Sander on the PCT

Day 66: 30 miles to magic

35.0 miles (56.3km)

30 Jun 2018

Today for me was pretty close to the ideal trail day. Wake up at 5h around sunrise and hike out 20 minutes later. A few hours in, as expected, we ran into Roadrunner and Autopilot heading south. We're at the midpoint of their southbound family stretch. Luckily she likes my ZLite sleeping pad as I had no intention of giving up the comfort of the NeoAir just yet. Might get one of my own.

We chat a bit and Phillip and I hike on northbound. We'll meet back up with them on the 7th in Truckee to continue towards Canada together.

At 8h Phillip and I take a break, discussing our plan for South Lake Tahoe. I prefer getting there early afternoon on the 2nd, so we can do our resupply shopping and sorting that day and evening and head to the post office the next. A day later runs into the problem of independence day and a closed post office. I plan on sending my bear can up north from there, preferably to Stehekin so I can pick it up near the Canadian border and take it home as a souvenir. Getting to Tahoe on the 2nd does mean we need to do quite some miles today and tomorrow. Great!

Around 14h I get to our agreed rendez-vous point 23 miles in but apparently there is some great trail magic at the Highway 4 intersection. I scribble a note for Phillip and Download and hike on. I felt too good to sit around waiting, missing out on potential magic. I challenged myself to get to the highway before 17h, imagining the trail magic to be a shop that closes at five.

When I got to the highway, just a few minutes shy of 17h - well done Sander. 30 miles by 5 - there indeed was trail magic. And they had just 4 burgers left. Glad my sprint here is paying off. I take a Fanta and a bacon cheeseburger, followed by a huge muffin, followed by cheesecake with whipped cream.

I rest for about an hour then take a Pepsi and decide to hike 4.8 more miles, making it a round 35 miles for the day. I have my tent up a bit before 20h and make some noodles to go with my soda. Soda - Pepsi, Coke, Fanta, Sprite, ... - is definitely my biggest craving when on trail. I mean, water is great, but it's nice to have some flavor once in a while.

After this minor second dinner, I get into my sleeping bag and start writing. I haven't felt this satisfied and accomplished since hiking over Muir Pass.

I feel alive!