Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 29: Lurking in the Bushes

Friday, April 12, 2019 – 12.50 miles

Judging by the ice in my water bottle this morning, and how I started shivering immediately when I left my tent during the night to pee, the nighttime temperatures were the lowest they’ve been yet. I was wearing my down jacket in my sleeping bag, but surprised that I stayed warm without my rain jacket or pants. Good job, bag. I’m sorry for always non-silently judging you for how the down has migrated away from your underside.

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Upon leaving Disappointment Cabin I immediately felt the effects of yesterday’s hike. I had zero energy and was feeling almost giddy, like my brain was being pumped with endorphins to deceive it about what was actually going on. Sure, your muscles are fine, sure. I tried to eat a lot throughout the day – the thought of trying to eat a lot of trail food is nauseating – since I don’t think I got enough calories yesterday, and that’s why it hit me so hard.

The morning featured pretty views back to snow-covered slopes.

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I passed the Predators in Action property, where bears etc. were previously trained for movies, but now the cages are empty and the property is for sale. Maybe the animals have been moved to a nicer home with fewer smelly hikers.

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Predators in Action
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I was planning to camp in the vicinity of Arrastre Spring, but the trail got trashy in the canyon with toilet paper and other garbage, and the forest was where toilet paper goes to die. One of my hiking poles landed on a piece. It was old and weathered but I’m traumatized nonetheless.

Taking the wrong route at a junction, I ended up on the old PCT, which was rerouted at some unknown time for some unknown reason to the other side of the creek. By the time I realized I was on the wrong trail, I had already walked a fair distance, so I decided to simply follow Old PCT to its next junction with New PCT. I saw an owl, which was exciting since I’ve never seen one before. From my position it looked more like a dark lump than anything, but I could hear its hooting and see its chest moving with the sound.

Eventually I found a place to wild camp on Old PCT, clearing away a thick layer of pine cones.

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