Day 88: Half-way!!

Day 88
July 15
mile 1303.8-1331.9
28.1 miles!

I had my worst intestinal emergency of the entire hike this morning! So awful! I can’t possibly camp around anyone else with this thing!
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Once I got going, the day was beautiful, but still, I was bogged down by what Brian had written. His words and attitude were hard to get out of my head. And then, I started worrying about my car, which I had left with them. If they were mad at me, they were not going to want to drive it it for me while I was out here. This hike had a lot of stress in it!!
A couple of hours into my hike, I heard a large cracking noise in the forest. I stopped moving and watched a tree fall 10 feet from where I was standing! Fortunately, it fell away from me! I stood there stunned for a couple of minutes, trying to comprehend what had just occurred and how quickly one’s life can be in sudden jeopardy!
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What I had to look forward to was reaching the half-way point marker later in the day (even though the trail is now longer than when they put the marker in place)! I had not seen a single person all day, which was the first time this had happened on the PCT! I did see my first views of Mt. Lassen in the far distance.
By six o’clock, I reached the monument, amused at how small it was! There was a register inside an army box that was a bit tough to open! Even though I felt pressed for time, I spent a good amount of time sitting down and reading through it. It was a meaningful point in the hike and most of the hikers had taken some time to write down their thoughts and feelings.
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My mind always seems to go blank at those times. Last year’s entries were also in the notebook and I was very surprised to see that a fast hiker that I knew from the AT had reached this point one day earlier a year ago. I felt proud of the pace that I was managing to keep out here!
I wrote a few words down, thanking the hikers that had showed me kindness along the way, took a few pictures, and continued on.
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I was still very surprised that I had seen no one else and hoped for a complete day from morning until night alone.
I headed down the hill in the forest and saw nowhere to camp. At this point, I was very low on water, feeling a bit dehydrated and just wanting to get to a water source! I walked on and on and suddenly, heard the most wonderful sound ever. The sound of water! Unfortunately, I also found two people! So much for my solitary day! The two girls that I had eaten breakfast with were camping by the stream. I was going to stop, collect water, and keep moving, but realized that there probably weren’t going to be any places to camp ahead. I noticed that there was a nice flat spot next to a tree below where they were set up, so I asked if they minded if I stayed there. They had no problem with that, so I headed down and set up my cowboy camp. Even though it was a little too close for comfort, I figured I had enough privacy on the other side of me. There was nothing else I could do. The girls were eating dinner and one of them was oohing and ahhhing over how good her dinner tasted, which I thought was amusing and unusual! They had fun playing around with each other afterward. I just attended to my duties, discovered that I had reception, and let a couple of people know that I had reached the half-way point! I had also hiked just over 28 miles today! And although I didn’t get my morning until night without seeing another single human being, I did get 24 hours without seeing anyone (maybe for the first time ever?). I hoped another opportunity would come.
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