a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
Miles 1610.4 to 1630.6. Shelly Meadows campground to campsite on a ridge.
We get up early, in fact we are the first ones to leave camp in the morning. We don‘t feel quite accostumed to being back out on trail yet and since we still want to get over 20 miles in we figure we might need longer than others to reach that.
We leave the forest after the first half an hour and stumble across Sasquatch who we will end up seeing a lot over the next few weeks. He is quite the character, we‘ve already heard a lot about him and look forward to being around him. We take our breakfast break after about an hour and are soon joined by Tacos and Foodfight as well as Snowwhite and Photo-op, another hiker we met back in Kennedy Meadows, many weeks ago.
I try my first oatmeal ever and decide I like it. Even though I put way too much water in it, according to Tacos. But I will keep trying to get it right, happy that I found myself a new breakfast item I like.
They all leave before us and we keep leapfrogging with everyone until lunch. The morning is quite pretty even with the hazy air, we discover beautiful lakes, we hike on ridges (which is my favorite kind of hiking) and through peaceful meadows.
We meet everyone again for lunch, relax on our footprint and rest our feet up in the air. We are again the last ones to leave after lunch and take it easy. It‘s a steep uphill now and I really do feel a little out of practice. We stop at a water source (water sources are quite scarce here in NorCal and mostly rather small flows) where we bump into Benjamin Button again whom we haven‘t seen since Mammoth Lakes. It‘s so funny how this trail works. Suddenly running into people you haven‘t seen in forever in the middle of nowhere!
We take it slow the rest of the day, talking about everything and nothing - when I suddenly stand still and look at something blackish. Probably just another tree stump, I say to myself disappointedly. But no - it‘s moving! I see dog ears I think. But a dog, out here? Not possible... I think what else it could be... Is it possible..? Could it be? A BEAR? A BEAR!!! „Dario, there‘s a bear over there!!!“ He now sees it too and confirms it! Bear ears are moving, a head is looking up - it‘s a cub!! A little teddy bear, about 10 meters away from us! So the next thought is, where is his mum? I don‘t want us to be a threat in her eyes! But there is no other bear around. The cub eyes us interestedly but then hops away on all fours. How spectacular! What a special and unforgettable moment to see a bear in the wild! And finally after so many weeks out here we get to see one (or at least half a bear, it was quite little after all!)
We are full of adrenaline now and hike on excitedly. Soon we stumble across Tacos and Foodfight who are actually in a fight and let them be. It‘s not always easy out here, as a couple. We both know that, we‘ve been there too. A small thing can lead to a big discussion. Hard days for one person can cause big fights because emotions are mostly and most easily directed at your partner. Where else can you blow off steam?
We only hike a couple minutes further and then decide to call it a day on this beautiful ridge. It sure is windy and takes us longer than usual to pitch our tent but we manage and are warm and cozy once we‘re inside. The wind beats around the rain fly, but we‘ve pitched it well and should be able to sleep just fine. Then of course I need to go outside again to pee and am greeted by the most wonderful sunset and sky. Our Big Agnes is lighted inside and looks great in front of this spectacular backdrop. How lucky are we to call this our home.