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Monday, May 7, 2018

PCT - Day 18: 5/6/2018 - Dealing with Trail Boredom

Trail miles: 21.8 from 276.7 - 298.5
Miles hiked: 22.5
Restless sleep plagued me yet again overnight. I woke numerous times with pains in my nerve damaged right thigh.

Again today I hiked alone the entire day. It made me wonder about where all the people I’ve met were at. Were they behind me or in front of me? 
empty trail
I knew Ranger was about 50-60 miles in front of me. Talk about inspiring, that guy at age 62 puts the rest of us to shame with his fitness. I also knew Whiplash was a day behind me. I’m still hoping he catches up during my next zero day.

I wondered how far ahead Shank and Pocket Knife were. I wondered where Paint Peeler and Marios were. I wondered where Opera was. I wondered where Alicia was. I wondered how far ahead Surgeon, Thumbs, and Mouse were. I wondered about Wine Troll and Trench Foot and wondered if her blisters healed.
Where is everyone?
I began to think I was destined to hike today’s 22 miles of mostly boring burn area and desert alone.

I played stupid games with myself to stay entertained. I taught myself new trekking pole tricks and practiced them till it was second nature to throw a pole up behind me, flip it 1.5 or 2 times and then snag it out of the air by the handle without looking.

Another game was naming rock formations. Let’s hear what you’d name this formation in the comments.
Name the Rock Formation
Occasionally the desert would give way to a few pine trees that dropped pine cones that are big enough and heavy enough to knock someone out if it dropped and hit someone in the head.
big pine cone
On one of my breaks at mile 18, I decided to push another 4 miles for a 22 mile day since it was only 3pm. I liked the idea of walking through this heat vs. just sitting in it.

When I arrived at the Deep Creek Bridge, I found a place crawling with annoying locals since a trailhead was only 100 yards away. Apparently it’s Sunday too. When all you do is hike every day, days of the week don’t mean much. I wanted to just shut my eyes and have them all disappear. 

I forced myself not to care, since this was home for tonight. Camping is technically prohibited here, but I had no choice since the next several miles are all in a canyon with little tenting opportunities. For one night only, I have a beachfront home. I made camp after filtering and treating water that these locals were no doubt pissing in.
I shared dinner with a international community of PCT hikers. Anya from Germany, Grasshopper from Japan, and NOBO Lobo from Mexico. 

I ate all the things today. Hiker hunger is for real people. Today I consumed about 5000 calories and it’s not enough. First was a 1000 calorie breakfast, approximately 2000 calories of snacks, a 800 calorie lunch, and a 1200 calorie dinner. I’m still losing weight, and still hungry.

I’m looking forward to two things tomorrow. First, at the 300 mile mark I plan to put my headphones in and turn up the volume and dance like no one is watching to Super Freak by Rick James. Second, I’m taking my hiker trashiness to a new level and I’m going skinny-dipping at Deep Creek Hot Springs. If only I had a donut-beer...


  1. OK, As for the rock formation the first thing that came to my mind was: "Help! I caught between a rock and ... two rocks".

    And, can you video you 'dancing like nobody is watching'? That would be worth posting. Also, I will not post a photo yourself skinny dipping. Johanna shows your posts to her class and it needs to be kept rated 'G'.

    Finally, how did you get that shot of your campsite? Drone? Tied your camera to a thrown trekking pole? Make friends with a bird who took the picture while flying above you? It is a cool photo.

  2. Too late for the video buddy, I’ve already passed 300. I did get a picture though. And I will keep my blog rated however I want, because it’s mine. Sorry kids. Lastly that picture was taken from a bridge that crossed the creek.

  3. It's great to be able to follow your adventure. I look forward to reading it each day!

  4. Rock formation: The headless snowman (or rockman). It looks like the head rock rolled off onto the ground.....or it could be "Off with his head!"