I set my alarm for 5:00 am this morning. Normally I don’t set an alarm on the PCT, but I’m still getting adjusted back to trail life. It’s supposed to be really hot today and I want to get as early of a start as possible to take in the Castle Crags Wilderness.
Usually it only takes me a half an hour to get on the trail but it took longer today. I had rearranged some items around in my pack for traveling – items that I typically carry in pockets for easy assess I secured inside so they wouldn’t accidentally fall out. So it took some time to get everyone sorted to its proper place.
I had a steep climb of over 5000 feet ahead of me today. I wanted to get up the hill as quickly as possible so that I wasn’t climbing it during the hottest part of the day. Here’s a screenshot of the elevation profile for today’s hike from Guthook’s PCT App:
I arrived at the bottom of the hill at around 9:00 am. I brought 1.5 liters of water with me as there was a stream right at the top of the hill. If had it to do over, I would have brought more water as I nearly ran out. It was over 90 degrees, very steep, and exposed. I hiked slowly and took lots of breaks. As I hiked I enjoyed the views of Castle Crags. Smoke from wild fires blanketed the horizon with haze.
I made it to the steam at the top of the hill around 1:00 pm and took a 2 hour siesta under a tree. Whew! I chugged water and hung my sweaty clothes in the sun to dry. Two other hikers, Cookie and Mighty Mouse, joined me and we had had a nice break together. I met another hiker named Muffin Man at the next water source. He’s from Seattle and coincidentally lives in the same neighborhood as me. Small world!
For the rest of the today’s hike I travelled slightly uphill but it was a gradual elevation change. It was so much easier than the earlier climb up the hill. I was treated to magnificent views of Castle Crags and Mt. Shasta behind me, both hazy from smoke. As the evening deepened, the path headed west and I watched the sunset unfold directly in front of me as I hiked. Wow. I’m so happy to be here.
I ended up camping in a small stand of trees on a bluff with another hiker named Two Taps. I decided to cowboy camp as it was warm and I was tired and it didn’t seem too buggy.
I only ended up hiking 16 miles today but I’m ok with that, considering that it’s my first day back on the trail and the difficult climb. Hoping for at least 20 miles tomorrow!
PCT 2017 Stats
PCT Day 111 – Wednesday August 2
Indian Creek Mile 1502.4 to 1518.6
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 16.2
Total PCT Miles Hiked: 1131.1
Feet Ascended Today: 5180
Feet Descended Today: 1426
Current Elevation: 6497
For more on my experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, visit my Pacific Crest Trail 2017 page: