PCT Day 164, Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 83

September 23

Mile 741.7 to mile 719.2, 22.5 PCT miles, no off-trail miles!
PCT miles: 1721.2
Running total: 1874.5
We woke up to such a wonderful treat: warmer temps, no frost, and no condensation!! This was our first night camping under 10,000 feet in a week, and we could tell!! It was amazing.
We were off and hiking a little after 8. Despite the noticeably warmer temps, we still started with all of our layers on, and again, within 30 minutes, most of those layers were removed.

Our day started with a nice, gradual climb of just over 1,000 feet in a little over 6.5 miles. It was SUCH a beautiful morning of hiking- the sky was ridiculously blue and we passed the coolest trees and craziest rocks- I saw faces, animals, and creatures- some made me laugh out loud!!

See something say something? I found this strange…

At the top of our climb we hiked through some crazy-ass rock formations- I felt as if I was on an episode of Legends of the Hidden Temple and half expected a temple guard to jump out and grab me. {I was so mesmerized that I forgot to take a picture!!}

Matt took a pic of the Hidden Temple!

After making my way through the Hidden Temple, I found Matt sitting on a rock waiting for me. We took a short break to lather on sunscreen and scarf down a bar while coming up with a plan for lunch: we agreed to meet at the first good water source of the day, which was 15 miles from where we camped.

After our break, we continued downhill for a little over 4 miles, which took longer than it should have because I stopped every two seconds or so to take another picture of another beautiful tree- how many pictures of trees does one need?! Apparently 1738382.
Man in a car?

Again, strange?

Once down, we continued for about 2.5 miles on flat terrain before starting our LAST climb of the Sierra!!

I was trying to take a picture of the above flower, but my phone was on selfie! Buzz- your girlfriend…woof!
In real-life this looked so much cooler! It looked like the rock and tree were touching until you saw it from this angle

I’m the type of person who will walk miles with a rock in my shoe because I’m too lazy to take it off…on the PCT I have learned that dealing with the rock in my shoe in the moment is MUCH better than dealing with days of blisters afterwards…

The “brown-hue” water source. Hard pass.

Per usual, the sky looked dark and ominous as we approached the start of the climb, but with my fingers crossed and one eye on the sky, I started on up.

About a mile into the climb we passed the good water source, which meant it was finally lunch time!! We found a nice area just beyond the water to rest and used our bear cans for chairs as we ravaged our food supply.
We hadn’t seen another human besides Bluejay & Gravity all day, so we were quite surprised to see a man approaching from the south. The man, Jim (trail name Lugnut, I think??), was a section hiker from California who had just a few hundred miles left to finish the entire PCT- he’s been at it for over 10 years!! We spoke to him for a while about what a logistical nightmare it is to complete the PCT in sections- woof!! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again- thru-hiking is hard, but it’s also pretty easy- quit your job and walk. Section hiking requires so much planning and dedication beyond what I’m capable of- major props to all section hikers out there!!
During our break, Bluejay ended up passing us. We chatted with her briefly & discovered that she & Gravity were planning to camp at the same site as Matt & I! Fun!!
Before starting up again, I decided to backtrack to just beyond the water source to take a picture of a large pile of fresh, berry-heavy bear scat that I had regretted not photographing before. {Because who doesn’t want a picture of animal shit??} Thinking that nobody else would be passing us, I had left my pack and bear can sitting in the middle of the trail while I returned for my epic photo shoot. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the scat, and while I was searching I saw Gravity quickly approaching. Instead of being a normal human and staying to say hi, I thought of my pack in the middle of the trail and turned and sprinted off…I am such a weirdo! {Later that evening Gravity was like, “so I think I saw you this afternoon…and then you turned and ran.” Yes, yes you did and yes, yes I did…}
I collected my belongings and set off ahead of Matt, who was off digging a hole somewhere. It didn’t take long for Matt to pass me, though, as he was on a mission to “crush” (said in a ridiculous “macho” voice) the last climb. I sure as hell wasn’t crushing anything- my afternoon slump had me feeling dumpy, which lead to a slow and painful ascent up 1,600 feet in 4.3 miles to an elevation of 10,584 feet.

I FINALLY made it to the top, where I found Matt waiting to celebrate us being at the highest point we will be at for the rest of the trail!!

It’s all downhill from here, suckas!!!! (Well, again, not really…but it’s all below 10,000 feet from here!!!!!!)

During our descent we walked along side a meadow with some incredible views!! Unfortunately the trail was overgrown, leaving Matt and I with very scratched up legs…

We followed the trail across a creek on a pretty gnarly boulder-hop before realizing that we actually didn’t follow the trail at all…oops!! We had to bushwack our way back to the trail (more scratched legs!) and realized later that the creek crossing really wasn’t as sketchy as we made it- oops!
Even though we were heading downhill, I started to feel punky again…ugh! Since feeling this ill late in the day isn’t normal for me, I started to get anxious thinking that I somehow managed to contaminate my water filter and I was dying a slow and painful giardia death… thankfully by the time we rolled into camp around 6:25 my stomach was feeling better.
We found a spot next to Bluejay, set up our tent, filled and filtered water, and started our dinner prep. Gravity soon joined us, and we spent the evening enjoying good conversation & trail food. We were camped at 8,320 feet, which made for a comfortable night!!
Happiness is: After 163 days, Matthew has informed me that I have been using my sleeping pad upside-down for the ENTIRE trail- the more durable side that I have been sleeping on is apparently supposed to be side that touches the ground?!?! OOPS!!! But whatever, I’m not changing my system now!!

3 thoughts on “PCT Day 164, Double Flip and a Flop with a Hop, Day 83

  1. Sorry you weren’t able to capture a picture of the lovely scat, but the ones you did post are astounding! I’m in love with those spirally plant things!


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