Mile 1305 to mile 1330, 25 miles
Cost: camped, free
We woke in a thick fog and everyone’s tents were wet with condensation. We packed up slowly with our tents hanging out to dry on trees but the sun couldn’t penetrate through the fog so we ended up packing them away wet, knowing we would have to stop and dry them out later in the day when the sun came out.
There was an obstacle course of trees all day long, some you had to climb over, under and some you could walk around – it felt like a full body workout! Towards the end of the day there was even a tunnel of trees and scrub that you had to climb through. I managed it on all 4s with my pack on, but the others had to throw their pack ahead of them and then crawl through!
Reaching the halfway point feels like a massive mile stone and motivator. It also feels like it’s taken FOREVER to get here!! My average for the past 90 days looks like this:
70 walking days
6 Nero’s (less than 10 mile days)
14 Zeros (no walking days)
The average miles per day including nero’s and zeros is 14.8 (not so good). If I take out the zeros, the average miles per day is 17.5 (slightly better). If I just calculate the average using the walking days (more than 10 miles), then the average is 19 miles per day…
I should be able to improve these averages in the second half because Oregon is supposed to be easier (so I’ve heard) and there are apparently less places to be able to stop throughout Oregon and Washington. I don’t regret the amount of time it’s taken, I’m playing the tourist role too, but I do need to finish before my 6 month visa runs out and before the snow starts in Washington!
The next big motivator will be leaving California and entering Oregon, because California takes up most of the PCT!
We raced all day to get to the highway so we could hitch into Chester – I had somehow managed to convince everyone that going into Chester for dinner was a great idea and that we could celebrate hitting the halfway mark but then we needed to make sure we got back to the trail and didn’t get sucked into the vortex of a trail town and end up staying the night as we so often did. We tried hitching on the highway for 25 minutes (at 6pm on a Saturday night) but started to think it might be harder for the 4 of us to be picked up than we originally thought. There was a sign nearby with the name and number for a trail angel called Piper’s mum. I called the number and Piper’s mum answered and promptly said she was on her way and would be there in 20 minutes (she thought it was near to impossible that the 4 of us would get picked up). She was so lovely and dropped us off at Pine Shack Frosty – the best burger joint, chilli cheese fries and milkshakes on the trail. (I don’t drink milk but the others said this).
Piper’s mum didn’t like our chances of getting a ride back to the trail (she thought that most drivers would be drunk late on a Saturday night) and suggested we stay the night in town. After dinner, one of us wanted to stay, one wanted to save money and not stay in a hotel, one of us was indifferent and I kinda wanted us to get back on the trail so we could prove it was possible to not get sucked into trail towns…
We decided to see if anyone would pick us up and the car that did stop actually proved Piper’s mum’s theory about the Saturday night drivers. (But we didn’t realise this until all 4 packs were in the boot and we were in the car). Amazingly he drove the speed limit, stayed in his lane and was one of the best drivers of any hitch I’ve had yet. (My hitching experiences have been a little crazy of late!)
We were dropped off back at the trail and started hiking around 8:30pm. We walked a mile then found a flat space to camp in as it got dark. The mozzies were relentless again and made setting up camp quite an ordeal!