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Day 22 - the day the trail beat me down and spit me out....

Day 22 - the day the trail beat me down and spit me out....

a_ourso Apr 3rd, 2021
a_ourso's 2021 PCT Thru-Hike

Mile 221.1 to Mile 233.8

I had thought about waking up early to get in some miles before the sun came up and the heat was bearing down on me again... but it was 6:30am by the time I quit hitting snooze and 45 minutes to pack up camp and get ready... with no shade in sight it was already hot at 7:30am... mad at myself again for giving into the temptation of being lazy... I decided I could try night hiking to make up some miles (a joke of a thought looking back)... the elevation was to be up, but gradual... my legs felt decent and we would be crossing mission creek every so often for most of the day... I love creeks... cold water.. the sound of them is peaceful... it would be a better day I determined...the sunrise (picture 13 above) looked promising... how wrong I was...

I am sure Mission Creek is beautiful... however the trail was not only not forgiving... it seemed to be out for a vengeance against me. This area is in my own backyard for hiking and right now I could care less if I ever experience it again... yeah the first creek crossing was nice... by the 2millionth I had come to dread them ... everytime you crossed the creek... the trail wasn’t there... just river rock... everytime my legs got their rhythm I had to stop and pull out my phone to figure out where the heck I was and where the trail was... trail maintenance has been absent because of covid for two seasons now - and it was most evident in these miles... bushwhacking, downed trees and trail finding all freaking day... mixed with loneliness, slow miles, the relentless Southern California sun... long breaks... and loneliness... all the bad-assery I felt crossing the snow... was gone... and the feeling of can I hike this whole trail began to seep in for the first time since I started....

Someone had left cairns in places... they were helpful sometimes... but this person must of had long legs... a thing I do not possess... because instead of following the trail the cairns would show the easiest places to cross the creek...and I would follow them until they abruptly turned and I could see the trail up a steep loose dirt cliff - where Cairn Man had obviously taken two to three steps and returned to trail... I however would take his first step and plant my foot... but no matter how hard I stretched I couldn’t reach the second foothold... leaving me searching for something to put my right foot into to keep from sliding down the cliff - by 2pm, I was bleeding from spots on every limb ... covered in dirt and sweat... by 5pm ... I was still covered in dirt and sweat caked now with dried blood... I wanted to camp by the water source up ahead.. but was done... I set up my tentsite for Cowboy camping... bugs could have at me for all I cared...made dinner and started to feel a little better from the shade... a hiker passed me at 5:30 and I felt guilty for stopping so early... I could night hike I thought... it will be cooler... get the climb over with... but I looked at my sleeping bag already set up... and the thoughts of grandeur quickly vanished under the promise of rest.

I have been leapfrogging Nathan since i10... he helped me a few times today in finding the trail - so a shout out... he is thruhiking with his dad, RumRunner, who is a little slower, so he is always taking breaks waiting for his dad to catch up. In talking to them, I picture how Reed and I would handle trying this together... and I realize how Incredibly lucky they are to share this together and how strong their relationship must be.

Again... my thoughts turned dark throughout the night... how few miles I was getting... the new habit of long 20-30 minute breaks in the day... where were my trail legs from a week ago... why was I struggling so much with this section... I decided if I could just get to big bear Monday and have some time with Spirit, the only tramily member I had a chance of seeing anytime soon, that I would feel better... I just needed a connection to someone that knew me.... I was going to have to pull out a big mile day the next day... I should start early before the sun heated things up... I thought as I fell asleep without setting an alarm...

Previous: Apr 2nd, 2021
Next: Apr 2nd, 2021

Comments (6)


a_ourso Apr 14th, 2021

@raecurtis77.... thanks for the positive encouragement!


raecurtis77 Apr 13th, 2021

You are impressive. You got this. Don't be too hard on yourself. You're doing good. You got this. Just be careful and try not to take too many risks to injure yourself. You got a ways to go and you need to keep your head up. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other. ❤️


Debi Apr 7th, 2021

Oops I meant tan on them legs. 😂 #hikeon


Debi Apr 7th, 2021

Well I see your getting a good team on them legs... You got this!!! You are strong and mighty my friend!!


Kshol Apr 6th, 2021

I just finished reading your last three posts. It occurred to me that your daily challenges recently are just a micro reflection of life, in general. Sometimes it just sucks, or we are meant to slow down, but it’s all about the journey. Don’t give up, be kind to yourself, and persevere. In the end you’ll be so proud, and say it was a life well lived.


ToniB Apr 6th, 2021

You are still badass. Push on.


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