PCT 2007 Day 45
Day 45 / 5-9-07 Cowboy
Two good Camps – Junction of CRHT Trail
22 miles; 242 total miles (11); 2077.6 trip miles
Sunny, clear, hot, 90’s
Last night I had a field mouse running around my head. It was driving me nuts. I kept turning on my light but that didn’t phase it. Next I beat the ground and bushes next to me with my trekking pole. That failed as well. I even moved slightly away from the surrounding brush. No luck there either! Finally I had to move all my gear 12′ away where there was no brush. I felt bad since I know I woke up UB with the beating, and then I had to go and move my camp. Once I moved, the problem was solved.
We planned to get up at 4 instead of 4:30 to get an extra jump on the heat. We did so but it was so dark and even with our head lamps we lost the trail in the mile wide river basin. We decided to just wait for more light rather then searching around in the dark. When it became light enough, I found the trail no more than 5 feet away.
We got going and finally found our 10′ across river. We filled up our water and were off again. Just as we started up a canyon we spotted 4 deer on the hillside. They’re the first deer of my hike. (As I wrote that last line earlier at lunch, my left thumb cramped up on me. Between last night’s dry camp and todays heat, I got dehydrated).
After the deer we climbed up a ridge and then down the other side. We then climbed out of the new canyon only to wind all over the rim, before descended to West Fork Mission Creek Road. This would be the start of a long and grueling day in the hot sun. We got water again and I ate breakfast. The handbook said we were going to cross the same brook about 20 times in the next 5+ miles.
The canyon we were hiking into was burned in a forest fire recently and as a result there was little or no shade. We did cross the river 20 times and at one point I thought I might not get another chance at water so I filled up again. We passed 3 day hikers later who said there was more water.
At 12 we had lunch in one of the few shady spots. I now have 3 blisters. My feet have swollen and my shoes are too small. We ate extra at lunch since we now know we have more food than we need. Once again I topped my water off in case I couldn’t find more any time soon.
Unfortunately this canyon was burned because one could see how beautiful it would have been if it was all green.
A few miles up stream we got to Creekside camp and met Old School. Two section hikers came by and gave us the scoop on where the next water was. Without their tip we would never have found it. We had to climb about 2000′ in the next 4 miles so it was up, up, up after Creekside. At this point I had just started to feel as if I was catching up to my water loss issue. I sweated like a pig on this climb. My shirt has so much salt on it you wouldn’t believe it. I felt like crap on the climb. I had no energy. It was like the sun had sucked it out of me over the last day and a half.
We finally got to the next water source and found the water exactly where the guy said it was. We decided to cook there and then do another few miles to make Friday’s push into town as short as possible.
On the way to our current camp we passed a hiker on a knoll in camp for the night. It was a really nice spot and I was tempted to join him. We went to say hello and it turned out to be Phillip (now Metronome). Phillip was camped right next to me at the Kickoff and just before I left the Kickoff Phillip, my folks and I chatted it up for a while. He is a really nice guy. He was born in Brooklyn and moved to northern Australia during college I believe, so he now has the accent.
Today I felt like a mule. I carried more water than I needed all day. My back is killing as a result and so are my feet. Today was so far my least favorite day of the trip, but as I told UB, “today was my least favorite day but we have a good camp, full bellies, full water supply and a nice sunset. Plus we’re out here!”
Glove count is 54 (Sorry, I forgot to add these for a while).
Scatman 2011- This day dragged on and on. If the mouse during the night wasn’t bad enough the heat surely pushed me to my limit. These last two days were testing for sure but luckily they were some of the worst. Better to get them out of the way early. Notice I complained about not having water yesterday and today I carried too much. What’s a hiker to do!
Get out there!