May 11, 2017: Hiked Miles 403.0 to 430.4 (27.4 total)
Last night was so amazing! Right after I finished writing my blog and we were getting ready to go to sleep, we heard someone outside our tent asking if we were thru hikers. We told her we were and she asked if we wanted any food. To which Colton replied, “well what do you have?” She showed us what she had and we gladly took it. She had hiked the PCT last year and came back this year to do the sections that were closed due to fire last year. She had just finished one of the sections and saw our tent so figured she could help us out with her extra food. She gave us an apple, a Top Ramen, four everything bagels, and sour gummy worms! We were so thankful. I love hikers!
I also slept great last night and woke up early to the birds chirping, and a sunny, warm morning.
We had a relaxing breakfast. It was the first time in a awhile that I wasn’t shivering while trying to shove food in my mouth. That’s a good way to choke. I finally got my coffee and I let Colton eat my granola and opted for an apple and a bagel I tried to toast on our little stoves. Free food is always the best food. Especially when someone gives it to you from the kindness of their heart, for no reason at all.
The ups and downs were gradual for the most part and we finally got to try out Colton’s new water filter which works about twice as fast as my mini one we have been using. We hiked 8.5 miles before I made Colton stop for a break. We had started to encounter a lot of hills and were waiting to find a good shady spot that wasn’t on the side of a cliff to stop, and finally we found one. I can instantly feel when I run out of energy and usually a quick break and a little food will do the trick. Colton said he wasn’t hungry (probably because he ate enough granola for a small family), but I guess he didn’t want me to have to eat alone.
If you look closely you can even see my super cool tan lines.
After our little snack break we hiked to the top of a hill and started winding our way back down the other side. The vegetation became a lot more foresty and we got some great views of a new valley!
We love new views! When you walk everywhere, you sometimes end up looking at the same stuff for a few days, so new sights are always exciting.
Pretty much everyone we knew was there. We filled up our water from the spigot, found a little shade sitting against the wall of the bathroom, filtered our water, and enjoyed a nice lunch and a rest for our feet. The sour gummy worms were a nice dessert.
After lunch we walked a couple miles up a steep hill and realized we finally had good enough cell service to make a couple calls we’ve been waiting a couple days to do. We spent a little time there until we lost service again and then kept hiking.
We also passed an interesting milestone. I can’t say I’m surprised someone has marked this.
There was a road detour for the next 3.5 miles of the trail due to it being extremely overgrown with the very poisonous plant known as Poodle Dog Bush. It supposedly can give you some crazy rashes and severe burning. It has been scattered all along the trail today so I can’t even imagine what it would be like in the section we took a detour for.
The road walk was hot and definitely didn’t feel great on the feet. But we had some cool views and Colton turned some tunes on which made it fun. When Ed Sheeran’s song, I See Fire, came on, I felt like he was playing it just for us.
We were intending to walk a mile or so to find a good place to spend the night. Great plan. Except when your trail is constantly on a cliff, surrounded by poodle dog bush. So we had no choice but to push on until we came to a campground that was closed for the season… so naturally it was full of PCT hikers. One of the benefits of walking everywhere you go is you can access places people with cars can’t. Like campgrounds in the middle of nowhere.
It marks our longest day yet, over 27 miles. Totally unintentional, but surprisingly not too bad. It’s also good to know we can push hard if we need to.
Of course it was freezing again so we set up camp as fast as possible and put on all our warm clothes. Since the campground was closed, the outhouses were locked, so we used the walled-in foyer to cook dinner in to block the wind.
Since we have hiked extra than planned the past few days, we are going to do another long day tomorrow to get into Agua Dolce tomorrow night, a day ahead of schedule. That means we have extra food than we need so we added a couple tortillas to dinner tonight. Colton might have invented the tastiest trail burrito ever: buttery mashed potatoes, cheddar broccoli rice, and mashed up slim jim and cheesestick, all rolled up in a tortilla.
Now Colton’s fast asleep and I’m trying to publish my blogs for the past couple days now that we have service. And eating the rest of the Reeses Pieces. Sorry Colton.