PCT Day 145: Mile 2529.0- Mile 2551.4
Monday September 5, 2016: 22.4 miles (35.8km)
When I awoke this morning it was so cold I did not want to get out of the warm sleeping bag. It took all my will power to toughen up a little and take the nice warm and dry clothes off and put on the cold hiking gear, especially the wet socks.
There was a long descent down to Vista Creek and then the trail followed the river down the valley. There I met Mr Tea a fellow hiker from England who had walked northward on the PCT till about halfway and then flipped North and was now walking South. He had visited Australia and even cycled across the Nullabor from Perth to Sydney. He also had some ankle issues and so could sympathize with Corky. We were about to head out separate ways when I asked him his trail name and he asked mine. When I said Hammer he said he has been reading our blog before he started the hike and had even left a comment about the photos. It would have been great to have met over a beer or a cup of tea with plenty of time but we both had miles to make.
Today was mainly a forrest walk and there was a number of obvious viewpoints but all I could see was low cloud. It meant you focussed on what you could see in the forrest and there was carpets of moss and lichen. There was also some interesting fungi that looked a lot like coral and would not have looked out of place in the coral gardens of the Great Barrier Reef. I look forward to Corky’s photos next year for some of these sections that have been misted in.
A couple of gentleman came through on horses. They had the horses they were riding plus a packhorse and a packmule. They had been up on Miners Ridge and had a bit of gear on the pack animals. It was surprising how much 16 hooves cut the trail up and also how much fresh manure 4 animals can produce.
Shortly after they passed, I had the most painful feeling near my ankle. Upon looking down I could see a yellow jacket wasp stinging me through the sock. It hurt like crazy.
Today I had two missions to get below 100 miles to the monument which is the Canadian border and to get as close as possible to Stehekin. It is 98.7 miles to the monument and 18.7 to Stehekin. Not as close as I would have liked in regards to Stehekin, which is a small town 11 South East of the PCT. There is a shuttle bus into town 4 times a day and you cannot drive in. People come in by the ferry. So all afternoon I have been running scenarios as to how I can get my resupply package and back on trail and also charge electronics and eat at the trail famous Stehikin bakery. It seems like an overnight stay may be required to catch the post office.
The Halfmile app showed an established campsite on the map and it seemed about the right time to stop, none of this crazy head torch hiking. An earlier stop would also allow me to get up to date with the blog. A big boulder field came into view and I was wondering where the campsite might be. A small wooden sign had a drawing of a tent and a rough boulder path led down to a pretty ordinary campsite. It is on quite a slope and is pretty rocky but as darkness was falling it will have to do. It is the first established campsite I have stayed at.