Section Hike Completed
Saturday May 20
Sleeping in my tent was about 1000% better than cowboy camping on Thursday night. Especially, after hearing Cam & Moth Balls freak out at the spider infestation close to their tents just as I’m drifting into a very deep sleep. Although, we camped near water there were no signs of condensation and hiking up above 8,000ft meant the temperatures would be more moderate today. I decided to start the morning hiking alone to reflect on my experience hiking the PCT in 2016 and to dream about my goals for 2018. The Class of 2017 was charging hard up the climb but I prefer to start out a bit slower and ease into the day. I know that “Poodle Dog” thrives in open burn areas but I was surprised to see it this far South. It looked as though the majority of it had been removed by a trail crew. My umbrella was pitched early and it provided some much needed shade before climbing into the forest canopy. Some hikers asked about my section hike and others were more curious about my experiences Thru hiking last year. I offered up some words of encouragement but the truth is once your body adapts it’s a mental game and there’s really no way to tell ahead of time who will drop out vs. make it to Manning Park. Hike Your Own Hike!!
We all stopped about 5 miles into the day at a Spring. A couple of hikers were running low on food so I gave one dude the rest of my bars and another guy the last few tortillas left in my food bag. Last year, Hollywood called me Hungry Horse since I was eating constantly on trail and with a long stride “galloped” along the tread. Luckily, for me it was easy to get extra calories from hikers packing too much weight. I still had almost 12 miles to go and both Cam & Moth Balls provided snacks to hold me over. Today, it was just a little over 16 miles up to Onyx Summit. By all accounts a relaxed stroll compared to yesterday. My ol’ friend chafe made a surprise appearance yesterday afternoon. Luckily, it was tolerable and did not impact my ability to make miles. After another stop to rest in the shade I set off yet again to hike alone. I wanted to soak up every last minute of this magnificent experience.
Once we reached Onyx Summit we paused for a few moments to take group photos, and wait for our Uber driver to arrive. It was about an hours drive back to retrieve our shuttle car. Hiking on the PCT for only two days is really just a grain of sand next to the ocean in comparison to the entire transformational experience one undergoes throughout a Thru Hike. Still it was very important for me to complete the trail. I love everything about hiking, what it has taught me about myself, the friends I’ve made, and the dreams that have stirred up in my imagination. No doubt I’ll be hitting another trail down the road.
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