Date: Sunday, 23 July 2017
Start: Camped next to Charlton Pond at Mile 1922.6, 5735 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 1947.7, 5404 ft
Daily Miles: 25.1 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 1407.4
Weather: Very warm and sunny
Breakfast: Tortillas and peanut butter, donut and corn chips
Lunch: Candy bars
Dinner: Rehydrated beef stroganoff with noodles
Aches: Sore ribs plus blister on outside of right heel.
Highlight: Despite fatigue and mosquitoes, the last hour through the forest with the orange rays of the setting sun filtering through the trees was pretty nice.
Lowlight: The loud family group camped near me on Charlton Pond last night managed to stay very loud right through the night and were still whooping and hollering as I packed up camp in the morning. It meant a disturbed night’s sleèp and I was glad to get out of there. A beautiful spot marred by louts.
Pictures: Click here
I left about 6:15am, pondering what I could do as payback for the disturbed night provided by my inconsiderate neighbours at Charlton Pond but decided there were risks to doing anything so just left (they probably had guns….they did have fireworks). (Some other PCT hikers camped nearby thought about letting their car tyres down ….. they were parked a few hundred metres away ….. but didn’t do anything either.)
Feeling a bit tired and with a long day ahead, I wasn’t very motivated. Also, my rib injury was painful and I hadn’t taken my daily anti-inflammatory because it needed to be taken with food, and as usual, I was leaving breakfast until after I had hiked a few hours. Perhaps the fire-ravaged forest was a hit depressing too. Two hours of stark lifeless trees and downed trees everywhere.
Around 9:00am I had a break and breakfast, and then ten minutes after resuming hiking, crossed a rough forest road to find some trail angels offering food and drink. For a moment I was tempted to keep going given how far I had to go, but only for a moment. Instead, I spent a pleasant hour chatting with them and the PCT hikers who had camped near me last night, and downed three cans of cold Coke, a donut and some corn chips on top of the breakfast I had just eaten. It gave me a boost, and I was in a better frame of mind for the rest of the day.
Apart from endless forest, it was a day for ponds and I passed many ranging from stagnant puddles up to beautiful clear green lakes backed by forest and mountains. It was also a day for fairly easy trail, and although I ended up hiking until 7:00pm to reach my lovely stream-side campsite (infested by mozzies), as a consequence of the hour I spent with the trail angels, I covered a lot of ground. As usual, my motivation is to have as little distance to hike as possible on the day after tomorrow to reach the highway from where I will hitch to the town of Sisters, and a full day off.