Pacific Crest Trail – Day 76 (36 miles)
I did not have to use my sleeping bag at all last night. I’m not sure if I feel drained from the excessive heat the last couple of days or the extra miles I hiked yesterday. Maybe a bit of both? Either way, I woke up a bit fatigued.
Today really continued where yesterday left off; 115 degrees (45C) heat and dense forest.
I started the day’s hike just before 6 am. I have really started to notice the daylight starting to diminish. The sun used to rise just after 5 and now it is a few minutes after 6.
Walking through the forest is such a great thing. Birds are singing, deer are prancing and chipmunks and squirrels are dancing. Today this was not the case, with hardly a sound heard and animals seen. I assume the animals were smart enough to stay quiet, calm and therefore cool.
After an hour relaxing and talking I packed up and left. The sun was extremely hot now. A couple of miles into this short dry stretch I started to feel thirsty. I realised then that I had not drunk much at the spring and am already dehydrated before I left. Not good, I look at the map and see a couple of lakes about 7mi ahead and 0.5mi off the trail. I would go there and reevaluate.
I opened up my umbrella to keep me as cool as possible and was especially helpful through the burnt areas and high up on the exposed ridges. The views were of huge, stunning trees covered valleys.
Arriving at the junction to three lakes, I took stock of my situation. I was definitely short on water, but I thought I would push on the additional 7mi to the on trail water. It was all down hill and I knew I would be dehydrated but I would be OK.
I drank 2L of the water when I arrived at the little creek and ate half my dinner. I then pushed on to another stream 2 miles away and drank another litre of water and eat the remainder of my dinner.
This was the start of a 20-mile dry stretch so I took almost 4L of water, which is a litre more than I normally would carry, and pressed on another 2 miles before setting up camp. This last leg introduced me to the hardship of mosquitos waiting in the North.