PCT 2020 Day 27

Thunder Rolls, Lightnin’ Strikes, and Spam

Turns out, the views from camp weren’t just beautiful during sunset. The bright morning sun showcased some pretty scenes as well…

We trekked along enjoying the premium viewpoints…

And at one point, crossed over this oddly foamy creek.

This was quite the special feature for the day, but even so, the most memorable event was yet to come.

After lunch, in the early afternoon, we started seeing dark clouds up ahead. I don’t recall if lightning was actually spotted at that time or not, but it was enough that we had a little team meeting to discuss things. The problem was that we were about to start a very exposed hike up onto a ridge of sorts. Not a great place to be in a lightning storm. After checking Guthooks, utilizing my memories of hiking this section the previous year, and weighing the options, we decided to go for it.

Well, to bring back a favorite adjective utilized on the trail, things got sketchy.

Rain, wind, thunder, and lightning in the vicinity seeming to come up over top the other hidden side of the ridge. My recollections are a bit foggy, but I’m sure if asked, my fellow hikers would agree that looking back on it, we had made a poor decision to hike through the storm and we were all a bit terrified because of it. We were so exposed on the bare side of the mega hill that I believe at one point, we stopped and each got into the lightning position, distancing ourselves from each other, squatting down low, and removing anything conductive. At some point we decided we needed to go for it. We booked it up to the high point and then down to the nearest trees, pretty much running with pack straps pulled tight toward the end. About the time we got there, things lightened up a bit. At least that’s my memory of it all. And, once there near trees, lower, and by the lake, we were all still a bit frightened and mentally shook. A long break was had. Lesson learned today.

Sometimes, when things are real shitty on trail, something good unexpectedly arrives out of nowhere and things get better. That’s sort of what happened here. We got some trail magic, although we were all so drained that I don’t think we were the most talkative and welcoming to the folks offering us their sandwiches. A couple had pulled up in a Jeep while we were sitting there asking us about the trail and such, but as I said, we were maybe a tad closed off, or at least I think I was. But it was quite nice of them.

After a while, our spunk returned. I think we had a nice stone skipping /throwing session targeting the random log stumps out in the lake.

We eventually got moving again and hiked through some more beautiful terrain. The clouds remained and rain was threatening enough for us to keep our gear on, or at least out and at the ready.

Appartently, I was all smiles by the time we reached camp (and bearded and a bit rugged/haggard-looking)…

Back at the Kennedy Meadows North resupply, we’d all decided to pick up some Spam packets. For me, this is something that if not quite routine, is at least commonplace as an additive to my meals. I like it. The thing is though, if you’ve ever had it, you know that there’s a bit of a unique texture to the “meat” and it comes surrounded in a substance that can only be described as, slimy. Thus, my friends Cheer and Calzone, were questioning their appetites for it.

So, maybe Spam night wasn’t a hit. Pretty sure I ended up having double portions 🙂

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