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City: Rancho Palos Verdes
Begins: May 9, 2009
Date: Sun, Aug 30th, 2009
Start: Blue Lake
End: Beyond Hwy 23
Daily Distance: 25
Trip Distance: 2,238.0
Entry Visits: 591
Journal Visits: 132,540
Guestbook Views: 13,620
Guestbook Entrys: 182
I had an interesting night visitor. After talking about bears with the folks who invited me to share their campsite and having their food hanging above my tent, I was awakened in the middle of the night by a scratching noise right beside me. Startled, I found the light and shone it around but didn't see anything. I poked my head out of the tent and to my relief nothing there either. So I switched the light off and almost immediately the noise resumed. When I turned it back on I discovered a mouse in the tent trying to find some food. As there weren't any bugs when I set up the tent, I had not fully shut the zipper and he must have snuck in through the door as fortunately there were no holes in the tent. I managed to shoo him out pretty quick. But it did cause a little bit of excitement.
It didn't rain overnight but my wet boots and socks didn't dry either. That really didn't matter as all the undergrowth was still very wet so I got my feet soaked again pretty quickly. It had clearly rained a lot more where I was now hiking so I was lucky to have dodged heavy rain yesterday. But today the sun had returned and it didn't take long for my feet to dry out once the moisture on the plants had evaporated.
All day I was in forest so there wasn't a lot to see. I did go past a lot of lakes and caught one of them at just the right angle to the sun to capture the early morning evaporation. I did get one brief glimpse of Mt Adams through the trees but that was all.
It was another good day for trail magic. A young couple who had hiked the Appalachian Trail was set up at Road 24 with a host of trail magic. As it was close to lunch I had a bratwurst hot dog along with some fresh fruit and a beer. At that intersection there was a big open area of brush and lots of people out with small pales picking huckleberries. I found out this side of the road anyone can pick them but on the other side only the native Indians are allowed.
I know it’s a standard cliche, but I am really trying to take one day at a time and not keep looking ahead. But it is really difficult especially having got this far. I came across this sign saying "420 2GO" marked beside the trail with sticks so someone else has the same urge to think ahead. I must admit I do keep the altitude profile for Washington and I am plotting my overnight points along it. It does look a little scary as the trace resembles one of those earthquake plots they always show on TV. I clearly have a lot of work ahead of me still.
But today, the trail was mostly reasonably flat and the only real climb was in the early evening and it wasn't as severe as anything yesterday. Beside Road 23, there was a cooler of trail magic. I had a beer but drank it quickly as I still had another mile to the campsite I was aiming for. When I got there it was already occupied but there was a lot of space and the occupants were very willing to share as it was a big campsite. It was right beside a fast flowing creek so staying here meant no water to carry for the overnight. So here I am with the noise of the creek to soothe me to sleep and tonight the tent is fully secured.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org
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