PCT Day 52 – Sunday June 4
Mile 571 to Mile 588.2
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 17.2
Feet Ascended Today: 2918
Feet Descended Today: 3155
Current Elevation: 5014
I felt like I was sleeping in a wind tunnel last night. It was very windy on the ridge where we were camped and I was too tired to set up my tent. I layed on my new mattress pad with the wind whipping under my sleeping quilt like a wind sock. My inflatable pillow actually blew away a few times but thankfully it blew over to Captain Underpants, who was camped a few feet away, and he stopped it from blowing off the mountain. I cinched the quilt abound my head and tried not to strangle myself when I switched sleeping positions in the night.
I awoke with a start at 5:20 am. I sat up, bleary eyed, and saw that both Sunkist and Captain Underpants were already mostly packed up. I recalled that we had planned to wake up at 4:00 am so we could be on the trail by 5:00 and hike the 12 miles to the next water source before it got too hot. Oops. I was so sound asleep that Sunkist wondered if I was still breathing (although I *think* she may have been joking). I quickly packed up and was ready to hike 30 minutes later, a new personal best for me.
The day started off with a 1,000 foot climb to the top of the ridge. The early morning sun cast long shadows as we walked. I still feeling a little shaky and nauseous although I wasn’t sure of the cause. Maybe dehydration? We stopped at the top of the ridge to cook breakfast and I made myself some oatmeal. Mmmm! Oatmeal! Ok getting pretty sick of oatmeal by now but I made myself eat it anyway.
Around 10:00 am I found a shady spot under a tree and sat down. I was feeling so sleepy. I wanted to get in some more miles before the day got hotter but I was too tired to move. I curled up in the ground and slept soundly for 30 minutes. Apparently a bunch of other hikers walked by and saw me napping, which I heard about later.
The trail followed a forest service road and soon it wound into yet *another* wind farm. The wind turbines on this farm are much older, as they are of the smaller variety. The turbines look like airplane propeller blades.
Eventually I arrived at Golden Oaks Spring around 2:00 pm. It was the only water source for miles in either direction and many hikers were congregated there, filtering water and napping in the shade. Sunkist and Captain Underpants had already been there for a few hours when I arrived, and I flopped down on the ground next to them. Siesta time!
My hiking partners wanted to hike another 9 miles this evening but I was doubtful if I had that many more miles in me today. I said I’d give it a shot though and started hiking again around 4:30 pm. It was a pleasant walk in the waning light of the afternoon. The trail wound around some more ridges and into a burn area with Poodle Dog Bush. I hiked another 5 miles and decided to call it a day.
I’m currently camping by myself, as I was hiking last and my hiking partners are ahead of me. I’m on a ridge with wind turbines just behind me in the distance. The moon is bright and I can hear insects chirping in the distance.