Date: Tuesday, 03 October 2017
Start: Camped by the trail at Mile 1217.2, 6550 ft
Finish: Camped by the trail at Mile 1243.1, 4970 ft
Daily Miles: 25.9 PCT
Total PCT Miles: 2563.7
Weather: Cool, sunny and breezy
Breakfast: Pop tarts
Dinner: Rehydrated beef stroganoff with noodles
Aches: Feet very tired, but left ankle not so bad
Highlight: Encountering the first notable autumn foliage at lower altitudes this evening, reminding me of how long I have been on the trail.
Lowlight: About 15 minutes after I began hiking this morning, while it was still dark and I was relying on my headlamp, I encountered a very large tree that had fallen across the track and brought down some other trees with it. I tried to follow where other people had worked their way around the debris, but was soon crashing around in the wiry and thorny scrub on a steep hillside unable to find the trail again. Eventually, using my GPS I worked out which direction I should head to rejoin the trail, which I did a few minutes later, sporting a number of new cuts and abrasions, and having wasted 20-30 minutes.
Pictures: Click here
After my late night, I wasn’t up quite as early as planned and started hiking about 6:00am. It was still dark and quite cold, and I could have done without the time lost finding my way around a fallen tree (see above). However, after that little adventure, the rest of the day was relatively easy and uneventful hiking, with the trail staying between 5000 ft and 7500 ft. Most of the time I was in forest, but in a couple of places the trail followed the top of treeless ridges which gave good views.
The grades on the trail were good all day, and it was mostly soft underfoot, helping me make good time. I reached my target for the day, a trail junction, soon after 6:00pm, and told myself I would stop at the first flat tentsite I saw. The trail continued along the side of a ridge, and it was 6:40pm before I found somewhere flat enough for my tent. I set up camp quickly in what daylight was left, happy with my day’s effort. I now have just over 22 miles to Bucks Lake Road along which I will hitchhike the 15 miles to Quincy, my final resupply town, where I have booked two nights in a motel so I can have Thursday off. With luck, I will get to the road around 5pm.