Day 75 – Mile 1215.5
July 3, 2018
The PCT is considered by many to be a very long and difficult hike. It is that but much, much more to the consternation of some.
We started this trek or journey at the Mexican border. This was “the desert” section of the trail. The trail wound through the hills and valleys of Southern California. The grade of the trail was good. Never too steep, and what was steep didn’t last for long.
Then we arrived in Idyllwild. It rained but didn’t impact our trip. We continued toward Mt San Jacinto and Fuller Ridge, and it started to sleet. We’d heard of winter weather here and appropriately stepped carefully.
Off Fuller Ridge and down the trail to where there was a warning. Aggressive California Carpenter Bees were in residence right next to the trail. Mike’s sensitive to bee stings so it was complete cover including a bug net. Not unheard of in hiking but a little weird anyway.
Down to the flat on the way to Cabazon. Now it was 25 mph wind and thick sand. Now this was more like a storm at the beach! For 2 miles!
C’mon! I just want to hike!
Everything proceeded like a good trek after that for many miles. Good tread. Mostly smooth trail.
Then we reach the Sierra Nevada. We head up toward the snows. The first thing is that the trails have become creeks from the snow melting. And along with that, mud! Lots of mud. Now feet are not only wet but encrusted with liquified dirt too. Walking requires lots of jumps, tiptoes, and diversions to follow the trail.
Really! I just want to hike!
Reaching the snow, a new problem develops. The trail is covered by snow. Where’s the trail? Oh! There’s a little bit over there until the snow covers it again. It takes careful route-finding and use of our trail app. And, of course, it takes lots of time. Conditions slow us down. Feet are cold and wet. Shoes and socks.
This goes on and on and on. Wet feet. Steep, rocky trails. Snow and route-finding. Fording creeks and streams up to our waists.
Then, we reach Donner Pass and the word is that the trail is smooth and clear all the way to Oregon. Not quite believing it, we head off.
But? It’s true! It’s true! We’re making miles easily and with beautiful views of rolling mountains and serene bright blue lakes.