Day 98: Wooooah, half way there…

July 28, 2014
23 miles today
1331.30 miles total

I hit snooze on my alarm once.. But it was a nice morning. The weather was perfect for hiking. So after getting packed up we were on the trail by 8.

Today was a good day. The miles just sort of melted away. We had planned for a limited water supply today, but there were two bonus springs that were not on our maps or in the guide book. They were nice to have… But I carried a lot of extra water. We always joke that we are just training for the Sierra… 😉

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We stopped for lunch around noon. It was early for us, but it helped to get us hiking earlier. The avocado tasted especially wonderful today. Maybe it was the 10 miles we got in by noon that helped too.

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After lunch we were off to our next big goal… The Midway point of the PCT. Yes, that is right halfway between Mexico and Canada. But somehow still in California? Haha.

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It was pretty surreal. Half way between where we started and where we had dreamed of being. Every step from here on out makes us closer to the north than the south. How crazy is that?

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Tonight we are camped a few miles from town. Tomorrow will be a quick morning hike of 3 miles. Today was excellent, great weather, good views, and as always wonderful company.

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Day 97: 1,300 miles… 13 miles?

July 27, 2014
13 miles
1,308 miles total

After last nights late hike, we were slow this morning. Still hiking by 8:30, but moving slow. We tag teamed a lot with the other folks who camped near us. It seems everyone was stuck in slow motion.

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The abundance of cold springs kept us motivated though. So much delicious water, it made for nice hiking.

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We decided to call today early… We got to our campsite around 4:30. We are trying to juggle the water situation for the next 26 miles and our exhaustion. The past four nights have been late. So we decided to camp near a cold flowing spring and push out a bigger day tomorrow. That way we will be lined up perfectly for town.

We have so much food right now, we don’t really need to do a total resupply but we will need a few things. Including fuel, I ran out tonight so had to try my Sterno can. My meal was hottish but not totally cooked. It was better than nothing though.  Sometimes improvisation is key.

Day 96: so this hiker walks into a rave…

July 26, 2014
19 miles
1295 miles total

Just as beautiful as last nights sunset was the sunrise this morning. Arctic woke me up for the show. It was amazing! Since we cowboy camped we got an early start today. We were on the trail a bit after 7, which took me by surprise.

Today we had one heck of a downhill trek to the town of Belden. Something like going from 6,000′ to 2,200′ in a few miles. The views from the trail were amazing. At one point there was a trail visible with a huge amount of switchbacks. I was sure that it was our decent, but alas we “lucked out” on a different trail.

As I climbed down I started hearing loud music. At first I thought it was from a car, but it was loud and not moving. Eventually I remembered reading somewhere that a trail town held raves. As I finally made it to the bottom. Of the trail I was shocked by the amount of tents and people on the “trail” aka the road.

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I made my way to the restaurant, to wait for Arctic. It was overwhelming to say the least. Eventually Arctic found me and we sat down to order some lunch.  Things were a bit slow, due, I am sure to the large amount of people to feed. But the food was food, and it tasted good.

We bumped into a few other hikers throughout the day. Everyone seemed to want to skip the fairly big climb in the heat. Since we too were waiting we ended up joining in the river lounging festivities. The water felt good on such a hot day.

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We finally found it cool enough around 6 pm. We were both a bit dehydrated from our river lounging but we needed to be out of the people scene. Going from a few hikers to more people than I have seen since Kickoff, it was a bit much.

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Tonight finally after a lengthy climb I am happy to be in my tent next to a river. The sounds of nature pumping though my ears… Good stuff.

Day 95: Buck Lake and Beyond

July 25, 2014
8 miles
1275.64 miles total

After sleeping in and catching the motel breakfast it was the to pack. I took the food my lovely friends Sarah and Lisa sent as well as my own pickings and discovered I had too much food. Our next town stop isn’t more than four days away, here I am with six dinners. Oh well, they are edible weight.

Finally after checkout we hit up the library. The librarian was super friendly and welcoming. From there we hit a local stationary shop so Arctic could fax some work stuff. Again the shop owner welcomed us in and went above and beyond to help us find fuel for our canister stoves. She even told us to return after our errands were done so her husband could give us a ride back to the trail.

After two more stops… The post office (to mail my giant sugar pine cone) and a last ditch try again at the hardware store for fuel (no canister fuel to be found in Quincy.) We were back at the stationary shop getting a ride to the trail.

The lovely gent not be only gave us a ride back up the windy road but he also told us of a alternate trail that went by the lake. Since the day was so warm, we decided to add a few miles on and go to the lake. I am sure glad we did! It was a hot hike and the Right Hand trail brought us right next to the lake. We had a quick snack and a long swim. The water was perfect and was just what we needed on a 94° day.

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Finally as it cooled a bit we got hiking. The trail was nice. We eventually rejoined the PCT. We had intentions of hiking on to water but we stumbled upon a great place to watch the sunset and the colors change.

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Tonight we cowboy camp under the stars and satellites. Such beauty. Goodnight!