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!
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!
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.
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.
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.