PCT Day 87 – Sunday July 9
Humboldt Road Mile 1309.4 to Myrtle Flats Mile 1291.2
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 18.2
Total PCT Miles Hiked: 1015.6
Feet Ascended Today: 2018
Feet Descended Today: 4484
Current Elevation: 4136
I slept better last night and woke up feeling refreshed this morning. Steaks of pink and yellow streaked the sky towards Mt Lassen just prior to the sunrise.
My back and my calf muscles have been really sore lately so I took a few extra minutes to work the muscles with my massage ball and did a little yoga. I should probably be doing this every morning but I’ve been too lazy lately. My friends were surprised when I pulled out the massage ball as they’d never seen me use it. So that’s not a good sign :). I felt pretty good today as a result so I’m going to try to be better about using it more.
I bid goodbye to Gary and his wife and their horses and hit the trail. The sunrise continued to amaze me as I began my hike in an alpine area which had great views. I put on a mellow PCT playlist that I downloaded from Spotify and made good time in the morning as I hiked, feeling chill and happy.
Exactly 2.6 miles after I started hiking, I reached an important personal milestone – I’ve now officially hiked 1000 miles on the PCT so far this year. Wooooooo!!! So I took a short break for a photo op, balancing my camera on my backpack and using the self-timer function.
The path followed an alpine area for a while, sometimes rising and sometimes declining in elevation. With the last ascent the trail was covered by a little snow but it wasn’t too bad. Once over the hill the trail follows a very long gradual descent all the way to Belden – with a total decline of about 6000 feet over 13 miles. We decided to do about 2/3 of the descent today, and will tackle the remaining downhill section tomorrow morning.
As the trail descended to Belden, the path followed or crossed multiple creeks and streams. I carefully crossed the first few streams taking care not to get my feet wet by hopping from rock to rock or walking over logs. Eventually I came to Chips Creek which was way too wide and deep to cross without getting my feet wet. I changed to my creek crossing shoes and waded across, with the water coming up to about my knees. The other girls in my group took the opportunity to bathe and rinse out dirty clothing and I followed suit.
After crossing Chips creek, we walked about a half mile and crossed the creek again back over to the side we were on originally. The map showed multiple stream crossings within the next couple of miles so we decided to just wade through with our shoes on. This turned out to be a wise move as we had to cross several more streams that required wading across. If I had changed to my crocs for each one it would’ve taken forever.
Around this point in the trail it got really rocky. More often than not, the trail appeared to follow an old stream bed and the trail was completely lined with sharp and uneven rocks. This slowed me down considerably as the soles of my Lone Peak Altras are pretty thin and I’m scared of twisting my ankle.
I was hoping to hike 19 or 20 miles today, but I was exhausted and decided camp with the rest of the group when they stopped at Myrtle Flats. It’s an established camping spot in the woods near a small stream and is very buggy. We quickly set our wet things to dry and set up our tents so that we could hide inside, away from the bugs. And that’s were I’m at right now.