Day 33: mile 535 – mile 549.7

Elevation gain: 4,224 ft

Elevation loss: 1,109 ft

Shockingly, even though we were camped in a wind farm with gusts all around us, we literally must’ve picked the best spot around! We could hear the wind, but basically nothing hit the tent so we didn’t have to try our modified cowboy camping again. We had a few wind turbines very close to us so there was a constant hum we could hear as good white noise. They kind of sound like a plane taking off in the distance, but constantly. It was definitely not the most scenic of tent spots, but it was dark when we got there and we were gone by 7am this morning so we didn’t care a bit!

The first five miles, we were literally walking through the wind farm which is privately owned land, only open to PCT hikers. We all know these turbines are big, but standing in the middle of them is when you realize how big…it was actually way cooler than I thought it would be! There must’ve been hundreds, and for good reason…the gusts had to have been 40 mph at times. What a great source of energy!

There were some interesting finds out there in the wind farm…one super cute, I thought:

One very creepy, weird, and confusing sign:

A cool sign:

Another trail register:

Plus we had to go through a bunch of gates:

Thank goodness for the amazing colors, variety and amount of wildflowers today. Between those and the super cool clouds, I was able to snap a few neat pictures that otherwise would’ve been extremely boring.

A perfect little one, all by itself!

I’m sure the late rains and snow are to thank for the abundance of wildflowers still everywhere. A hiker who was here just on 4/13 said this whole area we hiked today was under snow…can’t imagine with these temps today! We saw our 3rd rattle snake who crossed the trail about 10 feet in front of me and then into the bush on the side of the trail. If I hadn’t seen him go in there, I would’ve jumped out of my skin again when he rattled, plus I would’ve been right next to him! I was also able to catch a horny toad today…what a cutie!

We had planned to stop at this little stream for lunch and stay awhile, soaking our feet and waiting out the heat before the biggest, most exposed climb of the day. But the stream was at the bottom of this valley with absolutely no shade or air moving at all plus the water wasn’t even all that cold! So at 1:30, the hottest part of the day, we decided to just get the climb with a bunch of switchbacks over with. It was brutal, but 14 miles into the day we got to this neat spot that trail angels set up along the trail…folding chairs, water, and an UMBRELLA!! So nice to sit there for an hour and 1/2 to make a couple calls and get some blogging done. The only problem were the ants…they were CRAZY! Constantly frantic, a million of them all over everything. We had to sit with our feet up on a chair otherwise they would immediately be on our shoes and up our pants. I’ve already had multiple bites up my legs from that happening so I wasn’t taking any chances! Since the kids are picking us up tomorrow and it’s mainly downhill, we knew we could make today’s mileage a little shorter since yesterday was such a grind. So we only had .7 to the campsite which was a treat!

It’s a nice spot with a view, lots of space, and no wind so far! Thanks for reading, guys! Double Down

These pine cones at camp were gigantic!