Sander on the PCT

Day 111: 24h challenge

65.4 miles (105.3km)

14 Aug 2018

Around 18h I have a decent dinner with the usual Ramen and a Dr. Pepper I was still carrying. Hike out at 19h sharp. The goal is to hike at least 100 km.

Start out with a climb in the Mt. Hood wilderness while it's still light. Soon after I enter a very dense forest and have to turn on my headlight. Hiking alone through 9 hours of complete darkness in the forests of Oregon is quite the experience.

A bit before midnight I pass the crossroads te the Olallie Lake Resort. Roadrunner and Autopilot made it here today and left me an encouraging note by the trail. Right after I take the wrong trail. After a 5 minute detour, I am back on trail and feel ready to tackle the rest of the night. Every now and then, I stop for a few minutes to put my feet up at a log. It's dark and quiet when I turn off my headlight. Dead silent. No bugs or birds, no deer crashing through the woods. Luckily also no mountain lions creeping up behind me. Just silence.

At 6 in the morning, I take my only longer break. The sun is back up and I stop to write a note back to my hiking buddies and to switch my socks and insoles.

By 9 I've covered 37.5 miles. 10 more hours and 25 more miles. I got this. Just 10 more hours of painful feet. At this point you really feel the pressure on the ball and heel. Not too much you can do about it.

After 50 miles I cross several SoBo hikers who all tell me about the wonderful trail magic ahead with burgers and beer. Ain't nobody got time for that. I plan on getting in and out though for a soda, but somehow I miss the turn off at the paper sign.

A bit over 22 hours into the hike, I hit 100 km. I take a small rest and hike the remaining miles to the Timberline Lodge. As it's not 19h yet, I hike slightly past it to make it 65 miles - 105 km. I put my tent up, make dinner and will enjoy at least 11 hours of sleep before backtracking to the lodge for the best breakfast buffet on trail.