Hours hiked: 11 hours
Mile Mark: 36
Day two welcomed us with cloud cover for the morning and early afternoon. It was very nice to have a cooler day today after yesterday’s intense heat. We woke up around 6am so as to begin walking 7am. We’re still getting our tear-down and set-up all figured out so we didn’t head out till a bit before 7:30.
We had camped in a valley the night of day 1, so an early incline and gorgeous ridge view awakened us quite nicely.
Today really was very pretty. I appreciated being able to look around without harsh sunlight all around. There was also some nice change in terrain throughout the day. Yesterday we had hiked in mostly dirt, very very very fine dirt that gets everywhere. But today we started out in orange rocky soil and moved to a granite sand-like substance before ending in rocks. I knew the terrain would be unique and difficult, but I hadn’t anticipated such unique and difficult trail terrain.
A bit after lunch time we crossed under Interstate 8. Interstate sound quite interesting when you’re underneath them. We climbed up after I-8 and hugged some ridges for the next few hours.
With cliffs on either side of us we rested and enjoyed the views of the valley far below. We also decided to head for a camp spot which was around mile 36. While it was around 2pm already, we both were feeling pretty good and figured we could make it without a hitch. Just a bit after this decision we realized we were in need of water. Luckily around mile 33 about .8mi off trail was a campground which supplies drinking water. Unluckily this added about 45min to our overall trip. Pushing our ETA into camp to somewhere between 6:30-7pm. But we needed water so off we went. Right before reaching the off road for water we passed through a decently photographed area. A military aircraft crashed nearby a few years ago and there are signs all over to stay on trail for fear of unexploded munitions. Fun stuff on the PCT.
We got our water and booked it back up the trail and right up what was to be a very long incline. We started out way to fast and about halfway there were both feeling tired and done, even though we had slowed pace. The last mile my head raced wondering if there would be a spot left for us as we would be rolling in around 6:30. The sun was dipping behind a bit cloud and the wind had picked up quite a bit, making everything quite chilly. Keith started to worry and checked his phone to see which mile we were at: 35.92. So close!
We rounded a corner and there was the large oak tree, with a wonderful open spot for camping, with no one around. I was thrilled! By now it had gotten quite cold and I had begun shivering just a bit. So we pitched our tent quickly and hopped inside our sleeping bag.
While it may have been a chilly and slightly rough last mile I am so glad we walked later into the evening. To be treated with such a lovely spot was exactly what I needed to end the day.