a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 187.5 to 205.7. Bushcamp to Water Faucet
We knew that it was going to be a long day. A total altitude loss of 7940 feet (2400m) over the next 20 miles (32 km). And we were planning to do it in one day. And so we did. But back to the beginning.
We wake up at 4.45am, we‘re both really tired even though we slept well. But yesterday was tough and we are both feeling it in our feet. Our morning routine is pretty much always the same. We let the air out of our airmats, change into our hiking outfit then put everything in designated stuff sacks and out of the tent and go outside to take down the tent. Once the tent is stored in Dario‘s pack we start putting everything else away in our packs. We usually do this quietly as most of the time other people are around who we don‘t want to wake up.
So far the hours between 6am and 9am have been the most pleasant ones to hike. To see the sun rise, listen to the birds and generally see the world waking up is very special. Like any other day we take a break after about one hour to have breakfast. It consists of muesli bars and trail mix mostly. And sometimes coffee. When it‘s a very good hiking day and Wizard is with us. Which is the case today. Soon we are joined by Speedy. He is always the fastest one and therefore gets to sleep in the longest. So after 1.5h there he is already, passing us.
All day is downhill today. The first couple of hours we walk in the beautiful pine forests of the San Jacinto National Park. Then the trees become less and less and finally we are back to desert-ish terrain. Cacti, pretty flowers, bushes in all shapes and forms, and almost no shade. And sun. A lot of it. And we walk and walk and take our lunch break shortly before mile 200. Then we meet up with the rest of the crew (Speedy, Wizard and Brad) and take the mile 200 marker together. Wow, 200 miles done!
We all continue hiking downhill in a row, listening to music, having a good laugh when suddenly - baaaam! I roll my ankle and fall over like a bag of potatoes. I lie there and within a minute Dario has taken my shoe off to bandage it, Brad grabs the umbrella to provide shade to my head, Wizard takes out her „special Australian healing creme“ (Vix ;-)), cleans my bloody knee and then provides some wind with a Japanese fan thingy and Speedy takes a picture of the whole scene. This is what perfectly describes this whole trail family thing. These people, they are amazing! We are all in this together and help each other out in any way we can. I am deeply touched by the genuine care and support out here.
It is around 3pm now, my ankle feels very tender but doesn’t hurt too badly (thanks to Vitamin I (Ibuprofen) and we still have 5 miles to go. But I did take too many pain killers. I am oh so tired and can‘t concentrate on the path ahead. The heat surely isn‘t helping. I am dragging myself off this mountain, nearly breaking down, poor Dario has to literally pull me along and make sure I don‘t fall asleep during the many breaks we are taking at this stage. Somehow we do make it off the mountain and reach the others by 7pm.
Luckily there is a water faucet where we can clean ourselves up. After our tents are set up we each make our dinners (Mac‘n‘Cheese with Tuna for me, Nachos Mexican style for Dario) and then soon go to ‚bed‘.
It was definitely not an easy day today. It was also not the first uneasy day out here. Sometimes it is just so hard to keep going. Often it seems so much easier to give up. But this is not the time to give up. All the beautiful and unforgettable moments out here still make it absolutely worth it. So Canada, you just wait, we will come for you. :)