17.8 miles (Miles 266 – 283.8)
Hwy 18 at Big Bear Lake – PCT Mile 283.8
First things first! Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there! :)
I am writing this blog entry as I stare at this:
Tonight’s sunset finishes off and totally enhances a high-spirited, great day on the PCT. It’s a really amazing sunset… it’s one of my many favorite things out here. Every night it’s so different, so new, and so pretty.
Aloha dropped us and Thirsty Boots off at Hwy 18 where we left off, and we got on the trail at 9:40. I was feeling kind of tired, so for the first hour or so I was hiking and zoning out. It was really a nice, relaxing hike.
The trail climbed for a while, but we had big puffy clouds blocking the blazing sun for us most of the day to keep us cool. The weather and temps made a perfect day. There were lizards scattering all over the place – it was Lizard Central Station out here today! We had a couple of spots on the trail where we hiked over a scree slope – basically a slide of loose rocks. It sounds really neat when you walk on it, but it’s hard because they all roll and move with each step. Thankfully we only had a few crossings like that.
We took a long break by a small water cache at Van Dusen Road, about 9 miles into our day. We got to hang out with Thirsty Boots, Lightning Rod, TareBear, Andy, Pins and Richard. It was a fun break.
We’re starting to get routines and consistencies from day to day on the trail now, too. We haven’t really been trying for these, they’re just happening. It’s pretty cool. Each morning, whether we have the tent set up or not, we take about an hour to get going – from when we wake up to when we hit the trail. This regularity helps us out. If we want to be on the trail by 6am, we wake up at 5am. Our hiking pace varies through the day quite a bit, but when we add in our breaks and take an average over the whole day, we’re almost always around 2 miles per hour from start to finish. Again, very helpful in planning our day – if we want 18 miles, we roughly plan about 9 hiking hours. It’s amazing how much math we do out here!
Bedtime… stars are coming out. I really, really enjoy this whole cowboy camping thing!
More photos from today: