Location- open ridge
Elevation- 6,201 ft
Distance Traveled Today- 23.4 miles
Distance Traveled Total- 1676.8 miles
Weather/Temp- clear 70s 80s
Pain level- low
Days without shower- 8
Hunger/craving- not pancakes
I woke up feeling great and decided to stay for another breakfast before hiking out. As a result, I didn’t join back up with the dirt trail from the road until nearly 10 am.
My final big climb of California was nearly 5,000 ft over the course of only 8 miles. Probably the longest, quickest, most consistent elevation gain of the entire trail up to this point. I’d say it was in the top 5 most challenging climbs.
Originally, I’d wanted to complete 35 miles to the Oregon border and be done with it, but that climb sapped me. I settled for 23 miles and camped with Rambler, as well as two other male hikers named “Sas” and “Trigger.” Sas was a 26 year old electric engineer from south Texas, and Trigger was a 31 year old manager of a moving company in Seattle, Washington.
During the afternoon, I ran into yet another Rattlesnake on the side of the trail. I believe that’s 14 for the entire journey; I couldn’t be more pleased.
Lately I’ve been seeing more southbound thru hikers that started up in Canada back in June. I ran into 3 today. Unlike southbound hikers on the AT, the ones on the PCT haven’t encountered the toughest terrain of the trail yet by the time they start meeting north bounders. That means they don’t have a chip on their shoulder, and they’re much more pleasant to deal with. I must admit though, the rivalry between us on the AT was great fun.
Overall, the hike today was fairly slow and mundane. It’s nice to have some friends to talk to and camp with. Tomorrow I’ll finally hit the Oregon border in 12.5 miles and kiss California goodbye for good. Thanks for all the tasty burgers and Mexican food.
In other news, I’m finally less than 1,000 miles from Canada as of today. That seems like a lot, but Canada is feeling pretty close right about now…