PCT Day 86, Mile 1221 to Middle Fork Feather River (mile 1247)

Day 86
Mile 1221 to Middle Fork Feather River (mile 1247), 26 miles
Cost: Camped by the river, free

As we went to sleep last night we were trying to figure out how far behind Mr & Mrs Smith were (probably only a couple of miles) and how far ahead Teflon & Shepherd were – possibly 10 miles ahead?

We didn’t get rained on which was nice but I did wake quite often through the night and saw stormy clouds passing overhead. 

KC and I left camp just after 7am, hoping for a 26 mile day and also hoping to meet the others. There were a few climbs and after the second big one we decided to have a break under a tree on top and eat a second breakfast. Treeman & Hedgehog were also there taking a break. After about 10 minutes, Mr & Mrs Smith came past 🙂 Turns out they were camped 1/10 of a mile behind us last night but didn’t know about the campsite we had found! Mr Smith handed me my groundsheet which I had accidentally left behind drying on a railing at the church. 

We left together and decided to make our next water source, Alder Spring, our lunch break. It was a lovely spring with delicious, cold water and we found a nice shady spot under a tree to eat lunch. I was so hungry I cooked ramen and ate it in a tortilla with hot sauce – it wasn’t too bad.


When we started walking again just after lunch, I rolled my ankle again, what seems to be a daily occurrence now. Usually it makes a loud pop, sends a shooting pain through my foot, I feel sick for a second but then I’m able to put my weight on it again. Today it was the most excruciating pain and I was really worried that I wouldn’t be able to stand on it at all. I told the others to go ahead (they didn’t until I insisted), I took painkillers and ibuprofen, then I very slowly tried to walk. I was incredibly slow and the painkillers didn’t kick in for at least an hour. Each step brought tears to my eyes. 

Just when I thought it was getting easier to put my weight on my ankle, I felt a stinging sensation on my right calf. I looked down and saw a large yellow bee. Seriously?! Of all the moments to get stung by a bee, this just didn’t feel fair. The sting burnt and throbbed but at least it hadn’t left behind its guts on my leg. 

There was one long 3.5 mile descent to get to the campsite we had chosen and the others were worried how I would cope with the downhill on my ankle. I thought it was probably better to do it today while my ankle was warm rather than first thing in the morning before it had had a chance to warm up, so we pushed on. 


The view of the gorge as we came to the bridge over the Middle Fork Feather River was stunning. We’re camped with Dundee, Lone Star, Treeman, Hedgehog, Mr Clean & Sinbad, by the river. 


       We set up our tents then all went down to the river to wash clothes and bathe before dinner. I happened to have a snickers from England in my food bag, as well as one from America, so we had a blind tasting and everyone agreed they tasted very different. The UK snickers won the taste test. The other interesting thing is that the UK normal size snickers is half the size of the American one!


6 responses to “PCT Day 86, Mile 1221 to Middle Fork Feather River (mile 1247)

  1. You are so brave to keep going with the ankle problem. Take care of it as best you can. REmember that you are still walking with Kukai – do gyo ni nin and many people are keeping their hopes up for you. Everything is temporary and all will be ok.


  2. I started planning a PCT hike in April, and had bought a pair of light weight ankle high boots to wear. But then research showed many hikers just wore running shoes or low cut hiking shoes.

    On PCT day 42 ( was Google searching ‘Walker Pass’) is when I started reading your hiking blog. When your ankle rolled on Kearsage Pass I started having doubt’s about low cut shoes. I had just bought a pair of low cut shoes, and that could have been my ankle doing the rolling.. In late June took the low cut hiking shoes back to the store and got a 2nd pair of light weight ankle high boots.

    I know better.. I have seen a lot of twisted ankles on hiking trails in my days… all helped by wearing low cut shoes… Am glad I started reading about your trek. Hope the ankle and knee get better..

    Luv all the good pics.. Specially the one over this bridge.. The shot upstream where the guy was sitting on some rocks near the stream… Only in the full size image could he be seen. That’s a great camera you’ve got.


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