Day 29: The Crucible

Started: Swarthout (347.2)

Ended: Wrightwood (369.3)

Total: 22.1 miles

Achievements: Ten By Ten (4)

On day two, Fish Tank and I spent two hours climbing out of Hauser Canyon, a mere 1,500 climb. Things certainly have changed.

The hike from Swarthout to Wrightwood has all the components that makes hiking the PCT difficult.

  • Long Distance
  • Twenty Miles of No Water
  • 5,000 Feet of Incline
  • High Temperature
  • High Altitude
  • Exposed

Put any one of those items and I’m going to struggle. Put them together and it is going to be a long lousy day. Or, should I say used to struggle?

We cowboy camped and we’re up at 4 a.m. and hiking by 4:30. About 6:30, we ran into some young hikers. One young woman asked how much water I was carrying. I said three liters. She said “I will pray for you.”

At 10 a.m. we were chilling in a rare unexposed part of the trail having completed a Ten By Ten.

At 2 p.m., we were done for the day. That young woman came up, surprised we beat her to the end. I told her I had one liter left.

That is where we are now. Twenty-Eight days on the trail training, and our hiker legs are fully developed. As long as I keep taking in calories, my legs will not stop. It does not matter what is in front of me.

We came down to Wrightwood. We will resupply for five days. Our focus will be more milage. I will also buy a new outer shell. The Frog Toggs are meant to be cheap and in a week are covered in little pieces of duct tape. I use my outer shell too much. What I have wasn’t designed to do that.

No pictures today. My head was down, my legs were moving and I was focused.

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