July 29, 2017: Hiked Miles 1543.4 to 1557.7 (14.3 total)
We all passed out early last night. I think we were asleep before 9:00. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and was wide awake. The stars were so bright and pretty, so I knew the smoke must have blown through the area. It was surprisingly pretty cold so I went pee and came back inside and put my beanie on and zipped my sleeping bag up all the way.
When we woke up in the morning Colton said he was freezing. He was also still wearing shorts and a t-shirt. We got up and had a nice breakfast as the sun started to poke into our pretty little valley. I tried a new Mountain House breakfast, the scrambled eggs with bacon that Sue had given me from another PCT hiker who had left it at her house after having to get off the trail when he injured his ankle. It was pretty good. I don’t know the hiker, but thank you Mr. Green, and thank you Sue.
We started hiking and quickly climbed up out of our valley and onto the ridge where we had some awesome views of the big roundabout that we had hiked yesterday. Always an encouraging thought to know you have hiked almost a full circle…
We started to see a bunch of dirt roads and hear cars in the distance. Jeanine is now on Day 4 on the trail so hiker hunger is starting to kick in and she started contemplating how we could get a pizza brought out to the trail for dinner tonight. And then we started talking about Disneyland food and it was all downhill from there. When we stopped for lunch our tuna and salami didn’t look quite as appetizing. At one point I got a good whiff of my sweaty armpits and it smelled salty and reminded me of tortilla chips and suddenly I was craving chips and guac. Oh man, what I would do for some chips and guacamole out here. Dehydrated guac? Is that a thing? It should be.
We’re having such a fun time hiking, having such interesting discussions about the world and politics and people and everything. I think if we stayed out here long enough we could come up with solutions to every conflict going on right now. Maybe that’s what congress needs. A good long walk on the PCT.
I have to steal Colton’s phone every chance I get now that we’re sharing one phone. Lunch was so peaceful. We had a beautiful meadow right in front of us with flowers, the sun shining on it, and butterflies flying all around us. I felt like I was in a Disney movie, as I often do out here.
We all took off after lunch at different times and I had a nice quiet walk the rest of the afternoon down to Highway 3. Right before the highway I passed some trail love.
Jeanine made it down to the highway first. She is turning into quite the fast little hiker. Unfortunately there was still no cell service, so no pizza tonight. Looks like we’ll have to wait a few more days for some greasy food.
Colton came down last and asked if we had seen the rattlesnake a couple miles back. We hadn’t, but I guess one had lunged at Colton and he had to kick it off. Luckily it didn’t bite him. He had both his earphones in, listening to a book on tape, a big no-no on the PCT. Always keep one earphone out so you can hear rattlers or any other animal, person, or anything else for that matter. He’s lucky to not have gotten bit.
We walked down to Scott Mountain Campground which is a free Forest Service campground right off the highway. We found a little meadow with some water in it and found a campsite that had picnic tables, a fire pit, a toilet, and unfortunately even some trash piled up in the fire pit. There’s no trash cans in the campground. A lot of Forest Service campgrounds we have been through that are off the beaten path don’t have them because I’m assuming they’re too far out of the way for someone to come pick trash up regularly enough. So some people just left their trash anyways it seems. It’s funny how when the trail goes though areas that lay people pass through we start seeing a lot more trash. It’s disappointing, but we’re lucky that these occurrences are few and far between and usually we’re too far away for the average joe to hike out and leave his trash on the trail.
We set up camp and had a relaxing evening just laying around and enjoying the quiet and cool summer afternoon.
We relished having picnic tables to eat dinner on instead of having to eat in the dirt. We all shared our last raspberry crumble Mountain House meal for dessert, meaning Jeanine and I each took a couple bites and Colton ate the rest. Colton tried to chase the chipmunks out of our camp by throwing pine cones at them. But they just ran up the tree and will probably drop pine cones on us all night now.
The night is still pretty warm and it’s already 8:30. I think it’s a combo of camping away from a creek and out of a valley and also the fact that the weather was a lot warmer today. It’s supposed to be even warmer tomorrow and we have a lot of climbing to do, so we’re going to try to get up early and bust some miles out before it gets too hot.
Today was a nice relaxing day. Now if only we had some marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers to make s’mores in our nice fire ring… someday we’ll haul them out here with us and do it.