THE HILLS ARE ALIVE
PCT DAY 63: Mile 1047 – Mile 1066
Wednesday June 15, 2016: 19 miles (30.4 km)
The rolling scour and howling of the wind woke us up this morning. We were camped behind a huge fallen log so we had good protection from the wind. The wind seems to have intensified and came in waves. It reminded me of breaking waves onshore and the wind gusts arrived with similar rhythmic regularity. Hammer was first outside the tent as usual and declared the wind not to be too bad. He thought it sounded worse than it felt when outside the tent. No point in delaying it, I got packed up and we are on our way just after 6 a.m.
We camped near Red Cross who was just waking up as we were leaving. She had run out of gas and we said we would give her some for coffee down the track when she catches up with us.
For the first couple of hours this morning we were hiking on icy snow witha few patches of trail exposed.
Another Swiss hiker, D caught up with us just off Highway 4 crossing. Lovely guy and we we walked with him for a bit before letting him go as he had big miles to make today.
Just before Kinney Lake we followed some footprints which in the end led us off the trail. A bit of cross-country hiking and rock hopping and we were back on the trail. We realized that Red Cross must have gone past while we were off trail. We could see her shoe prints in the snow and we did not see her for the rest of the day. I hope she got her coffee somehow.
Once we were off the snow, the hiking was absolutely delightful.Flower filled mountain slopes and the most wonderful aroma of herbs as you brush past. The hills are alive after the big thaw. There were sections that looked almost desert like and you come around the corner and there’s more snow.
The winds we started with never let up today. It was bitterly cold and in sections was so strong it felt like it could knock you off your feet. As the afternoon progresses the clouds gathered a light rain started to fall. We soon realized it was so cold the rain was actually small icicles. We had plans to hike longer but we got so cold we stopped before we rose any higher in elevation, near the Nipple.
The geology was not as varied as yesterday but still presented a walk through time. I wish I knew more about the geological history of the valleys and the canyons we have been passing through.
Today is the coldest we have been while hiking. We stopped when we lost all feeling in hands and feet despite having dry feet. We set up camp before 5 p.m. and were asleep half an hour later.