Our App is Available for iOS and Android!   Download it now!

Day 15: Up Shit Creek

Day 15: Up Shit Creek

hiker.dykes May 7th, 2024
hiker.dykes's 2024 PCT Thru-Hike

Tentsite (223.4) - Tentsite (248.2) | Mileage: 24.8

Today is hot hot hot Floods washed out the trail So we just stumble up the barren wash Over gravel and scree Over rocks Big round rocks Dusty sandy gray rocks Roll under your feet when you walk Katie’s feet hurt The hot made blisters between her toes And now there are so many rocks Rocks rocks rocks Collapsed sandy bank on both sides And huge boulders and dismembered trees No shade Stop for sunscreen And so slow

We wind back and forth across the creek Cold and clear Oh so much yummy gush gush gush Only the side trickles are thick with orange and green and white But we play lava monster Hopping from rock to rock Because you can’t touch this gush This is bad gush Makes you sick sick sick

Throat hurts because so dry Can’t swallow so choke Creek taunts you says Come play with me Come swim in me Come drink me But I will make you sick sick sick

We last until noon And then the safe water from the wind farm is gone So Katie puts her hand into the shit creek Fills two bottles I only packed ten chlorine tabs Even though they weigh nothing Stupid stupid stupid Package says one per two quarts clean water Or one per quart dirty water Is this water clean or dirty? Looks clean But we know it’s dirty dirty dirty We drop a tab into each bottle Only eight left And so hot Where’s Sweet Pea? Does he have extra tabs?

Wait thirty minutes for chlorine to kill the virus Die die die Filter the treated water and fill again at 1:30 Usually takes 6-12 hours for symptoms I guess we’ll see Wash hands with concentrated soap And precious clean water How much does it take to rinse the virus away? Katie drinks

Katie drops the filter into the shit creek Chase the bottles downstream and pull them out Oh noooo how do we not get sick So sad and frustrated and scared Tried so hard to keep everything clean Wash both ends of the filter with soap Squeeze chlorine water through How much does it take to rinse the virus away? Katie drinks

Follow an arrow made of rocks to the trail Walk up up up on the ridge above the bad dirty dusty wash White flowers smell like candy How? Hot hot hot and thirsty Dream of coolers with Gatorade and beer Or even soda Anything FDA approved Sit for a sip of water In the partial shade of a bush Find green sucker from Mexican restaurant in side pocket! Oh so yummy lemon lime Like dehydrated Mountain Dew on a stick Lasts a half mile maybe Not thirsty now and throat feels good

Sucker is gone Up and down the ridge in the sun Oh so slow and hungry and thirsty Only had three Clif bars all day And Katie only one and a half No time to stop because not enough water Katie says food Pour peanut butter granola into my mouth straight from the bag You can’t touch it It will make you sick sick sick

Moving again Trail disintegrates in sections Shuffle and slide down through the dirt and up over exposed roots to reach the next switchback Thought we need to go back down But we are only going up? Why? Finally trail drops back into the shit creek Narrower now Climbing over huge boulders and blowdowns Remember don’t touch the water And look out for vomit It will make you sick sick sick

SWEET PEA!! Standing up on the crumbling river bank It’s already 4 but we’ve only come 15 miles Thought he would be so far ahead Shares aquamira drops Mix five drops from two jars in an empty bottle It turns bright yellow and smokes Fill a bottle from the shit creek Then pour the yellow in and wait

The comments say the trail should start again But we can’t find it Scramble up the steep bank over rocks and bushes and dirt and branches and trunks The trail! Stop at the seasonal stream and fill and treat one last time This is still bad water It makes you sick sick sick I break a nuun tablet inside an empty Clif wrapper Drop both halves into the bottle I drink

Tastes like bottle cap candy Can you taste the virus?

Pack up and go It’s 5:30 And we’re trying to squeeze in 8 more miles before it gets dark Sweet Pea says the trail will be better now

And it is Flat and nicely graded and big coniferous trees and tiny patches of snow Smells like that delicious dusty California dirt And we’re so high above the shit creek You can see it way down there A fat ugly streak of gray cutting between the green hills with the fluffy trees on top I stop to dump the rocks out of my shoes Before I get blisters I pee and it’s yellow yellow yellow Still so yellow as it trickles over the dark brown dirt I drink

But it’s cool now And I’m thinking in sentences for the first time all day Walking and thinking and watching Katie and Sweet Pea moving up ahead

We crank the miles Finally Stopping only to look out at San Jacinto and the setting sun The deep orange glow over the hills The blinking red turbines The bright white grid of lights that’s Palm Springs I’m a little sad to leave But the wind is picking up And it’s starting to get dark And we have 4 miles to go

I’m leading now Poles clacking Wonky knees striding out Racing the dark Even though I know I’ll lose

There are tents down below the turnoff for Coon Creek Cabin But we know the virus is there So we speed on Up up up the small wooded peak Back and forth through the bushes and trees

I wait for Katie Because I know her feet hurt and she’s hungry and it’s actually dark We put on our headlamps I put on my coat And then we’re off again I use the red light for my eyes and the night creatures But it’s hard to see the trail and I’m slower Maybe next time I’ll use the white light

Sweet Pea is there setting up his tent We set up ours in the soft flatish spot on the other side of the tree Katie is cold and so hungry She eats half a protein cookie I have a bite And set up the cold soak in the plastic cup that fits on the outside of the pot Black beans and pea protein crumbles We’ll add crushed tortilla chips from the underpass Katie inflates our sleep pads and huddles in her quilt So so so cold But it’s not really that cold She says her tummy feels weird Is she dehydrated and hungry or is it the virus? It’s been 8 hours since she drank We switch sides so she’s next to the shoes and I’m next to the packs Just in case Probably it will hit her first

There’s a big spider crawling up the outside of the mesh No it looks more like a scorpion It has too many legs and a long oval body But no pincers and no tail? We don’t know what it is Did we set up our tent on top of its hole? Or maybe we are just awake later than usual And this is when the night creatures come out

The not spider not scorpion crawls up and down the mesh and seems stuck It can’t figure out how to get out from under the fly We make sure the zippers are closed Pray there are no holes in the dyneema Turn off the red light And snuggle up and go to sleep

Previous: May 6th, 2024
Next: May 8th, 2024

Comments (0)