Day 19: Uneventfully, Eventful

4/30/17 21.9 miles PCT mile 303.90

Well I slept great, I got pretty close to 11 hours! It’s amazing how long I can sleep out here.  I also woke up free of sharp stabbing pain in my intestines. This is great because yesterday my hip belt was digging into my stomach making the pain even worse. When the stabbing would start I would wince in pain and have to undue my hip belt until the pain subsided. I blame it on too much acidic food at breakfast in the form of oranges and orange juice. You see scurvy is a threat out here, symptoms include sore arms and legs (check), weakness (check), and curly hair (this could just be from the lack of frequent hair washing, but I’ll go ahead and give it a check). So I loaded up on scurvy fighting foods and paid for it later. I must have been real close to getting scurvy too considering the symptoms I had. Clearly my body was trying to warn me, by saying don’t ever get that low on vitamin C again. Lesson learned. 

Matt on the other hand woke up crabby from his night sleeping on lumps of clothes and backpacks. His inflatable pad got a large gash on the top the night before. His sleeping bag must have caught the pad and ripped a hole in it when we was showing me how he can turn his bag into a mummy bag (it’s a quilt). While he was forcing his head inside his sleeping bag he was turning and moving about and got another hole. Clearly the material is not durable enough to be slept on. Don’t buy an Exped sleeping pad! We tried unsuccessfully to patch the hole with K-tape and duct tape but there is either another hole or it’s slowly leaking out from under the K-tape. I finally broke down and bought a thermarest x-lite neo air once I procured a 20% coupon that will be waiting for me in Wrightwood. So Matt can have my pad, which is a very nice Big Agnes inflatable pad, but it takes forever to inflate. 

We set off around 7:30 through pretty uneventful terrain and scenery. We walked through a burn area for several miles and could also see 2 mining operations on the opposite hillside. According to a local guy we saw running 32 miles yesterday they are used for mining chalk and limestone for pharmaceuticals. We quickly made our way to little bear spring horse camp because we knew they had a nice outhouse there. When you get excited about an outhouse you know your standards have become incredibly low. 

Mining comes at a price to the local environment
Still only 1 cat hole to date


At high noon we stopped at a large creek to have lunch, soak feet, and find the hole in Matt’s pad. I safely crossed the creek in my flip flops and proceeded to let my feet dry while filtering water. Matt on the hand had some difficulty in crossing. After taking 2 steps he fell in the creek smashing his finger and cutting his toe. Dealing with Matt’s injuries and wet shoes set us back a bit. I spent a lot of time bandaging his toe up only for it all to come undone in 5 miles. 

There will be blood

We saw very few hikers today, but saw a lot of people at deep creek playing in the water or just hanging out near the creek. While filling up my water a young boy poked at my platypus water bladder in curiosity. I asked him and his brothers if they peed in the water I was about to drink. They didn’t respond so I’m assuming they did. 

Deep creek
Bridge over troubled waters

Soon after crossing deep creek we passed the 300 mile mark. We are still waiting for our hiker legs to kick in. The last two times we passed the 100 mile mark we said, maybe in the next 100 we will have them. Well maybe at mile 400 we will have them. Or alternatively, we will continue to feel mediocre with constant foot pain for the latter half of the day. 

“300”
Smokin thru these miles

We have now started the part of the trail where it just starts going west for 100+ miles. I have to imagine that when this trail was being created some guy one day said, “uhhhh hey Joesph will you look here at this compass it appears we have been going west for over 100 miles when we should have been going north. Well what should we do, I guess we should just start going north now”. This trail drives me nuts, it zig zags so much. I constantly complain about it, I should be more thankful, but it’s just not in my nature.

We are still in the San Bernadino Forest so I’m enjoying the trees and water while it’s still around. We camped high above deep creek despite a warning on my map that said, no camping 1 mile from deep creek. The PCT follows this creek for 12 miles, we can’t possibly be expected to plan ahead. It was getting late so we found a relatively flat spot and camped next to another hiker named Jeff. It seems like we are always camping in undesirable spots that are not even campsites. The spots are always slanted so we end up sliding towards one side of the tent or just completely off the air mattress.  

Jeep club

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