PCT DAY 78: Mile 1309.5 – Mile 1328.8
Thursday June 30, 2016: 19.3 miles (30.9 km)
I was startled awake at 3 am by the sound of vegetation being crunched around the tent. I lay still hoping it was going away but it moved around somewhere near us. I woke Hammer whose instant reaction was, don’t worry it’s probably a deer. By the time he got a torch and went outside to investigate whatever it was had moved on.
It was difficult to get back to sleep. I lay awake for a little while then decided that I might as well have a coffee and pack up.
We broke camp and were on our way just after 5 am. The morning air was cool and there was a light breeze blowing, perfect hiking conditions. There was a spring about a mile ahead where we were going to stop to get water. But when we got to the side trail leading down to the spring we found two tents near the path. Deciding not to disturb the occupants we hiked on for another 3 miles and stopped at Little Cub Spring to get water to get us to Chester.
The day certainly turned out to be a hot one. By the time we got to Highway 36 at just after 1.30 pm the temperature was in the high 80’s F (low 30°C).
Much like yesterday the trail passed through logged forest which provided intermittent shelter and not much visual interest. It occurred to me as we were heading down another switchback how much prettier this type of pine forest is when under snow. The snow hides all the logging and other forest debris leaving a clean and calm landscape. But we are loving being able to see the trail and to just hike and not worry about navigation and holding on for dear life on the slippery slopes.
Today we passed the halfway mark. It feels unreal that we have hiked for 11 weeks with only 7 days off.
On reaching the Highway we saw a Trail Angel sign for cold drinks on the other side. This could not have been more welcomed. A piece of fruit and a cold soda and we were feeling human again.
We hitched a ride into town on the back if a pickup truck. The couple who picked us up were on their way to their cabin in the woods for the holiday weekend. They were so nice and dropped us off at our motel. A long overdue shower felt wonderful and with our clothes clean we are almost ready to hit the road again.