Daily Miles: 18
2021 CDT Total Miles: 282
Overall CDT Total Miles: 2355
Today was a great day of walking. The wind was still waiting for us when we woke up this morning, but as it felt a bit warmer, the wind made for really nice temps.
The trail in the morning was so good, we kept commenting on how well groomed it was. The sky was bright blue and it just felt so nice to be outside walking.
We took a slight alternate this morning in order to get to a water source off trail. We were hoping to see the beginnings of a creek on the side of a dirt road, but we didn’t see it where we expected it. SweetPea and Mace decided to walk down a side road to where it looked more likely to find water. It ended up being a much longer walk than expected and lots of elevation loss. Then there was some scrambling down a hillside covered in fallen trees. The water turned out to be great, but the effort seemed much more than expected.
When they got the water back up to the road where Beardoh was waiting, he informed them that there was in fact water very close to where he had waited…there had been no need for the quest down into the valley. Definitely not pleasing news after the probably 45 minute trek for water. Oh well.
We continued walking and the views of the surrounding mountains was great. At times we could see roads and even cabins in the distance. The wind picked up again as we walked through more meadows on our way to Stemple Pass.
Randomly, there is an outfitter just near the pass. He has a side trail marked to his place. This guy used to have a shop near the southern terminus of the PCT, and he just moved to this new location a few years ago. He is known on the trail as having a completely stuffed storeroom with everything one could possibly want as a backpacker. He has more high-quality inventory than we have ever seen in a shop. Beardoh and Mace got new toesocks, and Mace bought a windshirt.
The outfitter is also a place where hikers can pick up water, so we filled up our bottles to last us the next 14 miles and continued walking.
The trail the past few days has been a lot of short and steep climbs and descents. At least the climbs are short enough that we can be spent by the time we get to the top, but then we have a bit of downhill to recuperate before the next hill comes.
The end of the day had us walking through a burn area from a fire in 2019. The trees were all dead, but surprisingly most of them seemed to still be standing. We got to a short patch of mostly live trees and decided to stop for the day. There was some good flat ground for Mace and we had some nice hanging options.