Date: Thursday, 20 July 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Thielsen Creek at Mile 1853.6, 6936 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 3.0 of the Oregon Skyline Trail alternative to the PCT
Daily Miles: 22.2 PCT, plus 3.0 on the Oregon Skyline Trail
Total PCT Miles: 1338.5
Weather: Cool early then warm and sunny
Breakfast: Chocolate pies and peanuts
Dinner: Rehydrated lasagne with meat sauce.
Aches: Lower left ribs very sore
Highlight: Has to be getting back on the trail. When I woke up this morning, I had a little more freedom of movement, and although it took 20 minutes longer to pack up, I found I could walk and carry my pack. The pain was constant, related to my breathing, and sudden or awkward movements caused sharp pain, but I was back in business.
Pictures: Click here
I was amazed at how much more I could do when I woke up, and thankful that there was no evidence of the internal damage I had feared. I thought about staying put for the day, but I would be short of food and was really keen to try and stick to my schedule. Before the accident yesterday, I was expecting a full day’s hiking today, followed by a half day off at Shelter Cove Resort, my next resupply point. Now I was half a day behind, and decided just to see how the day went and how much the ribs bothered me.
At breakfast, I took one of my anti-inflammatories, which seemed to dull the pain a little and for the rest of the day I made the best time I could, taking longer between breaks, and shorter breaks. Early on there was still a lot of snow-covered ground and I occasionally lost the trail. I was also taking the snowy sections very carefully. They weren’t particularly dangerous, but I knew any slip would be super painful.
The trail fluctuated between 6000 ft and 7500 ft for most of the day, so there was plenty of climbing, but where there was no snow, which was much of the afternoon following a broad forested ridge northwards, I made good time. At Windigo Pass, I made the choice to follow the Oregon Skyline Trail, an alternative that goes right by Shelter Cove, and also cuts off a few miles, and found a place to camp around 7:15pm. I have about 16 miles to go to Shelter Cove, but as the trail looks easy, should get there in the early afternoon, something which looked impossible yesterday afternoon.
I have now done more than half of the PCT’s 2670 miles.