PCT Day 16: Gut issues, more rain and cold

May 7

Mile 418.6-439.6 (21.0)

Barking Spider here again. I’m taking over the blog this week.

It was an awful night for me. I got up to poop maybe six times through the night, often barely getting my shorts down in time. Didn’t get much sleep.

I was not feeling our 5:30 alarm after such a night and so we slept in. While packing up our wet gear, a trail angel walked over and told us there was coffee and cakes for us just down the trail. We got moving a little faster and both got a piece of carrot cake and some coffee from Paul. Paul told us stories of the Florida Trail while I wallowed in my misery. We were still 36 miles (2 days) from Hiker Heaven, and I felt I might need to go to a doctor ASAP. You can’t be neutral on a moving train, and not being ready to pull the trigger on an ER visit, we started walking.

Since yesterday, we have been watching out for poodle dog bush. It survives in recently burned forest between certain elevations. It can cause a severe skin reaction. Stretch gets wicked poison ivy, and is probably allergic to poodle dog bush, so we are trying to be vigilant.

We climbed and climbed and climbed (or so it felt to me). Looking at the map, I saw that we had only climbed 1,500 feet in 12 miles. We finally took a break for lunch at the windy and cold Messenger Flat Campground. We didn’t linger.

Hiked downhill for 6 miles. We made it to the North Fork ranger station and filled up on water. It was tempting to call it a day there, even though the wind was pretty bad, but in the interest in getting to Hiker Heaven a little sooner tomorrow, we headed further downhill to a really sweet campsite with 360 degree views. On this side of the mountain, we’ve got sunshine and warmth. Hoping for a better nights sleep.


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