Day 79: Getting Back to Humanity

July 2, 2017: Hiked Miles 1164.4 to 1184.7 (20.3 total)

I did not sleep well. I guess between the two cups of coffee this morning and the iced tea at lunch, the frogs croaking, and only hiking less than eight miles, my mind could not turn off. Usually I have no problem falling asleep out here, but I layed in our tent for two hours before finally passing out. 

When we woke up this morning, everything was covered in dew. The tent, the rainfly, our sleeping bags, shoes, everything. Sleeping on a bridge over a creek might not have been the best idea. We shook off what little water we could and tried to warm up while we ate breakfast. 

The morning started off hiking up and down lots of hills in the snow. 

At one point when we were hiking down a snowy hill we heard someone yell. We couldn’t hear what he said so we yelled back and then Colton and him hooted back and forth to each other other until the guy made it down the hill to us. He was a foreigner, all alone and told us in broken English that he had just started hiking the PCT and got lost yesterday in the snow when the trail disappeared. His phone had died, he didn’t know where the trail was, and just wanted to get out of the snow and off the trail for now. We told him he could come with us, but we wouldn’t be hitting a highway or town until tomorrow. We told him he could also backtrack our footprints and get back to Highway 80 which was less than 10 miles away and probably had more of a chance of running into weekend hikers. He decided to go back and we showed him on our map the general way to go and reassured him there were decent footprints to follow. I hope he makes it. It goes to show how easy it is to get lost in the snow if you’re not prepared. 

We hiked on, through more snow. 

 

Over another bridge. Decided not to camp on this one. 

And then popped out on a green hillside with lots of really pretty plants. 

The pretty plants lasted a mile or so and then it was back to…yeap, you guessed it, more snow. 

 We slid down some hills. More times on my butt than I wanted. Nothing like a soggy, sore bottom to start the day. 

This sign just seems ridiculous right now:

I felt a little out of it all morning, but once we hit a couple dry patches and I was able to hike on a relatively normal trail instead of hurling my body up and down snowbanks, I started to feel a little better. There’s nothing like trudging through the snow to zap all your energy out of you. 

We ended up on a pretty ridgetop with a view of a couple lakes. 


This one looks like the United States to me:

And this one was cold enough to still have a huge snow bridge in the middle of it:

This hillside can’t decide whether it’s summer or winter:

Whenever we see that scene up ahead we always pray our trail goes to the left side. It usually doesn’t. 

More pretty flowers:

I’m not sure what these are: 

Maybe white poppies?

We stopped for lunch once we found some water and set out all our stuff to dry. I didn’t bring crackers this time so I made a salami and cheese tortilla. Not very appetizing. At least I could eat it quicker than making lots of little cracker sandwiches. I pigged out on trail mix to fill up and then we ended our day with a long downhill hike with no snow! None!
It was a miracle. It felt so great to just walk and not think about every step you take to avoid falling. It was a very relaxing afternoon. 

This tree’s not doing too good:

Forest graffiti: 

Must be getting close to civilization. No PCT hiker would do that. 

Yeap, civilization:

You might not want to drive across this bridge:

PCT hikers leave little notes like this for their friends sometimes since we don’t have cell service most of the time: 

And of course we don’t use our real names, because noone knows who that is. 

We made it to our campsite for the night. 

Not on a bridge. Not in the snow. Even has a firepit. 

It’s like a real campsite. I wonder how much of the Sierras would have looked like this if they weren’t covered in snow. 

We had a while to relax after setting up camp and before eating dinner which is always nice. Makes it feel like we’re actually camping and not just hiking all day. While we were cooking, another hiker who was camped nearby popped out of his tent from where he’d been napping and came to talk to us. He introduced himself as Slingblade and told us he was finishing his PCT hike he had started in 2015. We talked and laughed for a long time exchanging stories about the trail, gear, other hikers, and life. It’s always fun to meet interesting people out here, especially since we’ve been on our own for so long. Now that the trail is becoming less snowy I think we’ll start running into a lot more hikers again. I love hanging out with other hikers and sharing stories and laughing, but I also love being all alone and having the forest all to myself. I guess I’ve got the best of both worlds this year. 

One more hiker, Strider, who we’ve seen off and on from Day 3 on the trail walked up just as it was getting dark. It’s starting to get crowded around here! We said goodnight and climbed in the tent ready for a good night’s sleep, our last one on the trail for a week as tomorrow we’re hiking into Sierra City and going home for a week so I can be in one of my best friend’s wedding. I’m excited to go home for a week and see everyone and relax, but am also a little sad to leave my new home, even if only for a week. 

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6 thoughts on “Day 79: Getting Back to Humanity

  1. Glad you posted again. I think I am addicted to your posts. Glad your out of the snow and on dirt again, the way a trail is supposed to be. Enjoy your time off the trail, weddings are fun.

    Liked by 1 person

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