socks – these are toe socks and help to prevent additional blisters between my toes.

I also got a sit pad, crocs to wear around camp, and an Exped Schozzel which I can use to blow up my sleeping pad – this is stuff I’ve lived without before and could be considered luxuries. But I’m going to try them out and see what I like.

Back on the Trail!

Daniel dropped me off at the PCT trailhead up the road from the Acton KOA and I headed into the hills. The weather was cool today and it was a nice day for hiking. I could see the KOA behind me down below as I hiked, the swimming pool shining like a jewel beckoning from the distance.  

The Culvert Under Highway 14

After gaining in elevation for a bit, the trail crested a ridge and I could see Highway 14 down below. The trail eventually crossed under the road via a culvert below the highway.

This Raven Makes Me Feel Like I’m in Lord of the Rings

On the other side of Highway 14, the trail entered Vasquez Rocks State Park.  The Park features distinctive rock formations that have been featured in many movies and television episodes – including Star Trek, Star Wars, Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure and more.  Very cool.  In fact, when I was there it looked like there was some kind of movie shoot going on.

Vasquez Rocks

It Looks Like They Are Shooting a Movie at Vasquez Rocks

These Rocks are Famous!

After Vasquez Rocks, the trail joined a road and traveled directly through the town of Acton.  I walked on the edge of the road until I came to the grocery store.  I popped into the store to buy a Gatorade and ran into the Slo-Bo’s!  They were just returning from a zero day on the beach in Santa Monica.  We ate a late lunch of fried chicken from the deli and headed out on the trail together.

The trail followed the road for a few more miles, so we walked along the side of the road and tried to stay out of the way of cars. Eventually the trail peeled off the road and headed into more familiar territory.

Road Walk out of Agua Dulce

Eventually I fell behind my group and decided to camp alone.  I found a nice spot at the top of a ridge to set up camp and had a lovely view of the sunset.

Sunset!

I must have passed mile 450 at some point today but I missed the mile marker.  Boo.

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