I have heard all sorts of scary things about this section I am hiking now, but so far there is nothing scary about it. The burned out sections are small, there is plenty of shade, the grades are not bad, the rocks are not bad, the only negatives are the trail being a little overgrown and water being a little scarce.
I had a little extra housekeeping this morning scrubbing my pot that I let soak overnight because I burned some powdered milk to the bottom, so I did not get on trail until about 6:20 but I don’t think any hikers passed me in the morning. The mosquitoes were not bad, the trail was gentle, shade ample, and a good breeze kept me slightly cold for the first time in weeks.
I was able to get a cell signal in the morning, so I spent nearly an hour doing some electronic housekeeping. One hiker passed me and we would leapfrog each other all day long. I never caught his name, but I have seen him three days in a row, so introductions are in order tomorrow. Another hiker named French Fry I met yesterday after seeing him off and on for a few days. I leapfrogged with him several times today, too. One hiker that I saw today I also saw yesterday, and a fourth I saw for the first time today. I have not seen any of the other hikers I have met in the last two weeks on trail or in towns. I think they are all behind me because I do not stay in towns for very long. It’s hard to tell since the PCT has a very poor register system compared with the Appalachian Trail.
Some sections were badly overgrown, but nothing you had to force your way through. They were usually pretty short and did not scratch my legs. I was wearing shorts today, expecting hot weather that never materialized. It was nice wearing shorts, but my legs get even dirtier than with the long pants. I ran across a trail crew clearing brush. There were two adults and five or six teens/twenties. They had one weed whacker with a triangular blade and lots of hand tools.
I made a small booboo when I missed a water stop that was off the trail. I didn’t realize my mistake until I was a mile past the water stop. The next water was ten miles away, it was about to be the hottest part of the day and I only had four ounces of root beer and six ounces of water. As long as I had shade, I should be able to make it without discomfort. But if the sun was beating on me and I had to do any major climbs, I would be a hurting puppy.
The miles went by pretty fast. I drank the water first, since I had recently eaten, I wanted to drink the root beer last. I drank the last of the root beer with four miles to go. I had a little bit of a climb, so I chewed on a piece of gum to keep my mouth occupied. I got to the water exactly when I expected to, and dropped the pack and went down to the creek to collect a full four liters. I drank a liter and a half within ten minutes and filled two and a half more liters to carry. I also had a quick snack. Four hikers were at the watering hole at the same time.
I had another ten miles to the next water and it was already 4 PM, so chances were good that I would not make that water tonight and would dry camp. Like yesterday, I was quite tired, so I stopped an hour into the hike to rest and eat. I had the family sized tuna packs, so I was able to make two tortillas with one pouch and two Mayo packs. I have never eaten so much tuna in my life, but I am not tired of it yet. As long as I eat it plain or just as tuna salad, I’m fine. But I can’t put it in my food like tuna Mac. Blech.
I ended up making it six of the ten miles before I found an old road that had perfect tent sites and it was about 7:30 so it was the perfect time and place to stop. Very few mosquitoes made for a pleasant dinner. I washed up a little bit, but I don’t have alot of water. I have about half a liter for the four miles to water in the morning. I will be thirsty, but I’ll do fine in the cool morning weather.