Retrospective weather report from Etna, CA for Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – man has it been hot! I was using my shiny chrome umbrella for shade by 6:30 in the morning, feeling as if I would need to apologize or at least explain should I meet someone. I even wore my white cotton kitchen gloves with the fingers cut off to protect the back of my hands. However, it was the first day on trail where I saw no one, 15 miles of solitary scenic walking.
Four days ago was really tough; I climbed out of Seiad Valley in 100 degree heat ascending 4850 feet over 15 miles, and the water stopped about halfway. There was supposed to be a good spring at the top under an outstanding triple trunked red fir, but no go…so a dry night, and 5 miles the next morning to get to water. After finding water I met a trail crew and ended up working with them for the afternoon and sharing a tasty pork loin dinner afterwards. Good deal!
Recap: I started June 29 near Long John Saddle in the Oregon Siskiyou Mtns, about 12 miles shy of the planned trailhead (the road was really rough), and have walked approximately 100 miles through the Siskiyous and the length of the Marble Mountain Wilderness in California. It has been a early season riot of flowers, springs and creeks, snowpatches…and mosquitoes.
Except for the trail crew holiday I have been walking 15-22 miles per day, and may scale that back a little. I have seen one rattlesnake, which added 5 feet of elevation gain to that day (in a single adrenaline powered jump), tons of butterflies, a robin that sung 24/7 (according to one sleep deprived trail crew worker), and a deer with a rack that would make a hunter’s heart go pit-a-pat. No bear, though one couple I met had seen 9 in the past 3 weeks.
I have met several northbound PCT hikers who skipped the snowy Sierra, but just one who has walked all the way from Mexico; the unreal Eric D on his 7th PCT thru walk. He is averaging almost 40 miles per day, but taking off approximately one day in three–probably for alternating knee replacements and IV rehydration. I will not try to match this.
No pictures this time, the computer doesn’t support it, hopefully soon. See ya!