Day 78: Horseshoe Bend

7/9/17 24.8 miles PCT Mile 1574.2

We camped on a saddle between two ridges last night. We saw the sun set and then rise again the next morning. It’s become increasingly hard to get a decent amount of sleep as the days are much longer now. We sleep and wake on the suns schedule, and it’s kinda a jerk because it doesn’t stay away as long as I would like it too. 

The sun woke me before 6 but I went back to sleep until 6:30. We hoped to get 25 miles in and I didn’t want to get to camp late so we set off hoping to get the first flat 8 miles in quickly. Of course my legs were sore so I wasn’t sure if I could hike all day again. If we wanted to get to Etna on Monday we would have to though. In reality I really just wanted to hike about 1 mile and then go on a braincation where I just kinda sit and stare at nothing all day. I was jealous of all the day hikers out who smelled good and looked spry as can be. I dreamed of going on an easy 6 mile day hike and thinking wow that was pretty tough. 

After we crossed hwy 3 we started climbing and entered the Trinity Alps Wilderness. These peaks were craggy with varying colors and we would horseshoe around them all day. Much of the day was spent traveling west and south around and through these peaks. I could often look up and across a ridge and see exactly where the trail cut through the rocky ridge. This section of trail has been somewhat annoying as once again we are not going north. At least it has been beautiful with nice views. 

We spent the morning on what I like to call dream talking. As if this adventure isn’t enough we have moved on to future adventures and places we want to visit. Matt unloaded a litany of things he wants to do. Learn to sail and go on an extended trip down to Mexico. I wasn’t so keen on this as I think I would go crazy on a boat for several weeks. Oddly, right now I could do it as I’m kinda tired of walking and sitting sounds so nice. I just wanted to get strong enough to do one pull-up. Maybe I should dream bigger!

After dream talk we rounded a ridge for yet another view of Mt. Shasta we seem to be getting more south of Shasta instead of north. We ate lunch with another couple we met for the first time their names are Commando and Shades. They did the AT (Appalachian Trail) last year and halfway through decided they would do the PCT this year. We are officially half way through our hike as we passed 1300 miles walked today and I have no desire to do the AT. Hmmm I guess I’m not hooked on thru hiking yet. 

I’m trying, I’m trying

We continued ridge riding for the remainder of the day briefly entering a forest every now and again. 

Snow in them hills

We got to camp just before 7 and Matt searched for a spot for our tent. We were in a designated campsite but each flat tentsite was infested with ants. Matt eventually picked the site closest to the rocks I had taken residence on to cook dinner. The site was sloped and I knew I would be sliding away all night. 

A couple from Oakland walked by and asked if there were any more campsites up the trail, I said no but you are welcome to camp with us.  They then told us there was a bear down in the meadow below the ridge we were camped on. We took a look and we could see a dark figure laying in the meadow, but the bear was too far away to get a good picture. The couple was just up for a quick trip and seemed to be searching for an ideal spot. They spent the next 30 minutes scouring the saddle we were at looking for a great spot. Once they finally found one they said we could stop by for some whiskey, but it was almost 9pm so I was off to bed.  

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