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Day 12: Germaphobia

Day 12: Germaphobia

hiker.dykes May 4th, 2024
hiker.dykes's 2024 PCT Thru-Hike

Saddle Junction (179.4) - Tentsite (180.9) | Mileage: 1.5 + 4.6 (Around town and up Devils Slide)

Timeline of today:

  • 7:30 | woke up in the town campground, debated a bit if we should leave our tent and stay another night because of the impending weather, decided to pack up and sort this later
  • 8:30 | asked the PCT people camped near us for change, they didn’t have any, instead they shared that there was a huge on-trail norovirus outbreak ahead of us in the section we were about to enter
  • 8:30 to 2:00 | day completely derailed, instead of finishing to-dos spent the entire day listening to Maddie FREAKING OUT because she is a germaphobe and has a particular phobia of vomit. Did a ton of research on outbreak details, apparently it is in the already hurricane-destroyed washed out section called Mission Creek that has one river that you practically walk in for two days and theory is that the noro is spreading from the river or maybe the campsites or weird cabin or all of them, no one knows … yikes not sure how you really avoid that, FarOut reviews say people are getting sick all over the creek bed like a zombie movie…
  • 2:00 | finally convinced Maddie we should just do the section really fast and just be careful and hand wash and chemically treat the water and hide from all the other people (hopefully this was the right call and we don’t get sick, lots of people are skipping it, oh well, we will see)
  • 3:00-4:00 | did a few more of our chores, Maddie still mostly incapacitated due to aforementioned freak out, did not help that hikers keep talking about it and offering opinions and theories, why won’t they stop hypothesizing they’re probably wrong and it just makes everyone stressed
  • 4:00 | decided we will hitch back to trailhead and overnight a few miles up, storm still coming but winds supposed to be slightly less severe, 35mph rather than 55mph at 10k feet where we’ll be camping, maybe we will summit San Jacinto the next morning if weather clears up early otherwise we will skip, it’s not on the PCT anyway and would require missing a bit of PCT, and Maddie is a purist and wants to do every piece of the trail so either is a good option I guess
  • 4:30 | super nice guy picks us and Sweet Pea (got his IG and he does spell it like this even though it refers to pee, guess he’s trying to be subtle about that lol) … apparently the guy who picks us up thinks his wife might give birth to their first child tonight!!? And he is gallivanting around driving us ..!?? But he was quite sweet…
  • 4:45 to 6:00 | hiked up to our campsite, beautiful clear blue skies slowly grayed and darkened, wind picking up, hopefully we made the right choice coming up
  • 6:00 | got to campsite, sweet older couple already there setting up, why do old people always make you feel so safe? Feel better about our decision now, if they chose to camp up here knowing the weather we must be fine and made a okay choice, right? They have so much experience, right!
  • 6:15 | tried to find the most wind protected site under a boulder (still not much wind protection), struggled to pitch tent in the now howling wind, put HUGE rocks over the stakes, freezing cold get in the tent quick and dinner inside
  • 7:40 | Sweet Pea says it’s a beautiful sunset, we get out of tent, stand on boulder, sky is pink and clouds made circle swirls like a stack of pancakes, I guess it’s from the wind? I’ve never seen something like that before but it’s too cold so back in the tent and try to fall asleep despite the wind getting louder and louder and shaking our tent violently
  • 10:00 | wake up after an uneasy sleep, it’s crazy windy and I am not sure how the tent isn’t getting knocked over, I hope it stays up, I think it started sleeting
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Next: May 5th, 2024

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