PCT: Days 1 - 3

Updated: Apr 4, 2020

Day 1

Seven miles short of my target - but nonetheless I am on my way. Met an Australian from Brisbane who remarked on how cold it was. Said on days this cold, he’d never venture out. I told him half the UK would be out having a barbie, the other half complaining it was too hot.

It was a balmy twenty degrees.

The Great Wall of Hoohah...Mexico!

Nearly lost my sleeping bag down a hill, but have managed to work out how to make clean water from pond water. That’s about the only success of today: my headcam isn’t working; my phone with its UK sim isn’t indicating where I am; I made a revolting dinner which I couldn’t eat, and my backpack is shockingly heavy. Everytime I put it on, I have to ask God to have mercy on my soul.

I most definitely over-bought food, and now I have to walk with it for the next eight days. And a storm is rolling in. Hey ho.

Day 2

Another eight miles. I spent the first part of my time at Hauser Creek drying out the kit from last night, and then set about making a trash bag of all the things I deem excessive. First in was the other two packets of Pad Thai I’d bought. Yesterday’s packet has also served as breakfast, lunch and today’s dinner, and I still have enough for breakfast tomorrow. I can barely gag this stuff down. I sure hope I can dump them at Lake Morena, which is five miles away.

Day 3

Today’s five miles, and note I’m supposed to be doing fifteen a day, included an gigantic 1,177 foot climb uphill across two and a half miles before dropping back down by 430 or so feet to still be residing at 3,068 feet. I think the height is possibly causing me some acclimatising issues. Going up the first 800 feet, I was overtaken by everyone. I found myself stopping every few hundred feet - as soon as I spotted a flattish rock at bum height, I was acquainting my derrier with it. It was tortuous grinding out a few hundred feet at a time, not helped by the storm finally arriving, although my new Dutch friend and I agreed, it really wasn’t so much a storm as an all-day long downpour that never ended.

The best bit: offloading all my excess!

Sadly, I’m still asking the Lord to have mercy on my soul though when I put it on: because absolutely everything I owned was sodden, sleeping bag included. Thank God for the generousity of a fellow hiker who had a three-bed cabin for two nights: he’d got bored on his own the first night, and was pleased to have company tonight. Annette and I became his new best friends. Never have I been so grateful for the warmth from the gas-fired ‘wood burner’, which is currently drying everything. If tomorrow, I swear when I put on my pack, I’m ditching the tent and sleeping naked under the stars from now on.

Even the rangers wear HazMat suits.

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