Day 8 mile 112.5 to 131.6, plus 0.5 side trip for water
Elevation: ascent 4,046 ft, descent 2,364 ft
The one thing Amy and I knew going into this trip was that not every day was going to be spectacular out here. After having such an amazing day yesterday I guess we were due for a pretty mundane day. It was long, our biggest day yet, but still pretty non-eventful. Hiking today reminded both of us of the Santa Monica mountains. Lots of low scrub brush, some occasional tress and lots of rocks. So I decided to write more about what we go through on a daily basis as PCT hikers.
Typically we are up between 6:30-7:00 in the morning. That is without an alarm since the tent doesn’t really block out the sun and the birds are out letting us know it’s time to get up. Once we start moving we each take on our roles of getting ready for the day. On goes the hiking clothes (yes the same ones we wear everyday) and then the work begins. Amy takes care of the inside of the tent putting away the air mattress and quilt. I start hot water for coffee, filter water if needed and get ready to take down the tent. We both then pack up our bags, double check we haven’t left anything behind and then head for the trail. I have made these cozies for our Gatorade bottles that we also put our coffee in and the cozy keeps that hot for a long time. So we try to enjoy sipping our coffee as we walk down the trail.
By mid morning or when we find a water source we then dump our breakfast shake into the Gatorade bottle and have to filter the water that we collect into those. We use the Sawyer mini water filter so we just fill up a “dirty” water bag and squeeze to push the water through the filter, which takes out the bacteria that could be in the water. This process can take about 5-15 minutes depending on how much water we have to filter. The one thing about water out here is sometimes you can’t be picking. There are no faucets to turn on and beggars can’t be choosers. We definitely have turned down some water spots but others you just don’t have a choice. Once we have filled up on water it’s back to hiking while drinking our breakfast.
We typically have traveled about 9-10 miles by 12-1:00 and we have been making this lunchtime. If at all possible we try to find a good spot with views or by a stream to sit and relax while having lunch. Lunch typically consists of jerky, dried fruit, nuts or a bar. Occasionally we have some treats as well. Amy’s go to right now are Oreos. Gotta love that you can eat all of your favorite cravings without the worry of gaining weight since we are burning way more calories than we can consume.
After lunch it is the push for our campsite. We have a certain mileage each day we would like to do but try to stay flexible. The problem we have run into out here is that we aren’t the only hikers so sometimes you get to the site to find it full, which means you get to hike further than you thought. Once we get to camp the reverse of the morning starts. We get the tent up. We will try to do a quick clean up with a wipe, before changing out of the hiking clothes into our sleep clothes. I typically then start on getting dinner going while Amy gets the pad and quilt together. After eating we than get to clean all of that up before crawling into the tent.
One thing that is a constant through the day is that packs go on and then they come off. The weather seems to have some drastic changes here which has us putting on or taking off layers quite a bit. For example today we stopped early for dinner so we wouldn’t have to cook in camp. We both only had our hiking shirts on. However after we cleaned up we each had 3 layers and beanies on. This was due to the clouds, which brought in light rain and hail and a strong cold wind.
Now for the lucky person who is blogging they then start going through all of the pictures we took and writing about the day. This sometimes is very hard because we are exhausted and just want to crash. We both however love being able to keep you all up to date with what’s going on and really love seeing the comments we get. So it is hard at times but is always worth it.
Well it’s about 8:15 and Amy is asleep. We have mapped out tomorrow’s day already so I’m turning in so we can do this all over again tomorrow. We are having a BLAST!! Thanks for following along.