5/29/17 – I Will Walk 500 Miles…

Day: 36
Miles: 493.5 to 508
The alarm rang at 4:00 a.m. this morning and while looking into the darkness of the pre-dawn world, my mind recollecte the words we heard often when we announced our intention to thru-hike the PCT. 

“That’s like going on a half year long vacation.”

Beautiful sunrise, bonus for getting up early

It didn’t feel like being on vacation today. Actually, except for zero days in town, hiking the PCT never feels like a vacation. It’s beautiful. It’s rewarding. But it’s work. Hard work. You get up at the crack of dawn and you start walking and you walk all day, sometimes as many as 11 hours, no matter what elements nature throws your way.

Golden morning light

Today, it was heat again. The sun was scorching us from very early morning and after the initial 5 miles which were hiked in a forested area, the trail offered little shade. 

At around 11:00, when things really started heating up, the trail decided to send us on a hill as well. Within five minutes we were drenched in sweat. 
Halfway up the hill we met our 500 mile mark and stopped to take few pictures. 500 miles. It’s hard to believe we’ve gone that far already. We only have 200 miles left before reaching Kennedy Meadows, the gateway to the high Sierra. 

500 mile marker

The heat took a toll on us yesterday so today we opted for a long siesta but just when we started relaxing, clouds covered the sun and light breeze swept through the foliage. The temperature dropped instantly from insane to pleasant, and soon we realized the clouds might cover the sun for a long while so we packed and shot for the last 3.5 miles to camp.

Time for a siesta

I really enjoyed the afternoon walk, which took us through meadows and groves of oak trees. The desert was teasing us whenever a view opened but for now we were surrounded by lush hillsides and blooming lupine and Indian paintbrush. 

At 2:00 p.m. the sun was back out and the air was hot and stiff but we had to walk no longer. We arrived to Horse Camp and spring where we decided to crash for tonight. 
It was an early day and we could have easily pushed for more miles but there was no big need for that today. Horse Camp is located only 10 miles from Hiker Town where we will stop tomorrow and resupply for the next 60 mile stretch. Even if we sleep in a little, we should be there before the sun rises too high in the sky, and instead of sweating through the hot part of the day, we will sit in a shade and drink cold sodas…. me thinks. 

Planning the next stretch