PCT Day 63 – Thursday June 15
Mile 715 to Death Canyon Creek Mile 730.8
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 15.9
Feet Ascended Today: 3000
Feet Descended Today: 2380
Current Elevation: 8959
We got up a little later than planned this morning, as we arrived at our campsite near dusk the previous evening. One of my hiking partners – who shall remain nameless – sadly announced that she had the squirts. We encouraged her to take Imodium as we had a lot of climbing to do today and were concerned that she might get dehydrated. She was unconvinced, but a few more emergency trips behind the nearest bush convinced her to give it a try.
We hiked downhill for a mile or so, and came into a lovely grassy meadow. A wooden bridge spanned the Kern River and crossed over to Monache meadow on the other side, lush and green. Snow-capped mountains beckoned like jewels in the distance. We stopped to filter water and admired the view. Numerous birds swooped and flew around and under the bridge. I guess there must be multiple nests under there.
From Monache Meadow, the trail started climbing up and over a mountain with an ascent of over 2800 feet. It was a warm day but shady trees made for a pleasant walk. The trail followed several creeks and streams for most of the day. The abundance of water is such a pleasant change!
We were a slow crew today and took a lot of breaks. Another hiking partner developed a really nasty blister on her heel due to some new boots. The hiking partner with stomach troubles was not feeling energetic and was feeling a little discouraged. “Look on the bright side!” I said, “At least you didn’t shit your pants a second time today!”
We took a lunch break near the top of a mountain in an alpine area near a stream and the mosquitoes were fierce! The mosquitoes have become more annoying as we’ve entered into the mountains but they reached new levels of unpleasantness today. I got out my tent bug netting and crawled inside to eat my lunch – I didn’t even bother to put up the poles. The tent draped over me awkwardly but I was grateful for respite from the bugs.
We climbed to an elevation of over 10,500 feet before the trail started descending again. Some occasional snow drifts covered the trail in small patches but they weren’t too difficult to navigate. I didn’t even need to break out my microspikes.
We hiked down to Death Canyon Creek to filter water near the end of the day . We had planned to get in a few more miles today but I was wiped out from the hiking at such a high elevation. I was feeling ok generally, but had a harder time breathing as I hiked up hills. We set up camp near the creek and quickly got inside our tents to escape the bugs.