Day 86: Snow Bowl Danger or Hype?

July 12, 2017

Total daily miles: 26.5 miles

Total PCT miles: 1232.3

Start: mile 1612.6

End: mile 1639.2

Total elevation gain/loss: 4131.6/7419.3 ft

Today started out with a stretch of snow that we’d been hearing hype about for weeks. We’d heard that there was a large “bowl” that we had to traverse, although people had different opinions as to how difficult it would be. Would it live up to the hype? Would we be glad to have kept our microspikes and whippets since Chester? Not really…

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Day 85: Into the Smokey Marble Mountains

July 11, 2017

Total daily miles: 15.5 miles

Total PCT miles: 1205.7

Start: Etna (mile 1597.2)

End: mile 1612.6

Total elevation gain/loss: 2905.8/2411.1 ft

Sleeping in is glorious! I think I made it to almost 8am this morning before the sunlight hit my tent and it started to heat up quickly. I think that my body really needed that extra sleep!

We packed up quickly and then enjoyed a breakfast of fresh fruit and muffins that we’d picked up from the grocery store. A nice change from fig bars and pop tarts! The pavilion area at the city park really is an ideal spot to hang out and I have to admit that I was surprised how easy it was to get quiet time for myself while staying at the park.  

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Day 82: Breakfast Disaster Turned Lunch Surprise 

July 8, 2017

Total daily miles: 22.6 miles

Total PCT miles: 1162.9

Start: mile 1547.1

End: mile 1569.8

Total elevation gain/loss: 3470.1/2934.7 ft

Today did not start well. We awoke to a swarm of mosquitoes outside our tent. In my rush to get moving (and away from the blood suckers), I accidentally dumped my Welches strawberry peach drink mix into my chocolate Carnation Instant Breakfast drink (instead of instant coffee). The result was horrifically sweet. I attempted to water it down, but it was still horrible. Just my luck. After attempting to swallow a few swigs, I decided to carry it out to the campground that we’d be passing about 10 miles in that reported had a privy that I could dump it into. Leave no trace!

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Day 81: NorCal Deja Vu

July 7, 2017

Total daily miles: 26.1 miles

Total PCT miles: 1140.2 miles

Start: Lake Helen (0.6 miles off PCT mile 1521.0)

End: mile 1547.1

Total elevation gain/loss: 2957.7/2949.1 ft

The morning colors on Lake Helen were gorgeous this morning. Such a beautiful sight to wake up to!

The trail this morning was once again exposed with sweeping views of the surrounding area. The trail stayed close to the ridge line and out of the forests that we’d become accustomed to on the trail between Burney and Castella. I started to regret my decision to switch to a t-shirt instead of my long sleeved shirt. Despite my efforts to apply sunscreen yesterday and this morning, I was worrying that my arms were getting pink too quickly. Continue reading

Day 78: Fourth of July Push to Castella

July 4, 2017

Total daily miles: 19.3 miles

Total PCT miles: 1091.8 miles

Start: mile 1479.4

End: Castle Crags State Park Campground (mile 1498.7)

Total elevation gain/loss: 3902.2/4940 ft

We were up and out of camp before the other hikers were up. We immediately stopped to grab more water and then headed downhill to Squaw Valley Creek. The morning was relatively cool and we stayed in the shade for the first couple hours.

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Day 77: Big Descents For Big Miles

July 3, 2017

Total daily miles: 27.8 miles

Total PCT miles: 1072.5 miles

Start: mile 1450.6

End: mile 1479.4

Total elevation gain/loss: 4600.7/7112.9 ft

What a long day — I’m exhausted! We spent the morning walking along the hillside, which was fairly exposed but awarded us with some awesome views. We skipped the first water source of the day (and in 10 miles) because it was off trail and we still had enough water to get us a couple miles further to a small spring flowing across the trail. What can I say, we’re lazy!

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Day 76: Bears!

July 2, 2017

Total daily miles: 23.7 miles

Total PCT miles: 1043.7 miles

Start: mile 1427.9

End: mile 1450.6

Total elevation gain/loss: 4013.1/3171.9 ft

We started the morning hiking in trees and heavy brush again. The brush really slows me down and disrupts my hiking rhythm — especially the bushes with thorns!

The trail is in there somewhere…

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Day 75: Burney Falls and River Swims

July 1, 2017

Total daily miles: 21.4 miles

Total PCT miles: 1021.0 miles

Start: Burney Mountain Guest Ranch (mile 1407.2)

End: mile 1427.9

Total elevation gain/loss: 3164.4/1725.1 ft

We were a bit slow getting out of the Burney Mountain Guest Ranch this morning (as is typical of our mornings out of town). The allure of some last minute wifi drew us in. Lucky, the Siamese cat, may have also contributed to the delay… We still made it out before any of the other hikers though!

Playing hard to get.

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Day 74: … And I Will Walk 500 More!

June 30, 2017

Total daily miles: 13 miles

Total PCT miles: 1000.4 miles

Start: mile 1394.3

End: Burney Mountain Guest Ranch (mile 1407.2)

Total elevation gain/loss: 748.4/1468.5 ft

This morning we set off to finish the Hat Creek Rim and get to the Burney Mountain Guest Ranch to pick up our resupply package. My main concern of the morning was the upcoming section of trail through a lava rock field. It’s reportedly brutal on the feet and I’m still recovering from a heel blister I developed a couple days ago (my foot’s protest to walking again after almost a week off trail).

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