Pretty mediocre night of sleep because of traffic noise. Too bad that the state campground is right next to the interstate….who thought that was a good idea? Not that state park campgrounds are getting out into the ‘wilderness’, but still most people are looking for something a little different than the noise of town, when they camp in the woods…I guess that could have been why the campground was largely empty on a Saturday night in July.
We connected up with the PCT after putting together some of the local trails to connect back. Had some real pleasant walking in the shade as well as some nice views of the neighboring mountains and the crags that make up Castle Crags. Several miles in, we started a pretty steep ascent and gained quite a bit of altitude fast. The first five miles were the toughest, but the second 5 were a steady climb that was pretty hearty as well.
Unfortunately I miscalculated the water locations and didn’t grab as much water as I would have liked for a 15 mile dry stretch. That stretch was mostly all exposed to the sun as well. About 12 miles in, I got lucky and arrived near a trailhead where a trail angel had set out some water. Very happy to see that surprise. I would have made it just fine to the spring that I was planning on, but when you get thirsty, it is all you can think about.
When we did make it to the spring it was around 5, so we had dinner there there before hiking on the final 7 miles.
We met several hikers that we had not met before….Knutella (from Norway), Nightingale, and Fig ( a 68 year old Mainer, who has hiked the AT 3 times).
We got to our campsite around 8:30. A nice spot by a lake. There is a surprising number of weekenders out and camped around the lake. They stay up much later than thruhikers. We all head to bed by 9 (hikers midnight), and I can still hear the weekenders around their campfires making noise well past that hour, weekender midnight =midnight. I guess the day after day hiking of long miles has us exhausted and ready to head to bed as early as we can.
Tonight we are camped with Sista Sue, K8, T1 ….a mother and two daughters that are thruhiking.
Daily Distance: 36
Trip Distance: 1,528.4