Daily miles 24
Total miles 430
Cold night. We had frost on the hammocks as well as condensation on our sleeping quilts. Ice in the water bottles. Probably the coolest night on the trail thus far. 20ish degrees. CrossCountry had slept next to the fire pit to stay warm and he kept the coals going through the night. So, we were able to get a small fire going before we left. With the cold and the fire, we got a later start than we had planned.
The morning miles seemed to go pretty quickly as we descended a lot of the time. We all stopped for lunch at a forest service area on the side of the road. We all laid out our wet gear in the parking lot so it could dry out in the sun and wind. By the time we were done eating lunch, all of our stuff was toasty dry.
Today the trail took us out of the forest of the upper elevations and back down to desert vegetation. We actually didn’t come way down. Our campsite is still over 5k feet tonight.
Only one decent water source for today, but the weather was very moderate. Cool at times, we were not sweating a lot, and both of us alternated between out t shirts and let no sleeve wind shirts. We were pretty fortunate as this section is traditionally very hot according to the guidebook.
The entire section that we walked this afternoon was new to both of us. When Beardoh hiked in 2012, this section had a Poodle Dog Bush detour around it and was all dirt road walking. Today we walked the regular PCT, and most of the Poodle Dog Bush is at least a foot or tow off the trail. There was a lot of it, though still.
About an hour after lunch, we ran into the southbound section hiker ‘Goal Tech’. He was handing out bags of chips, it was a great treat.
Tonight there is a lot of us at Messenger Flats Campground. Mountain Man, Proton, Gazelle, XC, Roel , Stephan, Ken, Chilli, G String, Flash and at least 5 others. One of the guys started a fire and we went over and sat by it for over an hour. It was fun. Chilli told us how he escaped from the Air Force and Proton told the guys his elaborate story about getting the name Proton.
We have our tarps up over our hammocks because of the wind tonight. While the sun went down, It was also apparent that fog/clouds were moving in, so it seems like a good move to put up the extra protection. We are looking forward a day when we will have a warmer night for sleeping. Being cold at night is not a lot of fun.
There weren’t really any camping options during the afternoon, so we ended up doing a bigger say than planned in order to get to a camping area. We are camped with another large group of PCT hikers. There was a fire again tonight and we are staying at a site with a privy for the third night in a row.
Tomorrow will be a pretty short-mile day for us. So, we are planning to sleep in and hopefully have some warmer morning temperatures.