Sander on the PCT

Day 35: Blogging animals

22.6 miles (36.4km)

30 May 2018

Blogging. When you wake up at 4h and walk 25 miles, after finally putting up your tent and having eaten dinner, your brain wants to sleep. And not write a daily masterpiece worthy of winning a Pulitzer.

When in town, between laundry, resupply, showering and eating out, you just want to maximize your rest on a proper bed instead of converting notes into blogpost, trying to remember what happened when.

You end up with a factual description of each day. It's easy to remember where you camped and how many miles you walked. Each day on trail is so much more though and I tend to forget these stories if I don't write them down during the day. So, note to self, write more throughout the day!

One story I forgot, day 30 at Bear camp. While having dinner, Kevin, Phillip and I discussed the name of the campground. Did they name it for the obvious reason? We decided not to worry too much and just sleep near our foodbags. Bears are good at climbing trees anyway. The next day at Hikertown we heard there actually had been a bear at Sawmill camp that night, just a few miles down the trail from where we were camping. It put a nice hole in someone's foodbag. Good thing the bear couldn't read and went to the wrong camp.

This morning we overslept, waking up when it started to become light just after 5h. As temperatures are rising and this is the most desert-like stretch, we plan on taking a long siesta midday and hike about 12 miles in both the early morning and evening.

Lots of animals on trail today. First some deer and a rattlesnake. Nothing special there. After our 7 hour siesta though, Kevin made friends with a black bear. A bit sad I didn't see the bear as he was walking at most 10 minutes behind me. But I seem to have some trail karma left - good or bad I leave for the reader to decide - as not much later, just when I turned on my headlight, I see a big ball of black hair walking towards me. It did scare me quite a bit as I had no idea what it was. First thought was a big mutant spider. Turns out, it was 3 skunks walking side by side. I mean, it's no bear, but I'll take it. They turned around - I guess I smell too - and walked in front of me for the next couple 100 meters, stopping and turning around every now and then, before finally disappearing in a tree.

I must admit, the next half hour of walking was a bit scary. "Alone" with dense foliage on both sides, my light casting weird branch shades across the trail. Everything suddenly looked like a skunk, or bear. We finally stopped at a pretty lousy camping spot but I couldn't care too much as the last hour of walking in the dark hadn't been very pleasant.