Week 4: Heat wave + night hiking

Day 22 | Mile 380.5-406.6

The highlights of today were the Mt Williamson summit (which was pretty but not really worth the extra mile since there were similarly amazing views on trail), the Highway 2 road walk, and trail magic! Since there hasn’t been much road walking so far on the PCT, it was interesting to experience it for a few miles, and since the road had so little traffic it was actually very pleasant. As I was turning off the road to get back on trail, I saw a trail magic sign and was so excited when I realized the date on the sign was today’s date. Thank you to Ray for the grilled cheese, cookies, and potato chips! It was a lovely break in the day before continuing on the road a few more miles and making it to camp.

Day 23 | Mile 406.6-433.1

My first marathon day on trail (little did I know that I would be doing much more than this just a few days later…) Trail today felt pretty easy and cruisy and I was just having a good time walking so I carried past where I was planning to camp, and I enjoyed hiking as the sun was setting to where I eventually cowboy camped near a road crossing. Today reminded me that hiking through the evening and into the night can be fun and a good way to escape the heat!

Day 24 | Mile 433.1-454.4

Today was a rare double town day! Though I was a little slow getting out of camp in the morning, it was a relatively chill 11 miles down into the RV park near Acton and, motivated by the prospect of treats, I made quick work of it. I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces hanging out at the store there, and the ice cream and Monster I treated myself to were everything I could’ve hoped for. In the afternoon, I finished the 10 mile hike to Agua Dulce, once again motivated by the good things I heard about the Mexican restaurant, Maria Bonita, in town. It was cool walking through some unique rock formations, and I enjoyed the strangeness of the tunnel under the highway. Maria Bonita was delicious, though I felt slightly ill by the time I finished my huge plate of nachos (the sign of a good restaurant stop!). The restaurant is extremely hiker friendly and let us charge our devices, fill up water, and camp in the nearby field, which was much appreciated as I did not have any more walking in me after all the town food!

So so yummy

Day 25 | Mile 454.4-478.2

I ended up sleeping in a bit and getting coffee and pastries in town, which meant that I was doing some big climbs during the afternoon in a heat wave. I *probably* should have left town early but the promise of good coffee was far too tempting, though I was regretting this decision when it felt like the sun was absolutely broiling me in my sun hoody. Though the climbs were pretty miserable (especially since any shade to take breaks in had many many flies), I pushed through and night hiked to the fire station where I ended up cowboy camping in a picnic pavilion.

suffering!


Day 26 | Mile 478.2-506.7

Scarred from the experience of yesterday, I started hiking at 4am today (which felt a little brutal considering how late I got into camp the previous night, but little did I know that this was just the start of the sleep deprivation the next couple of days). I ran into Morgan, Pumpkin, and Popeye and hiked with them for a few miles. After some intense uphill in the sun (I’ve never felt so hot at 9am before), I made it to the next water source where there was a big group of hikers. I ended up pushing another 2ish miles from there to a dirt road where Morgan, Pumpkin, Pope, Popeye, and I ended up taking a siesta. This was my first proper multiple hour lunch break on trail, and it was definitely the move for getting miles in during the heat wave! Also a thank you to Morgan and Pope for sharing some of their food— I’m still figuring out how much I need to buy at resupplies and I definitely under bought at the last stop, but I learned my lesson and won’t make that mistake again! We hiked another 6 miles to a cistern (and passed mile 500 on the way!) and then I ended up cowboy camping in a field another 4 or so miles after that. I didn’t get to bed til almost 11pm but at least I wasn’t hiking during the heat of the day!


Day 27/Night 27/Day 28 | Mile 506.7-558.5

This has been the craziest 48 hours on trail so far! I woke up early again and pushed the last 10.9 miles into Hikertown where a bunch of hikers had started to congregate. I got a ride into Neenach market for a light resupply to get me to Tehachapi and ended up consuming a giant thing of ice cream, which hurt a little but I think was necessary. The rest of the morning and afternoon was spent chatting with other hikers at Hikertown and trying and failing to get some sleep in the shade. The heat wave that was passing through was so intense that I was sweating even while lying down. I ended up leaving Hikertown around 6pm for the LA aqueduct night hike/rave, and with the company of many other hikers and the help of much sugar, caffeine, and chemicals I walked all night! Glow sticks, good music, and awesome company made this section so much fun. People peeled off from the group at various points to hike ahead or to set up camp, and I ended up crashing at around 5am. I tried to sleep for an hour or so, but I was still so awake and ended up just continuing to walk. I had planned to make it to Tehachapi the following day, but given that I wasn’t sleeping I decided to push on! The rest of the day was surreal and so challenging— I began to get really tired on the climb out of Tylerhorse Canyon, and from then on I was in full zombie mode. The sun was hot, the trail was exposed, and I had been awake for well over 24 hours at this point. I eventually made it to Willow Springs Road, where I greatly enjoyed some trail magic (thank you again Jay!) and got a ride into Tehachapi with a few other hikers. We checked into the motel and I got a calzone (being in a restaurant at this point was a surreal experience) and then promptly passed out at around 8pm. I ended up being awake for 40 hours and hiking 51.8 miles, and will now be taking a much needed double zero in Tehachapi!

Joshua tree!

This climb was not okay

 

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Comments 2

  • Chris : Jun 10th

    If I were to hike 51.8 miles, I’d be taking a week off. Great job!

    Reply
  • jhony : Jun 10th

    Yow! “I ended up being awake for 40 hours and hiking 51.8 miles” kinda sounds like ANISH. Now think of that for 60 days, how long she took to do the PCT.
    • Regardless. I am impressed and positive I could not accomplish what you die. Kudos big time!

    Reply

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