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!
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