May 15, 2017: Hiked Miles 478.2 to 498.2 (20 total)
We woke up this morning to the sound of rain on our tent. I love the sound of rain and was so happy to wake up to such a relaxing sound. Until I pulled myself back to reality and remembered that I was in a tent. That I had to sleep in tonight. Which would probably not dry out today by the looks of the weather forecast. Oh well.
The rain died off after a few minutes and we started packing up quickly in case it started again. Suddenly the loudest old-school siren filled the air and continued for at least 30 seconds. There was no way anyone within the entire town could have slept through it. I found out later it was a siren for the local fire department for a traffic collision. Gotta love small towns.
Hot pancakes and coffee were served for breakfast and everyone scarfed them down, trying to avoid the never-ending drizzle. I took a couple bites of mine, but it started making me feel sick so I let Colton finish them. I filled up on coffee and a cliff bar instead. I’ve been feeling a little off the past few days after every time I’ve ate and feeling cold all the time. I don’t know if I’m getting sick or if my body is just rejecting all this real food I’ve been eating. Hopefully it’s just the food.
One of the volunteers at Casa de Luna was shuttling van rides of hikers back to the trailhead since it’s a couple miles away. So we said goodbye to Terry, the owner, and thanked her for all her generosity. I hope someday I can help people out as much as she does.
Terry makes every hiker pose for a picture in front of her banner and also gives everyone a PCT bandana before they leave her house. She has her volunteer take the picture and as she counts to three, Terry drops her shorts and moons everyone right as the camera takes the picture.
The volunteer dropped us off at the trailhead and gave us some mini Snickers and said goodbye. We put on all our rain gear and started hiking.
All day long we would put on our warm clothes when it started raining and then take them off when the sun came out. On and off, on and off.
We got stuck right under one cloud for awhile that dumped rain on us and then suddenly turned to hail. We kept trying to outwalk it, but it just kept following us. After about a half hour of this, the rain finally let up and we found a place on the trail that was semi-covered by some trees, so we decided to take a lunch break while we had the chance. But already being wet, and then stopping to sit and eat when it’s still windy and freezing cold, only made us colder. So right when we got done eating we hopped up to keep going. Not the best idea. I felt like I was going to puke for the next couple miles from not letting my food settle. But I didn’t! And eventually I felt better and warmed up again.
The rest of the afternoon was very pleasant and we hiked quickly with the cool weather, slowly hiking deeper and deeper into the clouds.
And we decided to be rebellious and hike on an unsafe road for a second!
We had to fill up with water before we got to our camp for the night and the water tank was about 400 feet off a forest service road with no trail to it. It probably would have been pretty obvious if it had been a normal day, but the fog got so thick that we could barely see 20 feet in front of us. We wondered around a wet, grassy meadow, soaking our feet through our shoes, until we finally found it down a little hill. It was barely visible with it’s tin roof so close to the ground.
We had to lay on the ground to scoop water out of it with a Gatorade bottle. Needless to say, sticking your hands in freezing cold water when you’re already a popsicle does not feel too great. We filled up with water as quickly as possible and walked another half mile down to Sawmill Campground. We were the first ones there and we set up our tent and filtered water as fast as possible. The wind and fog would not let up so we got in our tent to warm up and hope that the sky would clear up so we could cook dinner and not freeze to death. I think everyone had the same idea:
Eventually we gave up on cooking outside and sat in our tent and cooked very carefully in the small area of dirt outside the tent flaps that the rainfly covered. It actually worked out pretty well. We just had to very careful because one slip of the hand could send our stove into the side of the tent or rainfly. And I’m pretty sure our tent is less than fireproof.
Now we’re laying in bed eating candy, our nightly ritual, praying that somehow it’s not going to get any colder tonight. Doubtful, but we’ll see. In any case, well be back in the desert tomorrow and will probably we wishing we were cold again.