a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 635.3 to 656.9. Bushcamp to Bushcamp
When the alarm goes off at 4 am, Dario insists on sleeping longer. He claims that his body needs more rest. And so we turn the alarm off and sleep in until 6.30 am. The hikers in the other tents are also getting up around the same time. It‘s almost special for us when it‘s light out and we don‘t need our headlights.
Our hike starts off downhill which is a welcome change, only to become flatter after a while while we walk on a dirt road. It‘s really hot today and we are pretty exposed to the sun. It will take us about 15 miles to reach Walker Pass, the pass dividing the mountain range of Southern California and Central California.
After breakfast Dario is soon ahead of me. At a crossing he painted a heart in the sand with an arrow pointing down the dirt road leading to a water source. I follow it down and soon see him getting water near a creepy looking cabin. We know from our PCT guthooks app that the water here smells and tastes disgusting, like foul eggs, but it‘s water nevertheless, we are in the desert and we have no choice. We put some electrolytes in it and that helps a little with the taste. Let‘s hope though that we will reach the next water before we have to drink this one!
The early afternoon is downhill to Walker Pass and Dario is just running off again like some young deer. I am left alone with my thoughts, so many things on my mind. What we are doing here is sometimes hard to grasp and I start asking myself how I am feeling about it all. But I also think a lot about our upcoming visit back home for Carolina and Mauri‘s wedding and get so excited about it! Then I picture in my head what the rest of our 15 months trip is gonna be like. Or I watch some critters or plants next to the trail and wonder what their existence out here is like. It feels like a privilege but also a challenge to be this exposed to my thoughts and emotions. I surely have enough time for all these thoughts running through my head, and I really feel grateful that I get to take time off my ordinary life and do such a meaningful thing for myself.
Then finally, Walker Pass! We know we should never expect Trail Magic, and for some reason we really thought there was gonna be trail magic here, right next to a drive-in campground and easy accessibility from the road. And there is a water cache there which is really helpful (we can now throw away the bad taste water from before). There are quite a few hikers there, TwoBeers, a girl from Idaho, among others. We met her in Tehachapi and liked her instantly. We will see her later because she plans to stay at the same tentsite. And then we are off again for the big mountain climb of the day.
And we are so fast despite the heat! Almost jogging up the 500m in 6miles ascent and arriving at the campsite before anyone else. Only after we‘ve set up our tent, washed ourselves as best as we could and had the most delicious dinner on the trail so far (couscous with eggplant curry) TwoBeers shows up. She decides to cowboy camp right next to our tent and so we talk about all kinds of things until late at night. Just kidding. Hiker midnight, 9 pm. Let‘s try to get up early again tomorrow!