Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 107: The Tragedy of Electronics

Saturday, September 15, 2018 – 13.80 miles

Another mishap today! The forest was sopping in the morning and not long after I started walking, I came to a shallow stream bridged by a log with a flattened but tilted top.


I was almost across when a piece of wet wood broke off beneath my foot and I fell off the bridge. Like a badass I landed on my feet, but the weight of my backpack pulled me backwards and I sat down in 5-6 inches of water. As I flailed around to get out, my phone, external battery and charging cord fell out of my pocket. I didn’t notice until I was on the shore, looked back and saw them beneath the surface of the water. Quickly I grabbed them and dried them off, hoping they had been spared since they weren’t underwater for long. I’ve heard that putting your phone in rice can help with water damage, but I only had flavoured rice, and I figured that getting powder inside the phone wouldn’t make it happy either, so I just turned it off and stashed it somewhere dry. I should have been more upset than I was (why u so expensive, smartphone), but I just kept thinking about the bridge over Muddy Fork and how lucky I was not to have fallen then. If my hiker luck has to fail at some point, sure, fail at a shallow stream!

Just before Highway 20 at Rainy Pass, I found a miniature version of the northern monument sitting beside the trail.


A note indicated that it had been made when the end of the PCT was closed (I don’t think I announced that it’s open again – but it’s open) and of course I had to take a picture, so the phone got turned on again. Then the views from Cutthroat Pass were beautiful, so of course I had to take more pictures, but the water inside the phone (sob) started clouding up the camera, so I have a plethora of foggy pictures.


I tried out the battery and recharging cord too. They worked temporarily but quickly stopped, so I’ll be limited in daily battery usage for the rest of the trail. 10% per day, AZT Mazatzals-style.


Another dump of rain is forecast for tomorrow, so I’m going to take an on-trail rest day to avoid crossing Grasshopper Pass in the snow. I pitched my tent in a well-sheltered spot in the valley. Come at me rain!

Today’s distance is an estimate.

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