20.4 miles – 190.5 to Ziggy and The Bear at PCT mile 210.9
Oooh it’s still brrr when I wake up, but there is a gorgeous sunrise and some fog rolling around the pines making the early start worth it.
The trail today goes dooooooown. 17 miles of circling a canyon and giving the poor knees a workout. I relish the last moments in the clouds with the pine trees, and when the trail turns a corner suddenly the terrain is red and dusty and snake-looking.
I’ve got surprising energy today and am going pretty fast… well fast for me 🙂
I get run down by two guys flying down the hill. Turns out they like to fly and take lots of breaks because I catch up to them (and meet them – Risky Business and Sprint) later.
Today marks another milestone – 200!!!!!!! I do a little dance at the little marker. About .4 miles later there is another 200 marker…this one is actually closer to the real 200 according to halfmile (the guru of PCT data points. He creates the maps and app that most PCT hikers use) so I do another little whoop. Then another .3 later there is a big bloody post marking 200. That one is clearly wrong so it gets no dances. No dance for you!
I take a break because my right knee is not happy, and elevate my legs for a good 30 minutes while a bunch of people pass me by. It feels good after that so I take off again, circling the drain-like canyon.
It’s hot and getting hotter the lower down I get. I try and use my sunbrella that was so highly recommended but still can’t manage to rig it in a way that gives me enough visibility- kinda important when you are on the lookout for rattlesnakes!
Around a corner and into the place where the wind lives! So much wind I have to walk back so I can put my umbrella away. More bends and the wind fades. I hear a strange loud noise from the canyon below and look to see two big rattlers fighting! They can certainly make noise when they are mad! It’s far enough away I don’t have to be scared but watch them for a little while. It kind of reminds me of giraffes fighting the way they raise up and twist around each other.
Finally finally finally I’m at the bottom and a water fountain greets me. I refill my bottles, eat a smidge and lie down in the sceric of shade I find in front of a rock.
Most of the people I have been Leapfrogging today are heading to Ziggy and The Bears which is my destination too. After about 80 minutes HowBeard arrives and I finally get up and start the final 5 miles.
I thought the down was the hard part of the day. Incorrect. To get to Ziggy and The Bears place it is a short road walk, folowed by death march through the sands of doom with the winds of Neptune trying to blow us to LA. There is no stopping because the wind is relentless and the sun is still biting. Rotten and mean. Not fun. Not even second degree fun.
Hallelujah I somehow stumble into Ziggy and The Bear with a few extra kilos of sand now placed in every crevice of me and my pack.
I go through the sign in process, have a brief rendezvous with some cold water in the shower, and hand wash my stinky clothes.
One of my resupply boxes is here so I spend some time sorting food into piles, then different piles, then rearranging them, then finally throw a whole bunch into the hiker box.
There is a whole crew of new people! Bushwhack, Reece Witherspoon, a couple of Nicks…and later Chicken Fat and Dave wander in. Finally Derek stumbles in, clearly in a world of pain – he’s been having foot issues with a bazillion blisters.
There is carpet bolted to the ground covering the backyard and that is where we get to cowboy camp for the night.
There is also, however, a couch! I jump on and claim it… although afterwards think perhaps a few too many sweaty stinky hikers may have spent time on it!
Song stuck in my head today: Pleasure and pain.