PCT day 3

May 17

Boulder Oak Creek to above Long Canyon Creek

Mile 26 to mile 40

The fog rolled in overnight. Everything was drippy and wet, my tent and socks on the clothesline included. My feet felt like wooden blocks. It took a few minutes of lurching around before they warmed up enough to move properly.

You know what’s great on a foggy morning? Any morning, really. A toilet. Even if it is a stinky pit toilet in a stall with never-scrubbed walls and no fresh flowers by the sink. (Man, I miss Japanese clean.) I predict that there will be many moments on this trail when I miss Japanese toilets. 

I packed up my wet rainfly and shuffled off down the path. Wherever the healthy and fast crowd had stayed last night, I saw no sign of them. Mostly I saw lizards. No snakes yet. There were a great many holes in the ground. Probably the snakes are hiding in those holes. Either that, or the maniac squirrels are attempting to undermine the path, collapse the earth under my feet so I twist my ankle.

Maybe not, but there are a lot of holes. People who have the fear of irregularly spaced holes (Trypophobia) would be uncomfortable on this trail. I suppose if you wanted to confront a weird hole phobia, and walk a lot and be real dirty, the PCT would be perfect.

I may have had a short day yesterday, but I still needed plenty of breaks. Today, my left shoulder was the weak link. It got sore before everything else. I walked until it ached so much I can’t stand it, then I’d stop. Taking the backpack off and on was an ordeal so mostly I just leaned against rocks. For lunch I ate something in a tortilla. Then I plodded on at my excruciatingly slow pace. 

Around dusk I was paralleling a creek down in a ravine. I needed water but I didn’t want to bushwhack through sticker bushes and poison oak. Finally I came to the creek crossing where I could filter water. As I pulled out my water gear, a sleeping bag covered figure popped up in the field beside the stream. “Oh hi,” said the sleeping bag. “I didn’t know anyone was there.” It laid back down. Cold night air was already sliding down the valley. I wanted to camp further up. So I crossed the stream and climbed up the canyon for another hour. Finally I came to a wooded area on the ridge and in the dark I found a flat enough spot for my tent, which was slimy after being put away wet this morning.

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