March 25, Day 15
PCT Mile 206, Snow Canyon Road Faucet.
Last night was pretty chilly. It was 32.3 degrees this morning. I absolutely love my sleeping bag. I was warm and toasty all night. About 11:30 the wind picked up and howled all night long. Fortunately I postitioned my tent almostt perfectly and was protected from the wind for the most part. When an exceptionally large gust would come through it would rattle my tent.
I hit the trail about 7:15 this morning. I felt it rather late, but with the temperature as it was, I loitered in my sleeping bag later than usual.
Once I rolled out of my bag and got dressed the chill didnt bother me too much. I had numerous more snow fields to cross today. One of them got the best of me and I fell for the first time since starting my hike. Fortunately I just fell to my side, so I really didnt do much damage. Im sure tomorrow morning will be the real test of how my body took the fall.
Starting first thing this morning, the trail was in descent mode. over 18 miles the trail drops about 6500 feet in elevation. It was a very tough day on the body. The trail aside from being a descent for 18 miles is overgrown in a multitude of sections. So there was lots of brush to contend with.
Also, this is a 20 mile dry section, so I had to carry all the water I would need all day. I left camp this morning with just shy of 5 liters. Another long heavy water carry.
For those of you that don’t want to hear me bitch and complain skip to the next paragraph.
The designer of this section of trail needs to be slapped. This is how I imagine the planning of this part of the trail. Someone asked him if he would design a trail through the san jacinto mountains down to the valley. He said, “sure!” Being the sadist that he is, he went and got drunk, and then looked at the map of the mountain. He found every single conceivable way he could screw with a hiker. Let’s find the most rugged sections on the mountain and build a trail. For good measure we will throw in several metric tons of loose rock every mile. Then we will add 10 miles of switch backs. After designing and creating the trail, we will let it grow over for 10 years before we will let anyone use it. Here and there we will throw in hidden rocks that will serve to trip you. Basically, we will try to make your day a living hell. To sum up the trail today, where I am camped from where I started this morning is 4.2 miles as the crow flies. I hiked 18 miles today and dropped 6500 feet. Enough said.
Other than the futility of trying to enjoy today’s hike, I’m in good spirits. I crossed the 200 mile mark today. I also met a thru hiker from Mississippi named Sampson. He’s a mid 50s married man with an imposing stature and a melodic southern twang to his chatter. Very nice guy. He hiked the AT in 2013.
I also met two hikers from Oregon, that rolled into camp later this evening. I haven’t yet caught there names.
The views today were great, as I have always enjoyed the scenery in this area, Tonight promises to be significantly warmer than last night, as a heat wave is about to hit. It supposed to get to the mid 90s tomorrow.
I cross Interstate 10 tomorrow. Yay, my second major freeway crossing.
More on that tomorrow! Thanks for reading!
Look what I found today….