Where Is the Tent Bag? Eagle Rock to Paradise Valley Cafe – Day 11-13 on the PCT
Location: The Desert
Start: mile 116.0
End: mile 131.5
Miles hiked: 15.5
It was so cold this morning! Allie and I waited 30 mins and then got up at 5:45 a.m. when it was a little warmer. The morning was cold, misty, and uphill. Allie was having a hard time with her feet aching so when we stopped to get water, I carried her food bag and she was very happy to have a lighter pack. She took the weight back after lunch. Also at the water, I helped Bigfoot and his wife get water since they had no way to scoop it. I used my Cnoc water bladder that you can open the back of and used it as a scooper.
The terrain today went from normal Southern California desert to a really neat big boulder field and then past a ton of wildflowers. I really enjoyed the blue ones. There are a surprising amount of wildflowers out here.
The ducks and Rolls Royce and Ellie were not at our camp tonight. We stopped at the site we wanted and were the first hikers to make it to camp! That never happens when we are with the ducks. We got the best spot and made a nice dinner of mashed sweet potatoes and Mac n cheese.
While setting up the tent, I thought I had lost the tent bag and ended up getting everyone around (Sammy and Indie) to help look. After a while, I found it under my shoes! I am very grateful to everyone who helped look.
I am much happier today than yesterday, it’s nice when it is just Allie and me. We are feeling good tonight but the climb down to camp was really tough on our feet. Allie’s were aching as she was trying to fall asleep. I am really impressed by how well she is doing. She is getting stronger quickly and really aced the climb today. Tomorrow we go 13ish miles and then 5 miles the next day to Paradise Valley Cafe (PVC)! PVC is a famous restaurant right next to the trail that has good food and is friendly to hikers.
Location: The Desert
Start: mile 131.5
End: mile 145.4
Miles hiked: 13.9
In the morning, Allie and I felt really strong. It was a really hot day though and in the afternoon we took a two hour lunch under a tree and met Eagle Eye, Outlaw, and Penguin Superfeet! It was nice of them to share. That tree was the only one around! It was a lot of climbing all day and the heat was really tough.
For our mid-day water, I walked down a dirt road and had to climb down an embankment to Tule Spring. I don’t mind steep climbing and in exchange for me getting the water, Allie filters it and makes my electrolyte drink. We are finding lots of opportunities like that to use teamwork and it makes a big difference.
Two miles from Mary’s hiker oasis, Allie felt the effects of heat exhaustion, low blood sugar and dehydration. I was also feeling low blood sugar from our rushed resupply at the Montezuma market. We barely had enough food and the food we did have was pretty unappetizing. After some Nuun (electrolyte drink), some peanut butter, rest and going slow, Allie and I made it to Mary’s place where we made a quick dinner and rested and then spent the night.
Mary’s place was really nice, with tables and a little library and a big water tank. The only annoying part was the barking of many dogs as we were trying to fall asleep.
Location: The Desert
Start: mile 145.4
End: mile 155.7
Miles hiked: 10.3
Today we arrived at PVC at nine a.m. and stayed there until 3:30 p.m. Allie found our resupply box and our box with our microspikes and we had a nice breakfast. The breakfast burrito was ginormous! We also charged our electronics and had burgers for lunch. It turned out that I lost my wall plug so we just had Allie’s. I ordered another one to the next town: Idyllwild.
I ran into Sunshine (I hiked some of the AT with her in 2018) It was a fun surprise because I thought she was far ahead and I wouldn’t get to see her. It was really nice to catch up and to introduce her to Allie. Sunshine did the CDT in 2019 (and vlogged it for The Trek) and the PCT this year is the last trail of her triple crown!
We hiked 4ish miles in the evening and set up camp at a solo spot. Allie and I had a heart to heart and she let me know that she was miserable and didn’t know if she wanted to continue the trail. She was really afraid of disappointing me but couldn’t hold that inside. Her ability to say what she is feeling and express her emotions is one of my favorite traits about her – it’s such a useful skill.
We talked it out and decided that we are going to leave the ducks after Idywild and just focus on our hike and us. We are also going to increase our amount of Nero’s and zeros and rest and make sure that we are doing everything we can to enjoy the trail. We are going to see if that helps and then reassess.
The trail is extremely challenging and extremely difficult. Every day we are tired, sore, and dirty and it is excruciating seeing Allie so miserable. It’s also tough because our life before the trail was actually really excellent. We are not out here to find ourselves or to run away from something. We are here to share a unique experience with each other and to work together to overcome any challenges that come our way.
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