I knew I should not have gotten so excited about the trees yesterday and today.  They end tomorrow.  I woke up fairly early and got going at 5:45 with only six miles or so to the spring.  I only ate one bagel and intended to eat the other while loading up on water at the spring.  I never did eat the second one.

There is always a great view on the PCT.

Another milestone today as I passed the 600 mile point.

The spring was nice.  It had a very good flow of about 4 liters per minute.  I only had seven miles to the next water, so I did no need very much.  I think I took 3 liters.  Over the last four days or so, I had not seen a single hiker.  Not today.  I think I saw eight new hikers and one repeat from a few days ago.

The hike through both springs was nice.  Mostly shaded by large ponderosa pines and a few oaks here and there.  When I got to the second spring, I was amazed.  It had a pipe flowing well over twenty liters per minute.  And it was ice cold.  It drained into a split barrel trough.  I think during the noon to five siesta, I drank four liters just right then and there.  And there was lots of shade via tall ponderosa pines.  The problem with tall trees, though, is that their shade moves on the around quite quickly so I had to move around a lot.

I ate and snacked on anything I could get my hands onto.  Day two of summer sausage and cheddar pitas.  I don’t have alot of variety of food on this stretch, so it’s getting a little boring.

Markers like these line the PCT every five miles or so.

Most of the folks headed out around fiveish, me included.  It was a little warm when I left at 5:30 but the umbrella helped.  Not a mile past the spring, we went through a burn area, so there were very few trees.  And as we descended off the mountain to the next pass it turned to desert again.  Boooo.

Just before dark, we hit a water cache at a road and two thirds of the crew congregated there again.  I had developed a headache after leaving the spring.  I am certain it was not dehydration and suspected it was MSG.  I dug out the label of the local brand of nacho chips (Tacquis) I had finished off at lunch and sure enough, MSG was about the tenth ingredient.

I was not feeling very gung ho with the headache and not energized.  I saw another hiker making coffee and thought I might give that a try since I had been carrying coffee since Mexico and had not made any yet.  One Bustello pouch in a cup of water with a teaspoon of honey and that did the trick.  Tasted good and gave me a little more motivation to keep going now that it was full darkness.

Never a shortage of sunsets on the PCT.

I hiked until about 11:15 PM so that I could be a perfect striking distance to an area that the Guthooks app’s pictures showed had trees and shade.  I found a nice little level spot under a pinion pine that was big enuf for me but not big enuf for the tent.  So I laid out the tyvek tarp and the pad and sleeping bag and slept right under the stars.  I hung all the food bags in the trees and slept really well all night.  My first night on this trip cowboy camping and I liked it.  There might be more of that coming….