5th August 2015

Mileage 27.2 (43.8km)

Bushcamp (1739.7) to Bushcamp (1766.9)

My routine when I wake up in the morning has basically remained unchanged since I woke at Hauser Creek at that first campsite on the PCT. Normally I wake with the birds at sunrise without the need for an alarm clock. I fumble around to find my stove and set about boiling some water for coffee and breakfast. While waiting for the water to boil I pack my sleeping bag and sleeping mat into the bottom of my backpack and set about packing the rest of my gear. My clothes are stored in a reversible stuff sack, fleece on one side and a waterproof material on the other. It doubles as my pillow at night. I empty out the clothes, turn the fleece to the outside and stuff my down jacket inside, it makes an acceptable pillow. Normally by this time the water has boiled. I make my coffee and the excess hot water is used to make my nutritious breakfast of oats, or porridge as we call it at home. When breakfast is finished and the pot, stove and gas packed away it’s time to pack the rest of my gear into the backpack and dismantle the tent. This whole process takes on average 45 minutes. If I need to move quickly I can be done easily and hiking in 30 minutes. Sometimes, when hiking into a town for breakfast I am packed and ready to go in less than 15 minutes! Most mornings I’m on trail hiking by 6.30am.

This morning I completed my camp duties at my usual time of 6.30am and started hiking. Mr & Mrs Smith didn’t seem awake so I set off alone. There was still a lot of residual smoke hanging in the air which looked worse early in the morning when I managed a couple of glimpses at the lower valleys. I walked alone a lot of the day. By 11am I stopped at a campground to fill my water. An RV drove past then stopped and reversed down to where I was sitting. I was offered several organic fuji apples. I only took one. I have way too much food with me. I was also offered an avocado which I regrettably refused. Even as I type this blog I can’t believe I refused an avocado. They are awesome. It would have blended perfectly with my tortilla and Doritos I had an hour later for lunch. The Doritos Borrito, as I call it! 

My first attempt at lunch was a fail. I sat in a patch of poison oak. Or so I thought. I didn’t even look when I sat down on these three leaf plants. When I went to take my lunch out of my pack I realised they were all around me. I’m not really sure about poison oak, I know I’ve walked through it many times and it hasn’t bothered me. Was this really poison oak? I think so but I’m not sure. If it is and I have a reaction, well, I’ll be sure to mention it!

By late afternoon I had still not seen Mr & Mrs Smith. Very unusual for them not to catch up. I’d been taking extended rest breaks. At 6pm I stopped at a small flat area and cooked dinner. That should give them time to catch up. 7pm, dinner is finished. They have already made camp further back, I thought. I had only a small amount of water and considered hiking another 3 miles to the water source to camp, but decided to set up camp here. I wouldn’t have enough water for breakfast but could easily walk 3 miles and have breakfast there. 7.30pm, I crawl into my tent to begin typing up this blog and reviewing all the photos I took today to decide which ones would end up on the blog or on my Instagram. Mr & Mrs Smith arrived. They slept in till 8am! They were just a little tired after yesterday. We caught up on the days happenings and all to soon it was getting dark. 

Today’s hike came easy. A far cry from the heavy lethargic legs of yesterday. It’s amazing the difference 24 hours can have. I could have covered another 10 miles the way I felt today! It’s now 8.55pm, the twilight is fading and it’s time for my beauty sleep. Good night, sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite, from Shepherd! 

packing in the morning

    
    
    
  

10am

  
    
 

24 Responses

  1. [email protected]

    Take a picture of the three leafed plant! I’ll be able to let you know. That stuff gets me even if there is a slight breeze!! Horrible stuff if it affects you! Congrats on making it past day 110!!

  2. Heather

    Beautiful photography! I have devoured every word you’ve written about your experiences on the PCT. Thank you so much for taking the time to write about your daily life on the trail. I don’t know if I’ll ever get the opportunity to hike a section of the PCT, but it’s on my bucket list.

  3. Rick

    I hang on every word and photo. What a great adventure you are having. I continue to learn much from your blog. Thank you so much for sharing you time!

    Those Black Huckleberries look really juicy.

  4. anna

    Great description of your morning routine. Nice to get an idea of trail life!

  5. AR.

    It is hard to tell in that photo, but the three-leafed plant in the bunny photo looks a lot like poison oak. It is not unusual for it to take a week to show up. It is an allergic reaction so your first real exposure is for free, after that you can get it to varying degrees. 1% Hydrocortisone cream (over the counter at most convenience or grocery stores) works fairly well once you have it but it will still take 1-2 weeks to be completely over it. Being mindful to avoid direct contact with it is your best bet, and wash anywhere you got exposure. It can remain on your cloths until washed in warm to hot water.

    I grew up in around poison oak and only get it occasionally now. Good luck, let us know in you get an itchy rash.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks for all the info. So far so good, hopefully I’m one of the lucky people that it doesn’t affect. But I guess time will tell

  6. Bob

    Curious how you manage the electronics you have. Camera-Phone-Pictures-How you do this blog…Source of power…. How do you do this blog, is it easy to manage. You do a truly wonderful job of sharing your experiences on the trail, and you have manage to post really regularly. Is cell service really pretty good, who is your service provider? Is it ATT or Verizon? Trying to understand what works and what doesn’t. I am feeling like I am hiking along with you. Many Thanks.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Wow a lot to answer. At the end of the trip I’ll write something a bit more detailed about your questions. But quickly, I use ATT which is great in the desert but not as good as Verizon in the north so in told. I write my blog offline on the WordPress app every night before bed and transfer my photos from my camera to my phone via wifi. My canon G16 allows me to take great photos and transfer them. I then wait for cell signal or wifi to upload the blog post. I use a power brick which allows about 5 iPhone charges. I use power outlets in town to recharge things. I can normally get up to 7 days before I’m out of batteries. But as I said I’ll explain things better and in more detail in about 6 weeks when I finish the trip

  7. mjirving

    Nice to see that you took the official PCT and not the short cut. That new routing has some beautiful views. -GoalTech

  8. Charlie

    You posted the morning routine as promised. Thank you sir!

    • seattlethought

      How do you like the new tent? I have the same one – only used it once so far. Didn’t go so well, but I pitched it where the wind was too strong so I’m hoping the bad experience was just that.

      • seattlethought

        Before I wasn’t a registered user. Now I am. Pretty sure that means I can’t be ‘Charlie’ anymore. :). *shrug*

        I have been playing around with the phone app. It lets me type offline, but I can only post photos while online. Is this what you are doing, or have you figured out how to include the photos before you upload?

      • BikeHikeSafari

        That’s correct. Offline for typing but the photos can only be added while online. If there is any other way I’m not aware of it. Each entry and adding the photos takes me about 45 mins, it took longer at the start but now it flows together quite quickly and easily

      • BikeHikeSafari

        So far so good. Works great for me, I like the side entry. I think it will struggle with really strong winds above 50 mph.

  9. Sally

    I love the cute bunny photo followed by the NO HUNTING sign photo

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