No more rain fell last night and I was able to get out early by 5:15 and hiked all day long until 8:30 PM. I heard thunder towards the end of the day and snapped this picture just before stopping to camp. The clouds being so tall have many different hues of color from the sun striking over the mountains. While cooking dinner, I could see flashes of lightning in those clouds by heard no thunder.
Today’s terrain was much like yesterday’s, fairly level, not too rocky, exposed from lack of trees but cool with a breeze, and frequent water, but many of them were hard to collect from. They also weren’t as cold as the ones from yesterday. Since I have no more beer, it doesn’t make too much difference how cold it is, as long as it’s refreshing. It was cool enough today that the water I carried never got hot. When I started out in the morning, I was afraid I was going to be cold and regret sending the down jacket home. it ended up being just fine with just the long sleeve shirt and long pants.
The one thing that was depressing about today’s hiking was that most of it was hiking SOUTHWARD in stead of northward. It feels like going backwards. I have about three miles of southerly hiking tomorrow, before it turns westward and then by afternoon turns North again.
I didn’t see as many people today as I was expecting to see, since their are trailheads near by and it’s the weekend. I saw one new thru hiker in the morning, then again a few miles from camp. And right where I camped I saw the couple that I had seen for the first time yesterday. I only saw one family of day hikers all day. That really surprised me.
In the early afternoon, I crossed highway 3 where you can hitch into Etna. I was hoping there would be some trail magic there, and as I approached, I saw a row of six coolers. I checked each one and they were all empty except for one that still had ice in it and a box of fudgecicles. Every one of them was just a bag of brown goo, all of them having long ago melted. There was also a bag of garbage that you could tell had far more garbage in it than came from the coolers. All of the coolers were the disposable type, so you could tell this was just a bunch of stuff someone brought out and is not likely to come back to clean up. I can see why the PCTA hates unofficial caches of anything. They quickly become a garbage pile.
Karen bought the family size of tuna pouches, so I have been able to put half a pouch and one Mayo lack on a tortilla and make two tuna wraps for lunches. I am amazed at how much I love eating tuna now. I would have thought that long ago I would have sworn off tuna and mashed potatoes, but I still really like both of them. I have to eat the tuna plain and not put it in my food, but I usually eat a small pouch while I am cooking my potatoes.
I didn’t realize the last four miles to my campsite were all uphill, but I wanted to make up for stopping a little bit early yesterday because of the rain. I was able to make pretty good time up the hill, but kept stopping to take pictures of the sunset since the cloud formations were so interesting. I was hoping to do 30 miles today and was very pleasantly surprised to find out I did over 32. Most of the trail was mild, but there was still alot of climbing and alot of rocks. I took only one hour long lunch break today instead of two and starting early really helped. I did take lots of fifteen minute breaks today. I think I’m ready for Oregon now. Bring it on.