Pacific Crest Trail – Day 75 (39 miles)
My alarm went off at 5 am, about 45 minutes before the sun would rise. I was getting up early because today and tomorrow were predicted to be extremely hot at 115 degrees (45C). I packed up very quickly and started hiking, hoping to get in as many miles as possible when it was cool.
I overtook a local out for a very early morning walk. To my surprise, he sped up and stayed behind me. He detailed the history of the area and the latest proposal by the government to reduce the size protected as a National Forest.
I was coming down off the ridge from the night before. As I did this I walked past so many Thimbleberries. I could not help collect some as I went. I only learnt they were eatable yesterday and I think they are already my favourite berry.
The Thimbleberries slowly disappeared as I descended into a thick forest.
The shade that the trees provided did help me deal with the heat. Surprisingly there was also a light breeze that was cooling.
I continued on walking until the first water crossing for the day. I stopped, filled and treated my water. I then looked at the maps for the next water. There was a spigot in less than 1 miles. I should have looked closer and gone to that!
I pressed on the one miles and drank a little more. The longer I can stay fully hydrated the better I’ll handle this heatwave.
I went over a little rise in the surroundings and then down into a man made a canal. It was noon, I was 23 miles in and rather sweaty. I jumped into the water and had a refreshing dip. It was chest deep, flowing quickly and rather cold. Perfect.
I got out and had lunch as I dried off.
I pressed on after the meal and a short nap, for a spring 8 miles away. The temperature was just about at its peak now.
I was glad for the heavy forest today. While being slightly monotonous, it was my shield from the sun. The heat never really hit me full on, but the little patches of exposed ground did burn and produce enough sweat to roll into my eyes.
I was going up and down over rolling terrain. When the wind stopped the haze from surrounding fires lowered. This created a unique site when I got above the treeline. The tops of the trees slowly got enveloped in the haze, and it felt like a clip from the Lord of the Rings.
I arrived at the next water source, a beautiful little spring, and started talking to an elderly couple that are section hiking Oregon. They have been completing a different section for the last 5 years and will hike the whole trail next year.
I said goodbye and started down the trail again. Green moss was on all the trees, creating this striking contrast with the rest of the forest.
I was starting to get bored and decided to put on a podcast. In Ashland, I downloaded a series of a person reading the original fairy tales and legends stories, which I became very intrigued by the difference between what we know of them today.
I arrived at the normal water source to find a broken pump. There was a little creek about half a mile along the trail so I pressed on to this.
The next water source was at a jeep road crossing. There is found a stash of water someone had left for us, there was also some soda.
Happy I did not have to get water from an extremely small pond, I sat down and ate dinner.
As I was eating, Polar Bear showed up. He sat down and we talked and eat. After finishing dinner, we set off for another 4 miles before bed.