7-23-17, PCT mile:1869.6, 32.5 miles for Sarah/ 33.5 miles for me.
Second post from Lisa’s house. The caffeine is wearing off. Creative energy at an all time low now. I have sequestered myself in the bedroom. Upstairs, I hear my name mentioned. I fear I will be interrupted. I close the door. Sarah opens the door. “Why did you close this?” She exits to cut her fingernails, leaving the door ajar. Sarah returns to make a fuss over Truman who is curled up on the bed. I look at some pictures to jog the memory. One is of the highest point in Oregon and Washington on the PCT, a piddly 7500 feet. There is one of a ridge I remember getting service on, only to immediately regret checking my phone. There is a beautiful looking snow covered, jagged peak I don’t remember at all. I check Sarah’s drafts for the day before and after. She is much more on top of it than me. Now I remember! It was our longest day yet. How could I forget this one. It was exhausting. 32.5 miles in 14 hours.
Not much happened other than that we walked a crap ton. We pretended to celebrate the highest point in Oregon, an elevation two thousand feet lower than most valleys in the Sierra. Half way through the day on a ridge with some 3G, I got a message that one of the rowers on our Grand Canyon trip was quitting. He had car troubles. It would cost $1000. As he is a friend, I offered an open ended loan. No timetable for repayment. He refused. So stubborn. No time for this. Such bad timing. This is why we stipulated that once we started the trail no one could back out and get their money . The logistics were too complicated and we had no time for it. This was all we needed. Was that this day? I think so. It’s all very hazy now.
Much to our surprise, Oregon has some long waterless stretches. We thought we had left those days behind us in the desert. The water was, in part, responsible for the excessive mileage that day. There were only two water sources, roughly 17 miles apart. In order to both make decent miles and have water in the morning we would have to travel over 32 miles. The terrain was somewhat forgiving. There were hills to be walked but the elevation gain was gradual. Still, it was quite a challenge. At the end of the day my feet ached horribly and my legs began to get wobbly. When we limped into camp, most of the others were eating dinner in the twilight. My relief at finally reaching the end was immediately upended by Scoops. He happily informed me that the water was a mile round trip down a steep spur trail. The water source was a mosquito filled seep. Darkness was coming quickly. Exhausted and irritated, I grabbed two platypuses and a cup and forced myself to jog down to the spring while my feet and legs howled in protest. Peanut and Joe Dirt were there in headnets. The mosquitoes swarmed relentlessly. After filling my bladders, I charged up the hill as fast as I could. We all ate quietly in the dark ,on the dirt, and soon went to bed. 30 mile days suck so bad.