Day 49: 5/27/14, PCT Mile 651.3

Miles hiked: 20.5
Camped at: Walker Pass Campground with many hikers, and Yogi’s trail magic!

In my tent, my home, relaxing after a great get together of hikers (pretty much all new folks to me), with my tummy full from a yummy burrito, orange, and soda courtesy of Yogi, and a cream soda float courtesy of Coppertone, and I wonder why I ever think of leaving the trail. Though, I was talking with Detour, a 35 year old woman (yea!) from Germany, and she said she’d never want to do a long trail alone, and I had to agree. It’s been really lonely, despite leapfrogging with other folks much more today than yesterday. Frankly I’ve felt this way much of the trip – the days I’ve hiked with someone stand out as happy memories. I don’t need to be talking the entire day, but I’ve learned I really do want to share the amazing and not so amazing times with others. I don’t know why it seems so much harder out here on the PCT to connect with folks on a more permanent basis – perhaps a product of the seemingly much more independent trail community with a good deal to do with the fact I’ve had to take so much time off and am still not well and therefore not hiking at my normal speed and strength.

I did enjoy the scenery today much more than yesterday – as soon as I climbed out of Bird Spring Pass evergreens and wild flowers appeared again! Some decent shade except for a burn area. Still lots and lots of sand though. Plus, the 20+ miles nearly did me in – I was exhausted coming down the last descent, and it took me nearly 13 hours including breaks. Still coughing and congested, though the wheezing is maybe a touch better. Granted today was quite hot and the hiking still very exposed at places, so I did break often to avoid overheating, but still….just eking out 2mph while hiking in this relatively easy terrain isn’t where I need be, with the Sierras literally on the horizon, to say nothing about the reduced lung capacity. Potentially skipping ahead to NoCal (outside of the snow zone) is looking more appealing from a health perspective, but not the loneliness factor. Wish I knew someone else who wanted to do the same.

A cool meeting amongst the many hikers I met today: Haulin and Oaks, a recently married couple from Seattle, who just started 7 days ago. Haulin is from Lakewood! Well, her family moved to Bay when she was a young teen, but we were giddy that we’re from the same city.

All in all, I’m very undecided about what to do with my hike. Short term, I can stay here tomorrow, and/or go into town. If I decide to not do the Sierras right now, I would still need to find my way to Kennedy Meadows, if only to pick up my boxes, one of which has my other pack, finally repaired. Decisons, decisons!

Walker Pass trail magic!

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I won’t be sorry to say goodbye to the sand:

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Bird Spring Pass water cache – a great way to start the morning’s hike with 6L:

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Yikes!

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