Updated: Aug 11, 2020
When I’m heading into town all I crave and think of is hot, gooey, cheesy pizza with lashings of veg. Thankfully, America’s nicest town, Etna, only had one place open and all he was making was pizza. I had pizza two nights running. I brought the excess back on trail, and so far I’ve had some for lunch and dinner. I’ll be having the remainder for breakfast too. I am starting to miss my Knorr two-minute noodles now though…
Back on trail. With a hat this time and suncream. Passed the 1600 mark…
Pah! Went miles off-course this morning and didn’t notice for nearly two hours. Fell over, twice, getting myself back to the trail, which entailed a steep climb over a ridge. By the time I was back on course, I had lost four hours - that’s nearly eight miles at my average speed. So what should have been a wonderful day spent criss-crossing meadow after meadow with flowers up to my armpits, was instead spent with my head down, determined to make up for lost time.
Worse, I stopped for water and unbeknownst to me a bee climb inside my trouser leg. The very expensive trousers that are supposed to be insect-repellent. When I got going I was zapped many, many, many times despite slapping out various rapid tunes with both hands in a vain attempt to kill it. I failed.
Then I swallowed some flying insect. It left a scrape down my throat.
Then my shoes burst open. My little toe protruding out obnoxiously.
Then, when I finally made camp, with my legs on fire, I couldn’t get my stakes into the rock solid ground. It’s a complete bee-fest too. Thankfully, a section-hiker called Compass let me tent up directly next to him. It’s the worst camping spot I’ve stayed in for I don’t know how long.
Still on the plus, I did nearly 24 PCT miles today.
Alas, a herd of deer played Kiss-Chase around my tent all bleedin' night.
The day where I discover the joys of Root Beer Floats. Not only are they well over 400 calories a pop, they are also divine. Propelled me up a nine-and-a-half-mile mountain, climbing over 5,500 feet - and helped me do a 28 mile day. Wowsers.
Am knackered now though.
About ten miles into my day, the scenery changed dramatically. From bushwhacking hideous shrubbery, through endless flowery meadows, then a brief rocky period, it eventually gave way to alpine with a difference - huge tall firs, the highest I’ve seen, but then no undergrowth - just deadened pine needles, broken dry branches and a few fallen trees. But otherwise it’s sparse and empty. Then there’s pieces of barren land for no reason. I love it though - such a striking change from anything we’ve seen before. I’ve a feeling I’m going to like Oregon, which I’m now a mere 3 miles from the border of. It’s a real landmark and I’m super excited to get there.
Two milestones today: First I left California, and in one small hobble for womankind I arrived in Oregon. Nine miles later, and many small strides, I passed the 1,700 mark. Tally ho!
I have limped into Ashland - I have very sore knees, broken shoes and my hiking poles need replacement tips. It’s a pain with time now so pressing, not helped because the Canadian border is to remain closed, putting more pressure on my hike. But it is what it is, and I can only do what I can do. On I shall plod (following a couple of days R&R). Said cheerio to my hiking partner of the last couple of weeks, Jeff, who asked me how I’d improve the PCT - I suggested giving Washington to the Canadians. Figured that would be most helpful for me reaching my goal of getting to Canada.