PCT Day 46 – Monday May 29
Upper Shake Campground Mile 493.4 to Mile 510.9
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 17.5
Feet Ascended Today: 2850
Feet Descended Today: 3812
Current Elevation: 3840
We awoke early this morning and were on the trail by 6:00 am. It was forecast to be a warm day and we wanted to get an early start before it got too hot. And once we got going the bugs came out again in force. Biting flies are the worst!
The elevation profile on the trail wasn’t too hard today and my foot felt ok so it was a pretty good day for me. The big highlight of the day was … wait for it… we passed the 500 mile marker on the PCT today! Woop woop! Well, actually, the official mile marker is located at 501.8, as it was placed there several years ago and the trail changes a little every year. The “real” 500 spot is marked by stones.
I’m really excited to hit the 500 mile mark! It’s a big deal for me. PCT Long Distance permits are only issued for folks who are planning to hike 500 or more miles in a single season, so it feels like I’m an “official” PCT long distance hiker now.
After we stopped for a photo op by the 500 mile mark, we stopped for a snack break but the bugs were so bad that we kept it short. Dr Pain patiently dispatched all the flies that landed on him and placed them in a pile. We had quite the pile going after only sitting there a few minutes.
During our break I saw the first horse riders of the season so far. The PCT is open to both hikers and horses (but not to bikes), but we don’t see many horses.
We hiked to the next watering hole and took a long afternoon siesta. We all put up our tent bug nets and took refuge from the flies. Ahhh. I couldn’t have relaxed otherwise. We had already hiked 13 miles before noon so we weren’t in too much of a hurry at that point.
The water was located under a covered cistern, and could only be accessed via a scoop which was provided. Flies and yellow jackets hovered nearby as I scooped the water into my water bag (which I then filtered).
We didn’t leave until about 5:00 pm. The heat of the day was waning and it was pleasant evening for a walk. It was nice to hike in the evening when I was rested, as I was able to focus more on the scenery. We watched the sun set as we hiked down the mountain, taking pictures as we went.
We finally stopped around 8:00 pm and cowboy camped next to a road. I’m currently watching the stars and hoping the bugs don’t come out tonight.