Location- Side of trail
Elevation- 5,500 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 12 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 48.8 miles
Weather/Temp- cloudless/ 60-70
Pain level- zero
Woke up to a chilly morning, fortunately, NOT covered in ants. Decided to keep the CatFox off leash and hiked a quick 3.8 miles to another campground, as well as a diner on the side of the road.
After a wonderful meal of Dutch pancakes (which are much tastier than American pancakes), we hobbled further on down the road to a gear outfitter, browsed around, lounged around, then resupplied on some snacks and made our way back up to the trail around 4pm.
As usual for this area, the trail was gradual and easy. Katana stayed off leash, and she was great. The desert plants in this area seem to have much stronger smells than our east coast plants, resulting in quite a few more stop and goes with Katana’s curiosities.
We came upon our first real spectacular view only a few miles out of the campground. A vast expanse if barren desert, with an equally barren mountain range rising out of it, with a lake far in the background. In its own way, that view was already almost equal to anything I’d seen on the AT in regards to vastness and dramaticism.
Before the day was over, and the sun almost gone, we pushed over 8 miles past that campground and called it a day on the side of the trail near some pine trees that had been charred in a fire.
I’ve found one aspect of this trail absolutely maddening; the winding of it. If the Appalachian Trail is determined to take you up and over every single climb, then the Pacific Crest Trail is determined to take you the long way around every single climb. For the price of how gradual the climbs and descents are out here, the trail has to wind its way back and fork, around, and in big “horseshoe like” loops in order to keep the trail as level as possible. You can tell it adds countless extra miles, when they could have saved them by letting the trail get slightly steeper while taking a more direct route. Such is the nature of the beast…
Read more details in my book, “Racing Winter on the Pacific Crest Trail”