PCT Day 53 – Monday June 5
Mile 588.2 to Mile 607.1
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 19
Feet Ascended Today: 3919
Feet Descended Today: 2641
Current Elevation: 6341
Steps: I DON’T KNOW!! My FitBit Died 😦
I awoke feeling refreshed around 5:00 am. Yay for a good night of sleep! The nearby wind turbines turning all night long provided white noise and lulled me to sleep. Even though I was camped on a ridge near said turbines, it wasn’t too windy (nothing like the previous night).
As I was packing up Dave and Gabi (also from Seattle) walked by. They had camped nearby and we were all heading to the next water source which was 14 miles away. I was on a mission today! I wanted to get to that water source as soon as possible, as I was hoping to reunite with Sunkist and Captain Underpants there.
The hike started off in a burn area infested with Poodle Dog Bush. I had to watch my step as some bushes grew over the trail. The path wound through the high desert initially, but the landscape changed by mid-morning. Soon I began to see more and more trees. Yay trees! The trees provided some much welcomed shade – which was much needed as it as 90 degree today.
After my morning break I saw not one but two snakes on the trail, one right after another. The first one was tiny and right in the middle of the trail – I almost stepped on it but avoided it at the last minute. The second one was slithering off the path as I walked by. I’m not 100% sure but I believe I saw a small rattle on the tail. My 4th rattlesnake sighting so far!
The last couple of miles to the water source were rough – I was low on water and it was uphill in the hottest part of the day. I was really determined though and I slogged determinedly forward. At least the landscape was a little different now and seemed to be more of dry high elevation forest than a desert. And I also passed the 600 mile marker. 600 miles woop woop!
I made it to the Robin Bird Spring water source at 1:45 pm and was greeted with a hug by Sunkist and Captain Underpants. They had hiked fewer miles this morning hoping I’d catch up. Gabi and Dave and Maricruz (now “Monarch”) and some other hikers were also there, relaxing in the shade from some trees. I filled up on water and we discussed our plan for hiking to the next town, Lake Isabella. Apparently there’s a long waterless stretch coming up and this section takes some planning on how to approach it. We agreed to only hike about 5 more miles today, which puts me at a respectable 19 miles for the day which I’m happy with.
Sunkist told me that she saw a bear yesterday! It was right on the trail about a mile after the Golden Oaks Spring. It ran away before she had time to react or get her camera out. Sounds like a good bear encounter to me.
The remaining 5 miles to our campsite were relatively flat and easy to hike. The path continued through the forest and the scenery was a pleasant change from the desert. The trail even followed a stream for a few miles. Aah! It’s so pleasant hiking by water.
Captain Underpants, Sunkist and I found a spot to camp right next to Landers Creek. It was a little buggy but pleasant. I washed my socks in the creek, made dinner, and filtered water for tomorrow’s hike. Maricruz joined us and we decided to start calling her Monarch. Several different hikers had tried to name her for a while and none of the names stuck. A few weeks ago, Ghandi suggested the name Monarch, and after further reflection (and our encouragement) she decided to try it out. I think it’s a cool name – evoking both the Monarch Butterfly and also royalty.
A much better day than yesterday 🙂