And I will walk 600 hundred miles…

Day 35,   28 miles

Happy and Tugboat were packed up and hit the trail at 3am.  I heard other hikers pass us in the night.  When I started hiking it was still dark at 4:40am.  It was difficult to see the trail, even with my headlamp.  The sun rose an hour later.  It was a beautiful morning.

After 9 miles I came to one of the few water sources.   A spring that emptied to an algae filled tub.  When the spring dries up, the hikers behind us will have to filter their water from the tub.  It’s the last water for 19 miles.   I’m so glad I started the PCT in Campo early.  I started on April 9th.  Many of the springs and streams that I got water from along the way have since dried up.

The rest of the long day was ever changing.  A 10 mile hot, exposed, burn.  More poodle dog.  Sandy desert stretches, and my favourite, cool pine forests.

I have always thought of myself as sure footed.  I have very good foot eye coordination, I believe from many years of hiking.  In the last few weeks I have stumbled and tripped often.  Pain and fatigue have humbled me.  I was almost at mile 600, I had hiked more than 25 miles, when I stumbled.  This time I did not have the energy to catch myself. Slow motion, down, the weight of my pack pushing me.  I landed on my right knee and my face.  I rolled over and sat on the trail.  I thought I’d wait a minute  to see if I was ok to get up.  My face hurt.  But then my right butt cheek started stinging.  I was sitting on red fire ants.  I quickly got up, brushed off and kept going.  The stinging and burning was worse than my knee and face.

Today I passed the 600 mile mark and I am camping at mile 602.  I have cried a few times in these weeks.  But I have also laughed and smiled every day.

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