BACK IN THE GROOVE
PCT Day 2: Mile 1729.9– Mile 1753.3
Tuesday June 27, 2017
23.4 miles (37.4km)
I was so annoyed with myself for deleting yesterdays photos before checking that they were all downloaded to my phone, I fell asleep kicking myself. Hammer fell asleep and was snoring almost as soon as he was horizontal. We were both surprised by how tired we felt considering the distance covered. I think Hammer must still be suffering from a bit of jet lag.
The rain which threatened last night stayed away and the wind died down at some stage through the night. We woke at first light, to absolute stillness and silence. A red sunrise was casting it’s first glow on the horizon. It was so peaceful and beautiful.
We took our time breaking camp and walked out to the tip of the Bluff for a morning view of the valley below.
Just as we rejoined the PCT off the Bluff side trail we came upon a huge pile of fresh bear droppings. There must be some bears nearby. Lucky I did not see this yesterday. It was fantastic hiking most of the day. While it was a hot day, we were hiking largely through open Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir forest. Because the canopy was open there were lots of spring blooms carpeting the trail. I was in my happy place and hiking seemed easy. By lunchtime we made Hyatt Lake which we saw from a distance. It seemed we were hiking in a big loop with views of Ashland and the I-5 disecting the valley below.
By early afternoon the heat intensified and the miles rolled by slowly. We passed one other hiker, Rudolph who was southbound from Fish Lake, about 40 miles north. And good news – he reports that he did not encounter any snow. We stopped a few times through the afternoon to take our shoes off and dry our feet. It broke the afternoon miles which were largely uphill through more dense forest with quite a few fallen trees. It took a while to find a suitable spot to camp as the forest was a little bit more dense. It’s to feel our hiking rhythm coming back.