PCT Day 19

May 1, 2019
Mile 190.5 to mile 209.5, 19 miles, no off trail miles

Running total: 224.4
Sometimes You Gotta Make Your Own Trail Magic!
Today was probably our least favorite day:
over the course of 16 miles, we had an elevation loss of over 6,400 knee-breaking feet! Woof!! It was neat, though, to see the change in the flowers, trees, and wildlife as we lost elevation- we went from winter in the forest to summer in the desert.

We ended up hitting another milestone today: mile 200!! I was wishing our app had a “ta-da!” notification when we came across these markers, but alas, silence.

It was a long and grueling hike down. We could see the road where we were going, but we snaked across and around the mountain, taking the longest route possible- ugh!!

At one point we walked by a crazy swarm of bees- omg!!

Even though we were going down, the heat and afternoon sun was again taking a toll on me. I was again feeling nauseous and blah- wtf!
We walked past some super cool rocks, where it legit looked like large animals and mythical creatures were petrified into stone. I started to imagine a past world where huge lizards, seals, dogs, etc. used to roam, before Medusa turned them to stone. I think I was losing it!! I didn’t take many pics, ’cause I just wanted OUT!

FINALLY we came to “the water faucet”- a marker on our app that signified the near end of our decline. There we ran into She-Wee and Kassie- it was great to see them and catch up- they were in a mad-dash to make it to the post office by Saturday afternoon, so they were booking big miles! They had planned to go another 8 miles or so, while I was ready to quit for the day! BUT, after our short day yesterday, Matt and I had hoped to bang out a few more miles, so we walked on.

Kassie and She-Wee

Holy hell those last 3 miles were torture!! About 1 mile down hill on a paved road, then 2 miles of crawling through soft, NJ-like, impossible to walk in, sand. By the time we reached the I-10 underpass I was shot- and the trail magic cooler was empty! 😦 I did steal some sugar free apple cider packets, which later we found out they were left by Columbia! Matt enjoyed some tortilla chips from an already opened, half-eaten bag, and Yaara showed up and made herself a peanut butter and jelly tortilla from things she found under the bridge! When you thru-hike, your standards drop big time.

She-Wee, Kassie, and Yaara

Happiness is: making your own trail magic. Back at the water faucet I had told Matt that I didn’t have another 8 miles in me- I could make it another 3, but the next tent site was too far away beyond that. I wanted a flush toilet and a shower and a bed! I convinced Matt to book a hotel, and once we got to the I-10 I ordered up an Uber and soon we were on our way to a Holiday Inn in Banning, California! It was the best decision ever- while I know this walk is going to have it’s ups and downs and there will be times that I’m uncomfortable & miserable, I don’t always NEED to be if I can chose otherwise- and tonight I chose to be a princess!! We showered, ordered Thai food, and enjoyed it in a big, fluffy bed while watching TV. Back to the grind tomorrow!!

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