6/26/17 22.6 miles PCT Mile 1325.5
Last night we camped next to a nice spring which means lots of mosquitoes were out. Matt started a fire which deterred the little blood suckers. We camped with Princess Layers and Ollie a couple that met on trail. She is from Australia and him from the U.K. We met Ollie on our 3rd day on trail and hadn’t seen him again until 2 days ago.
We left the spring shortly after 7:30 with sore legs from the prior days intense climbing. I had a feeling it would be a long day and we wouldn’t make it as far as we hoped. We climbed out onto an exposed ridge and Matt yelled, “we have 3G.” I turned my phone off from airplane mode and saw a text from my sister, “Snoop died.” Snoop is my dads 14 year old Jack Russell that was blind and deaf. This made me sad as my dad wasn’t having the best month. Snoop was always the black sheep of the family but I liked her and even fought to get her back when my mother gave her away to the cable guy. Back in Snoops glory days she would run 18 miles while my dad trained for marathons. She ran away once when we were camping at Crater Lake 12 years ago, after sprinting through the woods we found her. She also took a very strong liking to the motor home steering wheel. She would lick it and then show that wheel who is boss. Another good Snoop memory is when my sister and I were on a bike ride in Idaho and a moose came up out of a marshy area onto the bike path and Snoop barked and barked at the moose and the moose ran away. Just as I was fighting back tears I scraped my knee on the millionth tree I’ve had to crawl over lately and I had a new wound to worry about.
We then went away from the ridge with its volcanic rock and views of Lassen National Park and went back into the forest.
A surprise stream appeared and we decided to break for lunch and fill up our water bottles. After lunch I felt unusually tired and sluggish. I fell behind Matt who was still saying we could make 25 miles. I let him dream even though I knew I couldn’t make it that far. My feet have been swelling again due to the heat and this makes for some painful slow walking. Our next water source was 1/4 mile off trail and Matt was nice enough to go collect some water while I elevated my feet and tried to nap. Napping was hopeless as everytime I started to doze off a bug with land on me. From here we set out to get 10 more miles in as that was the next water source and campsite.
The trail steadily climbed and we encountered more snow. We crossed a few vertical slopes and Matt slipped on one crossing and slid to the bottom of the snow patch where it ended in some dirt. I was starting to feel better and was now having to wait for Matt. We crossed the halfway point of the PCT, which isn’t really our halfway point but we took a picture and signed the log book.
I rounded a corner and spotted a squirrel right in the middle of the trail. He squirrel was not interested in moving so we shar d a moment as we looked into each other’s eyes. NorCal squirrels looks different than the ones I’m use to. They have less fur with white speckles and a white ring of fur around their neck.
The last few miles into camp were a bit of a limp for me as my fat swollen feet had had enough. We rounded the last corner and could see a campfire. Ollie and Princess Layers were there and he has started a fire to keep the mosquitoes away. I immediately set my pack down and hobbled to the creek to soak my feet and clean my dirty legs. Then we all gathered around the fire which Ollie had given up on as it was too much work in his opinion to maintain and had dinner. Matt happily took over campfire duty. Another couple passed but they would press on, we said our plan was to get to Drakesbad tomorrow hopefully before it closes. The guy said you can do it just be on the trail at 5am and only take 2 breaks. As we left we laughed as he clearly doesn’t know us.
We went to bed vowing to fall asleep but we had phone service so we wasted time on the internet instead.