Day 22 – Friday May 5
Mile 221.6 to Mile 235.5
PCT Miles Hiked Today: 13.9
Feet Ascended Today: 3955
Feet Descended Today: 736
Current Elevation: 6142
I awoke this morning at the side of the trail sleeping on top of my tent. My first night of cowboy camping was a success! I assumed that I’d be awaken by other folks hiking during the night to avoid the heat but I wasn’t. If anyone did go by I slept right through it. Â This is unusual for me as I am typically a light sleeper.
I was on the trail by 6:00 am as I learned my lesson from the previous 2 days and I wanted to avoid hiking in the hottest part of the day. After hiking for about 5 miles up and over some hills, I took a break at Mission Creek to filter water and eat some breakfast. Â It was already 95 degrees. Â I rinsed my shirt and socks in the stream and hung them to dry on some bushes while I cooled my feet in the water.
I wanted to get another 4-5 miles in and then take a break when the day was at its hottest. Â Luckily today the path mostly followed the creek as it rose in elevation into the mountains. So there were lots of trees proving shade and great opportunities for taking a break along the way. Â It was pleasant following the creek – hearing the sounds of the water and knowing that water was nearby.
I took a siesta around 11:00 am with Tater, Apocalypse and Aladdin. Â We found a nice shady place under a tree and all put down our ground cloths and sleeping pads. Â I cooked dinner for lunch as I knew I’d be hiking late and might be too tired to do it later. Â Soon all four of us were sound asleep under the tree. Â It was nice to feel the afternoon breeze on my face and the sun filtering down through the leaves as I relaxed. Â A couple of hours later, I had to move spots as the position of the sun caused the shade to move, so I hiked up the trail a bit.
I was on the trail again around 3:00 pm. Â I could feel the temperature dropping a little – a storm was forecast to roll in over the next couple of days and the weather was starting to change. Â It was getting more overcast and the wind started to pick up a little. Â It felt wonderful. Â However, the trail rose in elevation after this point and the upcoming storm was forecast to bring snow to the higher elevations. Â We all felt a little urgency to hike faster and make it to the next town so we didn’t get stuck in the snow.
I ended my hike at mile 235.5 at a campsite under a large tree. Â It was the last official campsite before the upcoming Lake Fire Closure Area. Â A wildfire had burned this area a few years ago, and camping was not allowed in this area. Â We were allowed to hike through it though, fortunately, so hikers tended to all want to camp in this same spot so they wouldn’t have to camp in the closure area. Â There must have been 15-20 tents set up in an area that really only comfortably would have supported 3 or 4. Â We called it tent city.
There was a hushed atmosphere in tent city as hikers cooked dinner and set up their tents. Â The upcoming storm had everyone on edge a little. Â It felt like it might even rain tonight so I battened down the hatches just in case.