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Friday, May 25, 2018

PCT - Day 36: 5/24/2018 - An Opera to filter water with

Trail miles: 21.7 from 587.3 - 609.0
Miles hiked: 22.6

I left camp a bit after 6:00 am and hiked alone while eating my 800 calorie breakfast. I watched the sun rise over a few windmills, and I could already feel the heat. 

The trail climbed relentlessly on this cloudless and windless morning. By 7:00 am I was sweating like a pig. To my surprise, Ziploc snuck up on me on the trail. I was very happy to see my German friend and gave her a big hug. We continued together until we were about 8 miles into our day where we stopped and took a 15 minute break. 

We talked a bunch and our 15 minute break became a 45 minute break since neither of us were really interested in continuing uphill in the heat. Yet, somehow we found ourselves hiking again. We pushed past 6000 feet in elevation and the terrain was much prettier than I anticipated. My hiking was slowed by me taking lots of photos and I found myself hiking solo again.

Solo Hiking

Name these flowers?

"You talking to me?"

What are these? 
Somewhere around mile 598 I rolled my right ankle spraining it mildly. I continued along in moderate pain to the 600 mile milestone where I found HoosierDaddy and Ziploc taking photos. It was a proud moment so I quickly took a photo, but I was more interested in getting to the Robin Bird Spring to eat my late lunch, get water, and take my shoes off.

Mile 600
When I arrived at the spring, maybe 8-10 other hikers were there and there was a hiker clothes line on a log where tents, jackets, and sleeping bags were drying off in the sun from the previous night’s condensation.

Hikers and Drying Rack
At the spring, I met Misfit from Maui, and an older couple named Rocket and Stockings from my home state of Colorado. It was good to talk to these guys. They are legit mountaineers and we shared some fun stories about fun couloirs to climb in Colorado, etc.

When leaving the spring, I stepped off the trail to let Tapeworm go by at his normal turbo speed. My step into the scrub landed less than a foot from a baby rattlesnake. 

Rattles or Gopher snake?
Thankfully, he just slithered away. Quickly I caught up with a guy named Peanut Butter with whom I’ve crossed paths with a few times. We hiked together and had a good meaningful conversation about our respective families, relationship challenges, and other miscellaneous real life topics. I really like Peanut Butter; the person, not the nasty stuff you ruin jelly sandwiches with.

During our last couple miles, after I stopped to take a close up of a gopher snake, we ran into a trail angel named Cinnabon who gave us the most awesome information that she had just refilled water caches at mile 616 and mile 631. The section from 609 to 650 is often one of the driest, and this information allows us all to not have to carry a crazy amount of water for those 40 miles. We thanked her with hugs and a group photo.

left to right: Peanut Butter, HooiserDaddy, Cinnabon, Circus Act, Ziploc

When we arrived at Landers Meadow Spring, I was considering pushing three more miles, but everyone else was staying, so I decided to stay too. Hearing Opera sing to herself while filtering water was extra motivation to stay put. I just love hearing her voice.

Ziploc and I camped in a close vicinity like we seem to do a lot. It’s comfortable to have a good friend within earshot so we can still talk when it’s approaching hiker midnight.  

Campsite Sunset
Around 6:30 pm, we all gathered as a large group around Misfit’s tent and had a thru hiker dinner. It was a lot of fun and there were many smiles and laughs.

Dinner time at Camp
Tomorrow a cold front with lots of wind is supposed to show up. I guess the lower temperatures are actually a good thing, that’s assuming I can find a sheltered spot to camp away from the wind.


  1. Interesting that you shared the trail with Peanut Butter. I follow his blog (Dan Soyka) at; You can tell him that I like Peanut Butter with mayonnaise. Hope you don't encounter a thru hiker named that.