Pacific Crest Trail (2019) 3: Trust No One, Even Yourself

Sunday, March 17, 2019 – 12.10 miles

Another hot day with substantial elevation gain and good views. I concluded that Cottonwood Creek required fording after already getting my foot wet by stepping on a useless clump of reeds. There I met Ron and Bryan, two section hikers, and we took a break together at a shady picnic table in Boulder Oaks Campground.

I left first and as I was going, a man called out from another campsite saying that he had trail magic. I felt bad for not stopping since he tried to convince me to, but I plan to avoid organized trail magic on this hike. I always feel obliged to offer money, so it feels like paying for a service that I don’t really need.

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Ron and I hiked together in the afternoon, though I was faster on the uphills and kept getting far ahead (who am I? It feels like my character has disintegrated). We both decided to stop at Cibbets Flat campground, which is 0.6 miles off the PCT down Fred Canyon Road. I was in the lead and passed the road, thinking that we hadn’t walked far enough to have reached the correct one, but it did feel like we had gained a lot of elevation, so I checked eTrails soon after the road and saw the error. Poor Ron came huffing up and said jokingly ‘have we passed the campground?’. And I had to tell him that yes, we had… never trust other hikers, Ron.

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There’s a large elevation drop from the PCT to Cibbets Flat. I may not have stopped here if I had known, but it’s a pleasant and quiet campground with spigots, pit toilets and croaking frogs. Sites are $14, but I’m splitting the cost with Ron and a hiker named Linda who was here when we arrived. Linda is Canadian as well and fun to talk to. She has a lot of experience hiking in the snow and is planning to push through the Sierra Nevada whenever she arrives.

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