a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 1844.4 to 1872.1. Burnt Forest camp to Six Horse Spring camp.
We leave camp together in the dark, all three of us. I lead the way and we reach our designated breakfast point next to another water cache in no time. Even though the mornings are cold we are all sweaty by the time we reach the cache. After breakfast BigBro takes off as he wants to do a 30 miler today. He’s booked his flight out of Vancouver by now and it leaves on October 7, which means that sooner or later he is gonna have to leave us and do bigger miles. We are realistic that we won’t make it to Canada by that date which means that we will have to let him go, as sad as it feels.
Dario and I fill our water bottles at the cache and then head out as well. According to guthooks the terrain is going to get quite steep today but ever since we entered Oregon we realized that the elevation always looks much worse than it really is. The app is probably scaled differently in Oregon than in California, making us believe that the mountains are equally high, which they are not. That’s good news and so we happily “climb” our way through Oregon. Soon after breakfast Dario starts to feel really sick and we need to take a break every 10 minutes so that he can lie down. We wonder what it is, still consider Giardia, a common parasite along the PCT, and regret not having gone to see a doctor in Ashland. Now we are again so much further away from civilization and Dario is just going to have to pull through.
On a positive note we are hiking through the most beautiful scenery now. It strongly reminds us of the Swiss Alps as the mountains get quite pointy and cragged, there are more colorful meadows in between forests and streams trickling everywhere.
The next milestone coming up today is the highest point of the PCT in Oregon AND Washington at 7560 feet (= 2304 meters above sea level). After this point we will never find ourselves higher up. Surely you would think that the view from up here would be quite amazing, looking down at everything surrounding it, but we are actually on sort of a plateau surrounded by meadows and trees and mountains much higher than where we are right now. But they are not on the PCT, and we are talking about the highest point of the PCT here. Still it feels weird thinking that it’s basically “all downhill” from here. We find that we have some reception here and try to download some more Harry Potter books. But as the reception is very spotty it takes forever to download one book and we lose a precious hour trying to stand in the right spot to get the best cell service.
Luckily Dario is feeling a little better now after having had a (ramen noodle) soup for lunch and we get going again. It’s definitely not all downhill from here but easy enough and we make good time. We really want to reach our designated campsite which would make this a 28 mile day, one of our longest days yet, but it gets dark earlier and earlier these days and so we can’t avoid hiking in the dark. Which kind of creeps me out. Hiking in the woods after dark creeps me out. That’s why I basically jog through the forest trying to reach camp as quickly as possible. But we have to remark here that while we were walking in the woods the sunset behind the trees was one of the most magnificent sunsets I have ever seen. The whole sky turned all shades of pink and stayed that way for a long time.
When we finally reach camp it’s nearly 9pm. There is nobody else camped here and this creeps us out even more. We camp together every night and thus are never completely alone, but still, in moments like these we would really appreciate the company of just another little tent tucked away behind a tree. We hurriedly set up our tent in the sparse light of our headlamps and phonelights and hurry inside to make dinner and cuddle up inside our sleeping bags. 28 miles today! What an accomplishment, especially for Dario who has been feeling sick on and off all day.