a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL
starts with a single step.
Miles 1156.7 to 1180 (23.3 Miles) Mt Shasta view camp to Fitzhugh Gulch camp
Longest day yet. But oh my feet! I don’t recall having these issues with my feet last time. Correct me if I’m wrong. I was complaining about shoulder pain a lot. And sure, tired legs and the occasional blister. But this is becoming a real problem. I’m not sure it’s still the aftermath of the roadwalk out of Etna, or wrong shoes, in any case 20 miles are harder now than last year, and not because I’m not up for it, but because the pain in my feet is excruciating.
But let’s back up a bit. We get up nice and early and are ready to hike by 6am on the dot. Mt Shasta is already glowing with the rising sunlight and we are hoping to catch some sun soon too. It’s really windy and quite cold this morning! But no luck. We have to hike uphill for 6.5 Miles and until 08.40am to finally find a sunny and flat spot on a deserted dirt road. Now we are looking forward to some hot chocolate and coffee along with the pastry we bought in the store yesterday. This is nice.
We spend the rest of the day in the forest and meet a lot of fellow hikers coming from the south, and even two southbound hikers like us, Gravity and Happy Feet from Canada. They were taking a break by the river when we passed them, so now we know we have someone hiking behind us and hope to run into them again at a later stage. We don't really take a lunch break because a) we don't feel like eating the food we packed in any longer and b) it's cold within the woods and there are loads of mosquitoes around. We just take a short break to dip our feet into an ice cold stream. This helps reduce the pain I'm experiencing in the feet. I really hope it will get better soon.
After 23.3, our new record this time around we finally reach the creek where we planned to camp. We pitch the tent right next to the creek in record time because the mosquitoes are already attacking again. We are at the very bottom of a tiny valley, it's rather dark down here and we are completely alone, feels like.
We make a couscous dinner and realize that we must have put 3 packets into our ziplock bag instead of 2 packets, but only have one sauce as usual, meaning that dinner turns out completely dry and not tasty at all. Suddenly, as we're in the tent with the rainfly on (it is cold down here by this creek), we hear something big charging past our tent. As of now we still don't know what it was. I don't think it was a bear as it looked paler than a bear. A deer probably. They do like to hang around camp in this area hoping for some pee they can drink or some sweat residue they can lick off our hiking poles.
Tomorrow the first 13 miles are all uphill and according to the daily NOBO news we will encounter some more snow. But first, let's sleep and rest our feet.