PCT Day 80: Blackberries

July 10

Mile 1611.6-1639.1 (27.5)

I woke in the night to a light rain dribbling on my tent. The sky was a blur of cloud, all bright stars extinguished.

The fog persisted into the morning. It spilled out over a nearby ridge and blotted out the sun. I slept in. It was cold.

When I started hiking, there was a brief period of sun. It energized me and I walked quickly up the ridge. The trail was rocky and little streams splashed everywhere.

On the other side of the ridge was a giant soup bowl of cold fog. If I had had an alternative, I wouldn’t have hiked down into it. I craved sun and warmth. But for the rest of the morning, I was socked in. I put on my thermal shirt and kept hiking. I passed through another stark burn area made even more dreary by the fog.

In the afternoon, the sky cleared but a single dark cloud seemed to follow me. I was in a bad mood. What I saw of the scenery around me was stunning. I had plenty of food and water. I had a town breakfast to look forward to tomorrow. But somehow, I was really unhappy. I couldn’t think of anything nice. 

Late in the day, well into the long descent down to Seiad Valley, I spotted blackberries along the trail. Most were unripe but a few were dark and beckoning. They were so sweet and delicate. I ate them as I walked, always looking for the deepest color. I felt a little better.


4 thoughts on “PCT Day 80: Blackberries

  1. Without the clouds and occasional fires, we wouldn’t have the blackberries and flowers. My wife and I will be on the trail next season. It’s been really interesting and a huge help to see and hear your ups and downs. Stay warm, dry and safe!

  2. I appreciate your honesty and that you’re brave enough to share even the not-so-perfect aspects of your adventure. Funny how we humans can get ourselves in a funk, huh?

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