20 miles (Mile 115 – 135)
Agua Caliente Creek – PCT mile 135
We’re set up for cowboy camping just off the trail, tucked into a few scraggly low junipers. We’re about two miles short of the next water source… which we planned for. It seems like there’s going to be a crowd down there tonight! We were happy to get a 20-miler in today.
This morning was a really good morning. We got on the trail just before 6am and it was the most perfect, cool hiking temperature. We walked through a light fog for quite a while, and we climbed. We finally came around a corner to see we were above the clouds. I didn’t think we’d see that until the Sierras!
We hiked in and around mountainsides, each turn offering us a new angle of the rolling fog and clouds below us. The sun started to peek over one of the hills, and when its rays hit those clouds they lit up in an array of different pastel colors. Peach, purple, light blue, pink… all very faint. I told Rachel that it felt like we were walking through the end of a rainbow.
It was one of those scenes… one of those views when my heart feels like it’s filling up like a balloon because I’m so happy to be a part of the beauty in front of me. This is why I love to hike so much.
“Why are you out here hiking the PCT?” This was a popular question that got bounced around a lot our first few days. I always answered something along the lines of, “loved my job and the company I worked for, but wanted to break out of the 40 hours spent inside every week…”
I suppose it’s true, but when it comes right down to it, I just really love backpacking. A lot. I could break that into a bunch of specifics, but I’ll save it for another day.
On my 2009 Tahoe Rim Trail thru-hike, I stood at a vista, looking out over an expansive view with my friend Leo and said to him, “I feel rich.” That became our mantra on that trip. I felt that again today. It feels good to have my heart back on the trail and fully vested… with so much more to come!
Now I just need to get my feet on board! They’re hanging in there… got a new small blister under an old one today, and my heel is still tender. We have a zero day planned for Friday, so that should help them dry up. I think I’m just starting to get a touch of hiker hunger, too. I still want a dang NutRoll. I’ll have to wait for our first resupply box. Hey, dad? Think you can hook me up? :)
The afternoon was a march through bouldered hills that turned to green hills with expansive views again. The scenery changes drastically throughout each day. We’re pooped after today, though. We refueled with some mashed potatoes for dinner, and we should have an early night to bed… and a little entertaining bat dive-bombing our outdoor camp. He must be after all the flies our stink is attracting! Haha! Good night!