I Can See Clearly Now…The Rain/Shades Have Gone
Beginning Elevation = 3,400
Peak/Ending Elevation = 4,650
Weather: 50-65°F, mostly sunny, strong gusty winds
I awoke around 6:45am and soon after headed up to the house with a bag of my wet clothes to see if I could put in the dryer. When I arrived, I was surprised at how many hikers were up and going already. Plus, breakfast was being served! I’d heard they make breakfast, but didn’t expect it this early.
Thick fluffy pancakes, some orange slices, and coffee chefed up by “Hoosier Daddy” a volunteer/past PCT thru-hiker. Very filling and tasteful. Many hikers were already geared up and packed up, ready to go, and shuttles started taking crews to the trail. I felt no need to rush away, hoping to get my things dry first. I asked Terrie if I could use the dryer in the garage and she said to go ahead. So, in went my stuff as well as Kool-Aids socks.
The rest of the morning was spent hanging around, packing up my stuff, signing the giant 2019 PCT banner, and helping clean up a bit from the night before. I perused through the forest a bit too and found some more nice rocks.Also, here’s the bandana I danced to get the night before.Our fellow comrades 3 Bean and Foxtail arrived to Casa de Luna in the morning too. They planned to hang for a bit and continue on. It was great to see them again. We also got round 2 of dancing so that they could get their bandanas. Here’s some of the crew hanging (from left to right – Foxtail, Cheer, Stevie Wonder, Songbird, 3 Bean, and Grit)Before leaving, Terrie asks that everyone get a picture taken. I’ll just say that there’s a surprise right before the photo is taken. Maybe I’ll find mine someday, but here’s one of others…I didn’t get back to the trail crossing until 11:15am. Another volunteer drove myself, Kool-Aid, Calzone, and Cheer. Grinder, Grit, and some others got dropped off by Terrie at the same time. Grinder is now going by herself having hiked with Stretch for most of the way. He got off the trail at this point. This was all the hiking he had planned to do for this go around, but hopes to join her up the trail further on in late August.
The trail climbed right away. We all kind of spread out, but if I looked up would see others a ways ahead. For most of the morning I was following along behind Grit who I learned is a very steady paced hiker. She, Kool-Aid, Calzone, Cheer, and myself had lunch together.
Here’s saying goodbye to Green ValleyAnd some other views
At one point, I caught up to Calzone at this small cave. I did some spelunking (it only went in 25 feet or so).
And later on, we saw these tracks…
We believe a small mountain lion (or a dog)? Scared us a bit. Towards the end of the day, the four of us (Calzone, Cheer, Kool-Aid, and myself) stayed together. It was super windy and getting chillier. Quite pretty as we climbed into a mixed forest with some pine trees.
We ended up finding a nice spot together and had our various dinners.
By this time it was quite cold and we were still chilled even with our puffys on. My dinner consisted of casserole delicious, chocolate pudding, hot chocolate, and a Snickers bar! Kool-Aid did a combo of chicken flavored ramen and Korean spicy ramen noodles. I believe Cheer had some vegan chili of sorts and Calzone had a deluxe Pad Thai backpacker pantry meal.
There were also rumors of a bear in the area, so we did our best with our food with what we had. Up until this point, I’ve kept my food in my pack in the vestibule of my tent. Tonight, we all put them a little way away and tried to hang in a tree. Yes, we know bears could still get them, but better than nothing without having rope. Soon, we’ll be required to have bear cans, which are basically big plastic barrels that bears aren’t supposed to be able to open. My bag was at least “odor-proof” supposedly.If you’re wondering how I got that up there, you underestimate my tree climbing abilities!