PCT Days 164 & 165
Sunday, September 24
Iva Bell Springs – Cascade Valley Trail Mile 7.8 to Red’s Meadow – PCT Mile 906.7
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 0
Non-PCT Miles Hiked Today: 11 Miles
Total PCT Miles Hiked: 1777
Feet Ascended Today: ~1300
Feet Descended Today: ~300
Current Elevation: 7705
I hit a big milestone on my hike today – I’ve officially hiked 2/3 of the entire Pacific Crest Trail! Ok I was technically on an alternate route following the Fish Creek trail when I hit this milestone, but I’m counting the mileage as equivalent towards my goal of hiking the entire PCT.
Like any day when I’m heading to town, I had a spring in my step and the miles went by more quickly. It was a relatively easy 11 miles following the Fish Creek Trail with only about 1000 miles of elevation gain.
When I packed up, my shoes (which were in my tent’s vestibule) were still damp from yesterday’s creek crossings but they weren’t too bad. Last night I draped my wet socks on a log to dry and this morning they were completely frozen. My underpants and sports bra, which I had worn into the hot springs, were similarly frozen. I attached them to the back of my pack, and they bounced and jostled around as I hiked for a few hours until they finally started to thaw out.
I got an early start and hit the trail before Brian and Heather. They are faster hikers than me and I expected them to quickly pass me, and was I surprised when they didn’t. After about 6 miles I took a break to spread my tent out to dry and wait for them. They are very experienced hikers with over 40,000 trail miles hiked between them so I wasn’t worried about them. But I was worried that they might be worried about me, since I was hiking a trail I wasn’t as familiar with.
As I was about to get up and leave, Brian hiked up. Their maps were based on outdated information and indicated a bridge in the wrong place, which caused them to go the wrong way. The Hot Springs Trail is brand new and some of the kinks haven’t been worked out. Ironically, the section of trail we were on was more clearly mapped in my navigation tool, Guthooks, even though it wasn’t technically part of the PCT.
I arrived at Red’s Meadow around 1:30 pm and – oh happy day – Sunkist was there waiting for me!! Sunkist texted me a few days ago and arranged to be in Mammoth at the same time as me so she could meet me at the trailhead. It was so incredibly sweet of her.
She brought her adorable dogs, Theo and Murf, and whisked me away to Mammoth where we relaxed in a lovely hotel room with a fireplace. I took a bath, did my laundry, and blogged. We had dinner together and talked and caught up. It was such a luxury to be pampered and to get to hang out with a friend.
Monday, September 25
Zero Day in Mammoth
I had initially intended to head back to the trail today but I felt really run down when I woke up. My throat was a little scratchy and I felt exhausted and numb. I wasn’t feeling much better when it was time to check out of the hotel so I decided to stay in town for another day. Sunkist had to head back home so she dropped me at the Motel 6 on her way out of town. I wished I was feeling better and more capable of coherent conversation but Sunkist was very understanding.
So I spent the rest of the day laying in bed. I ordered delivery and stayed up way too late watching tv and eating pizza and molten lava chocolate cakes from Dominos. It’s the first true downtime I’ve had in some time when I wasn’t working on my blog or town chores.