I woke up at 6:30 a.m., but it was still dark. I waited until it was light enough to put on my contacts. As I knew that it was going to get below freezing, I had my phone in one pocket of my jacket and my water filter in the other. I forgot about my contacts and when I opened the case, the solution had froze. Fortunately, they were old, so I put on my spare set.
I got up and stretched. I was expecting to be sore from the 18 miles the day before, but I was not! I did my stretching exercises as I boiled water for coffee and ate two Cliff bars. Shelter #2 is eight miles away. Shelter #3 is 17 miles. Shelter #4 is 22 miles. Because of the early sunset, my only real goal is Shelter #3.
It takes me an hour to get packed up. I’m going to need to improve that on the PCT.
The hike goes smoothly. I make Shelter #2 by 11:30. The sun came out and it was just warm enough to take off my jacket as long as I was out of the wind and in the sun. I sat and ate my lunch there. It was beautiful.
I hiked another three miles to a water source. I ran into two day hikers there. I filled up my water containers there as Shelter #3 is a dry shelter. I continued on.
I made Shelter #3 at about 4:30 p.m. As I approached, I saw another backpacker crossing to the shelter. Technically, you are supposed to reserve these campsites. I didn’t because I didn’t know how far I would go and it is late in the season. Its freezing and it is raining. You’d have to be mad to hike and camp in these conditions.
I had no real choice but to approach. It was getting dark. Hopefully, the other backpacker is cool.
Turns out, he was.
He had reserved the site, so I paid him half. We put up our tents and started to collect wood for a camp fire. We ended up staying up to nearly 11:00 p.m talking. It was a great time.
When I went back to my tent for the night, this time I properly set up the quilt. Instead of using it like a blanket, I used the straps and attached it to my sleeping pad. That made a huge difference! I stayed much warmer that night.
My contacts? In my jacket this time.
Total miles: 17.6.