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Saturday, May 26, 2018

PCT - Day 37: 5/25/2018 - Soft Sand, Wind, and a Nightclub

Trail miles: 25.2 from 609.0 - 634.2
Miles hiked: 25.7

Sunrise 37
I was up early and rolled out of camp at 5:25 am. I hiked alone on the beautiful trail for a few miles. I was briefly above the clouds until the trail descended to the desert floor. I was rocking out to a mix of Green Day and Ice Cube and sang along as I flew down the first seven miles to a water cache at mile 616.

Desert Lupin
Today a cold front had moved through and the result was lower temperatures for our shade less hike across the desert. My only company on the trail was Joshua trees, lizards, and endless soft sand.

At mile 12, I stopped and took a short break to let my feet breathe. I sat there pondering my life, my marriage, my career, all of it. I asked myself the question “Why do people need so much stuff to live happily?” I was on day 37 of essentially living out of my backpack and I was mostly content.

Simple life
When I started hiking again, I received a text message from my daughter where she told me she missed me. It brought a tear to my eye and made me more motivated. I really miss her.
Text from daughter
Sixteen miles into my day, I caught up with HoosierDaddy and Ziploc who were hunkered under a Joshua tree eating lunch. When I joined them, I learned that Shank and Pocket Knife had a personal issue come up back home and were getting off trail briefly.

Desert view 
On my two breaks today, I ate a ton of food. Hiker hunger has hit me fully. I spent the last mile into Bird Spring Pass thinking in detail about Chili Cheese Fritos, Mountain Dew, and ice cream.

It was VERY windy at Bird Spring Pass, but my ankle was screaming from hiking 22 miles in mostly soft sand all day. HoosierDaddy and I stopped while Ziploc, Opera, and Tapeworm continued on.

Cowboy camping was the only option since the wind was insane, even in our slightly protected spot behind a couple Joshua trees. I ate dinner of cous cous with Shitake mushrooms.
Cous Cous

After eating the wind was howling, so we made the tough decision to hike on until we found a good cowboy camping spot out of the wind.

HoosierDaddy and I left the Bird Spring area at 6:20 pm and powered up the mountain. We were on a mission. The wind was gusting over 60 mph and throwing us around and knocking us off our feet. 

We covered three miles and gained 1500 feet in one hour and ten minutes. We finally arrived at the spot where Tapeworm, Opera, and Ziploc were camping just after a glorious sunset over the desert below.

Desert Sun  Setting 


Desert View
Tapeworm was cowboy camping because the wind kept knocking his tent down. HoosierDaddy found a good spot to cowboy camp, and Ziploc offered for me to join her in her nightclub (it’s a big tent with lights, so we call it the nightclub). I graciously accepted, hoping that we could keep each other from freezing to death tonight.

Sunset # 37

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