52.6 to 68.4
Pioneer Mail to Rodriguez Spring Road
Here are my firsts:
First time I smelled soap on a day hiker.
First time I forgot my poles and had to walk back to the water cache.
First night cowboy camping on the PCT.
I camped at the last official water stop for 15 miles. I tried to camel up in the morning but it just makes me pee a lot. Which I didn’t notice until I pulled on the Big Burrito and tightened the belt. Then I didn’t want to take off the pack, so I tried doing a squat pee with the pack on. Which works going down, but coming back up takes quite a bit of quad power.
I don’t think I was really meant to camp at Pioneer Mail but I set up after dark. I cannot resist a picnic table and a toilet. Having a table means I don’t have to spread everything on the ground and bend over all the time. And have a place to sit down. It’s amazing how a little bit of furniture feels so convenient and civilized.
It wasn’t really a dry 15 miles because there are trail angels that leave water caches. I had plenty of heavy water so I left the caches for people who were dry.
Pretty much everyone is faster than me. I stood aside to let plenty of people pass while I passed no one. They also walked by when I was taking breaks under bushes or on rocks. I might be taking too many breaks.
Night fell and I kept hiking into the dark. The moon was about a quarter slice and I could hike through the brush without a flashlight. It seemed safe enough, although every once in a while I’d get a shiver of the creepies. For once, my feet and shoulders felt numb to the aches that had plagued me all day.
At Rodriguez Spring Road, where another water cache waited, I saw the light of a headlamp.
A man’s voice yelled, “You made it, Brother!”
“Oh, thanks.” I said, even though I am no one’s brother.
I found a nice bush and spread out my tarp. Since it was a clear, windless night, I decided to forego the tent tonight. I watched satellites and stars and tried not to think about snakes.