Date: Friday, 14 July 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Mile 1734.5, 4715 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 1758.8, 5341 ft
Daily Miles: 24.3 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 1218.5
Weather: Hot and sunny
Dinner: Rehydrated vegetarian chilli
Aches: Very tired
Highlight: None really
Lowlight: Mosquitoes for last hour of hiking and around camp.
Pictures: Click here
Given the late stop last night, I let myself sleep in until 5:30am and was hiking by 6:30am. Oregon has a reputation for having some of the easiest (and also most boring) hiking on the PCT, and I was hoping that covering my goal of 23 miles for the day would prove comfortable.
It wasn’t quite as comfortable as I hoped, mainly because of tbe very warm weather, but it was OK. The trail skirted a few large water bodies – Hyatt Reservoir and Howard Prairie Lake – and passed through a large recreation area attached to the latter. It did a good job of staying away from civilisation, but necessarily crossed a lot of minor forest roads.
I started wearing some new inner and outer socks from Ashland, and found today that my feet were getting uncomfortably hot by late morning. The new inner socks are Injinji (they fit your toes individually like gloves fit your fingers), which I haven’t used before, and I decided they were the culprits. I swapped them with my camp socks (which can be used as inners) and the problem was solved. Lesson learned.
Although the trail occasionally provided some views either over Ashland or back to Mt Shasta, it spent most of the day in the forest, “the green tunnel”, and followed some broad ridges northwards, gradually climbing much of the time. The heat made this hard work, despite the shade, and I was covered in sweat most of the time. Nevertheless, it wasn’t too bad, and by 6:00pm I was looking for a place to camp. This proved hard to find because of thick undergrowth and rocky terrain, but eventually I found a clear spot I could just squeeze my tent into and stopped for the night. Mosquitoes made setting up camp, washing and eating unpleasant, and I was glad to crawl into my tent soon after 7:30pm. I suspect tomorrow is going to be a repeat of today.