June 19, 2017
Total daily miles: 20.8 miles
Total PCT miles: 903.8 miles
Start: William’s Cabin site (mile 1290.2)
End: Robbers Spring (mile 1310.7)
Total elevation gain/loss: 5144.4/2637.5 ft
We made it out of camp before Matt this morning. He thought we’d hit the snooze button (we get ready in the dark) and decided to snooze a bit longer himself. We headed out, knowing that he’d catch up quickly (and we were right!).
This morning’s climb featured a bunch of creek crossings. Even the so-called “seasonal creeks” presented a challenge. There’s lots of water out there! There were a couple of crossings that we thought would get us wet, but we managed to find logs to keep our feet dry. Even if the crossings had been wet crossings, they all looked very calm and doable. Of course, my feet still ended up a bit wet on some of the smaller crossings where I just missed jumping across. Go figure.
Walking with Matt was a good chance of pace. We made pretty good time hiking up the mountain while chatting.
We were expecting 10 miles of snow today starting 6 miles into our day. The reality ended up being better than we expected though. We had solid snow from about mile 1297 to 1300.5 or so, but we were largely able to navigate around the steeper sections with only a couple steeper traverses. Matt is clearly very comfortable in the snow, so he took the lead and did a lot of the navigating in the snow-covered sections. Following his lead we made pretty good time through.
We had a few mikes of scattered snow, but it was easy to follow the trail without using GPS. I couldn’t help but thinking that we had really kicked out and this snow section was much easier than we’d expected. There were a couple steep traverses, but it was nice knowing that they were limited and would be over soon.
We stopped for lunch just off trail at Cold Spring. It was a piped spring that reminded me of the desert, but I wasn’t going to complain about the abundant cold water and nice spot to relax next to it.
In the afternoon we hit some more snow and needed gps from about mile 1304 to 1306, but it wasn’t too bad. We didn’t even need to put on our spikes, it was nice and level (and a little slushy). This afternoon was hot again. I’m sure that this snow is going to be melting really quickly — and I hope that the snow in front of us is melting quickly as well!
The scenery today was lovely. Lots of trees followed by ridge walks with great views. As we hiked along one of the ridge lines this afternoon we found ourselves hiking toward imposing clouds. And then we heard thunder… uh oh. Luckily, the trail quickly veered off of the ridge line and away from the clouds. Thunderstorm averted!
At the Humboldt trailhead we ran into Steve, who was visiting with his wife to do a day hike. He was hanging out in the parking lot getting ready to join his wife (who we’d passed a few minutes before) and happily shared his chair (luxury!) and his leftover sun chips. I think we were a good excuse for him to shorten his own hike! The chips (and talk of milkshakes) made us excited about hitting town tomorrow! I can almost taste the milkshake.
We only hiked a couple miles further to Robbers Spring. It’s a bit off trail, but has a nice flat area for camping and it’s always nice to have flowing water to clean up in the evening. Sadly, our spot was swarmed by bugs again and we spent a good chunk of the evening talking with Matt from our respective tents.
We’re less than 20 miles from Chester! It’s amazing how much more quickly this section has gone — it is definitely starting to feel like we’re getting the payoff from skipping north now. Yay!
Michael: sore back and bruises.