a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 1260.1 to 1274.8. Lookout Rock Camp to Sunset Camp.
In the morning the alarm clock goes off at 5.30 am as we planned the day before to see the sunrise from Lookout Rock. So we walk the short path up to the rock and find Flamin Hot sleeping next to it...That guy! He must have hiked over 25 miles yesterday to catch us here! So cool, we all think and wake him up to take some pictures on the rock with the three of us.
And indeed, it is one of the most spectacular sunrises on the PCT so far! We stay for about 30 minutes, take pictures and talk.
Later we hike on, reunited and fully motivated. Today it is only about 9 miles until we reach the road to Bucks Lake, a small town lying on the shore of the name giving lake.
We all are not sure if it is worth hitching in there, as we are already way behind schedule and you never know how long it takes to get a hitch.
But Flamin Hot convinces us to get a burger or something nice to eat there. And when we reach the street it only takes us 2 minutes to get a hitch. Sweatheart and Flamin Hot are ahead of us and have to be already in town. So the guys giving us a hitch doesn’t know where to drop us off and we pass by the restaurant where our two friends are sitting on the porch. But somehow we manage to get a hitch back and get a burger and a pizza.
Later we all head over to the lake and go swimming in the rather cold water. And it gets better, a friendly guy sitting there with his family offers us some fresh cherries and Corona beers that Flamin Hot and I gladly jug down.
Back on trail we still have to hike 8 to 10 more miles. We pass two wildlife documentalists who tell us that they hide wildlife cameras in the woods and that they always catch bears, deers and sometimes even mountain lions! What a nice reminder of where we are actually sleeping everyday - but so far nothing really happened to us. So we hike on and after 8 more miles meet Happy Hour, a fellow elderly hiker we have been leap frogging with in the last days. He is preparing dinner and is almost ready to go to sleep. He's found himself an absolutely beautiful sleeping spot on a ridge with stunning views over the valley.
He wants us to stay here as well and tells us about a meteorite shower tonight but we think it is better to push on for a bit. And so we do, well at least for 2 more minutes when we meet to SOBOs (hikerish for South Bounders, aka hikers hiking south, so from Canada to Mexico) and keep on talking with them for too long. The tell us that in Belden (one day further from here and our next town stop) a huge Funk festival is taking place at the moment and that we really should go as the entrance for PCTers is free. We will see, we thought, it really depends when we are arriving.
We then watch a beautiful and simultaneously terrifying scenery as the sun is almost down and presents itself in a totally red color, immersing the smoky surroundings in a eery kind of way. In in the middle there is a big mountain sticking out. Moooordoooor has risen again, we both think - and indeed, the whole thing could easily play part as the setting of Lord of the Rings.
We realize that we are indeed really tired already and there is such an amazing camping spot on the ridge (no I don’t refer to Sauron’s evil eye), so we decide to stay on the same ridge like Happy Hour, only 100 meters further away. We are hurriedly pitching our tents when I suddenly feel that something is wrong with my stomach - I feel kind of sick and half an hour later I am already lying in my sleeping bag feeling fevery and cold. Maybe Sauron’s eye caught me (or my stomach) but let’s not hope so... After a while I fall asleep while the others are still talking, admiring the spectacular surroundings and finishing up the last of Flamin Hot's pizza which he's packed out from Bucks Lake.