In 2019 I will be walking/camping/crawling/
attempting to put one foot in front of the other for 2650 miles (4,265 km) from Campo, San Diego to Manning Park, Canada.
To find out more about the PCT, click here or to follow along on my madcap adventure head over to the blog!
(In a few words) The trail passes through 3 States, 7 national parks, 25 national forests and crosses over 57 major mountain passes. I also really like camping.
As the morning dawned on us and we began making preparations to head back to trail, it became clear that Claire would most likely not be able to join us. Her knee had ballooned in size and her hobble was more than a regular hiker shuffle. Everyone packed up in silence, a few of us eager to get out on trail earlier than the others, at least we all agreed we’d go for one last pizza!
Miles and Matt has camped a few miles on from us so Shaker, (a young German who shook tents to wake people up but accidentally shook the wrong one once) and Claire and I headed off in the morning. We only had a few miles and had aimed to be at the junction to head down to Idyllwild by lunch time - we just hadn’t taken into account how much snow there would be and how long it would take us to pass! We were still a little shaken from Claire’s fall the day before so were keen to take it slow. Shaker agreed that we should just put our micro spikes on and not risk anything!
I love how quickly the terrain and wildlife change day to day on the PCT. The valley we climbed down into and back out again to Mary’s place was desert like with scrub and brush trees and cacti - now we were walking along trees and flowers!
We dilly-dallied leaving Warner Springs, still toying with the idea of a zero. The community centre had an event on for a few hours in the morning so we left our electrics to charge and jumped in a ride to the post office to get our food we’d sent ahead. I had packed far too much again so sent a small package forward to Idyllwild of coconut milk and wet wipes!
The camp spot we chose was perfectly tucked into a nook of the ridge we were trekking along, you just had to be wary of the cacti that was scattered around. I slept with my tent doors open and star gazed as I slipped into a deep happy to be on trail again sleep.
We bounced down the trail dreaming of breakfast! In less than 7 miles and a hitch, we’ll be in town! Eggs eggs eggs! I’M HAVING EGGS FOR BREAKFAST TODAY! I shouted loud and giddy, Claire and I set off ahead of the guys and we were practically running. The trail was the flattest it has been for a very long time!
We had a lazy morning as we couldn’t go anywhere until the post office opened at 9. Waking up in a protected campsite with bathrooms and a table to sit at felt a bit like cheating but we decided to enjoy it while it lasted because it was a luxury!
I woke to the sound of turkeys gobbling deceptively close by, it was so bizarre I had to laugh. In my shuffling around I discovered that my tent was soaking wet and dripping from the condensation. Damn, I remember reading not to camp near lakes for this very reason! I didn’t sleep well at all, there was also definitely quite a bit of howling going on in the night. We were camping in the Lake Morena camp ground and as it was the weekend it was full of day hikers and car campers so I guessed something must have set their dogs off. I later learned that it was coyotes that i’d heard.
A chorus of alarms went off at 5am, why we all decided we needed to set one I don’t know. There was a nervous buzz in the room as we tried to pack our bags the way we had practiced, stuffing things into every nook and cranny as systematically as possible. This will get easier won’t it?
Trail angels are people who support thru-hikers by means of transport, help, food or lodgings. Scout and Frodo are trail legends.
“and whatever your labours and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.
With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy. ”