Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 70: Most Useless Pump Ever

Thursday, August 09, 2018 – 19.10 miles

Today was another hot, muggy, hazy day and I’m over it. The last weather forecast I saw indicated that tomorrow should be cooler, so I’m here for tomorrow. Not today. 

The one relief of the past few days has been the trail being mostly in shade. With its ferns and moss and grand old trees, the forest reminds me of the temperate rainforest in British Columbia.


The only decent view was of a creek in a valley, otherwise everything was shrouded in haze. Toilet paper was often visible, however. I moved quickly (Pockets-quickly) with the boredom of someone looking at the same things repeatedly. Every water source looked okay except for the Windy River, which in areas had green slime.

Bridge over the Windy River
Windy River

Encountering VENOM at a trail magic location, I learned that she had been picked up by random people at a road and taken to their house for a barbeque. That’s amazing but I was amazed just by the bananas in the trail magic. I told a few SOBO hikers about the fruit and they were like ‘BANANAS!’ with their eyes alight with Christmas magic. The power of fresh fruit. There was also water and assorted dry goods.

The thick underbrush didn’t enable stealth camping, so I veered into Panther Creek Campground, which is 0.2 miles from the PCT. I knew the facilities were limited so I was hoping the cost would be $5 or the like, but it was $18! That’s way too much! There are trash cans and outhouses and a pump which is the most useless thing ever. Pump it and water spurts out at the speed of a Sawyer Squeeze, falls into a shallow basin and drains onto the ground. Collection in a water bottle was impossible because of the basin, so I had to use my dirty water scoop and filter the water. Another hiker is here and wormed his way into a family gathering at a huge RV.

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