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Day 4 The Heat was Hot

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PCT Heat

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20th April 22.3 miles

Picnic Area (52.7)to Bushcamp near Scissors Crossing (75)

PCT Heat

I woke from my park bench prior to sunrise as the few surviving desert birds made an attempt to chirp. The night had been windy. There were hikers bodies sprawled out at random places around the campground, generally behind clumps of bushes that afforded shelter from the wind.

A guy walked over to my table as I was joined by one of the nearby hiking bodies. He introduced himself as ‘Legend’ the trail angel.

He had unlimited coffee which I was unable to refuse. Myself and another hiker were entertained by stories that would have been better told while mildly or highly intoxicated around a campfire. Thank you ‘Legend’.

I was on the trail by 7am. The trail was still quite high above the desert floor with commanding views of the sunrise. This is why I’m hiking this trail I thought to myself.

Before long I found myself hiking with Cheetah and Gretchen whom I met on day 2 and we have been leapfrogging each other ever since. The 3 of us more or less hiked or suffered through the heat of the day together.

For around 16 miles there was minimal shade and a combination of stunted trees and shrubs or fire damaged trees. It was hot and there was no escaping it. My energy levels were surprisingly high. My blisters are only minor and at present they are not painful.

It was around 1pm when I reached a water tank. I had run out of water only 20 minutes earlier. There were about 15 bodies clustered around the little shade that was available. The PCT heat was turned up high today. Most I had not met before. They started before I did on the trail.

I’m still not really able to judge how much water I need to carry. It’s all part of the learning process. While hiking in the morning and evening I need little water. During the middle of the day I drink a stupid amount of water.

I rested, ate and drank for about 3 hours until late afternoon. I had more than 20 miles to cover till the next water so I ‘cameled up’ and set off. The 7.5 litres of water made my pack heavy on the downhill trail.

I was alone again on this section. At various intervals hikers were sprawled out on any and every available bit of flat ground. I hiked till sunset and slept in a dry creek bed.

The wind in the late afternoon was sufficient enough necessitate finding a wind break. For the first time in the trip I lay wrapped in my sleeping bag reading, watching the stars and occasional ‘shooting star’. Life is simple but good.

Morning on the PCT
Morning on the PCT
Sunrise
Sunrise
Following the side of the mountains
Following the side of the mountains
10am on the PCT preventing blisters
10am on the PCT preventing blisters
Desert Cactus flower
Desert Cactus flower
Lunch stop at Rodriguez Water Tank
Lunch stop at Rodriguez Water Tank
PCT Heat
Late afternoon, another 5 miles to camp. PCT heat
Late afternoon, another 5 miles to camp
Camp in a dry creek bed out of the wind near mile 75
Camp in a dry creek bed out of the wind near mile 75

Next : Day 5 – Up to the Water Cache 19.5 miles (94.5)

The Best information about the Pacific Crest Trail:
Complete Guide to the Pacific Crest Trail
Resupply Guide for the PCT
PCT Gear List

PCT Gear Review

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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4 thoughts on “Day 4 The Heat was Hot”

  1. Looks like you’re off to a great start. Am enjoying your trail notes and the excellent pictures. Take care of those feet and they’ll take care of you.

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