WIND, WIND, WIND

PCT DAY 4: Mile 55.9 – Mile 73.4

Sunday April 17, 2016: 17.5 miles + 1 mile for water (29.6km)

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Eager to get going we packed up and headed off before breakfast. We were stopping a bit down the track to fill up with water so we though we would breakfast there. When out of the wind, the air was pretty warm. Probably the warmest morning we’ve had so far. But the wind did not let up. 

After refilling our water bottles we hiked along a ridge where the wind was so strong at times it felt like your legs were being swept from under you. I thought I could out hike the wind by going faster, but eventually I gave into it.  Hammer on the other hand loved the gusting windy conditions.

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It’s 6am and the first hikers were leaving camp.

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Morning water refill. It was pretty festy cattle trough.

My first bullet shell

The vegetation on the ridges provided little shelter or visual respite from the unrelenting wind.  We hiked with the wind for almost half a day. Feeling wind blasted we eventually started to descent and wind our way down into the valley towards the riad thst keads to the town of Julian. And here the day suddenly started to feel a lot brighter. The wind eased and flowers returned. And I saw my first flowering cactus in the desert. And of course I had to stop for each one,  the colours were so stunning. Who would think that something so unattractive like a cactus could produce such beauty. 

By mid-afternoon it got quite hot as we were were out of the wind and had the sun at our back. By this stage we had also refilled all our water containers so we were hiking with 6L of water each.  We have a stretch of about 32 miles ahead without any water.  We decided to stop 4 miles short of the road into Julian. All up 10 hours of hiking for a total distance of 29.6 kilometres.

Foot tenderising surface to walk on.

The trail just stretches away

We are camped on a ledge overlooking the valley below. A beautiful spot. The sun is about to disappear over the horizon and it is throwing a red glow over the rocks. The best camp spot so far on the PCT.

Amazing to have phone reception in the middle of nowhere. Blog update coming up.

Glorious desert sunset