PCT Day 103: Woke up in a Cloud

August 2

Mile 2159.3-2190.5 (31.2)

Fat raindrops fell on my face around midnight. I was up immediately to set up my tent. A big cloud had rolled in and engulfed me, misting everything and moving quickly toward rain. My sleeping bag was already damp, but I managed to keep it from getting soaked. For the rest of the night, my sleep was punctuated by the drumming of rain on my tent.

I woke at 5:30 but went back to sleep when I heard rain. I slept another hour before moving toward permanent wakefulness. I started hiking pretty late. The wet cloud disappeared as I descended. Grey skies and dry ground down in the valley.

The forest was so green and beautiful. Almost like I could hear things growing. I listened to a great radiolab podcast yesterday about networks of fungi under the forest floor that facilitate the sharing of food and resources. I thought about this relationship as I walked, imagining the vast network of roots and fungi beneath my feet. The trail was soft and loamy. Pines and ferns surrounded me. It was very quiet.

I passed Rock Creek and Snag Creek and dirt roads and smaller streams. I climbed 1500 feet to another ridge and followed it for two miles before descending back all the way down. When I look at an elevation profile, the climbs and descents seem arbitrary, so I have to picture my line of travel in the context of the landscape. Like the children’s game: can’t go under it, can’t go around it, gotta go over it!

It rained on me briefly on the ridge, bur by the afternoon I saw short glimpses of blue sky. Not quite enough to dry my tent and sleeping bag, but enough to feel good. There was a long flat section down at 1000ft elevation and I cruised along. When I hit the last long climb of the day, I tackled it steadily, stretching my legs and pumping my trekking poles. 

I followed a ridge and nearly stopped early at a lovely campsite on an exposed ledge. It was windy but had sweeping views to the south. I paused for a moment, then continued on. I felt good, the temperature was cool, and it would be nice to get another three miles in. I hiked for an hour then set up camp at a site with a few tents already sprinkles about. Talked with So Far and So Good for a while, then bed.


4 thoughts on “PCT Day 103: Woke up in a Cloud

  1. Wonderful journey with informative inspiring writing about connecting with ourselves and nature. Now in a time when the planet is under threat of becoming uninhabitable because of human activity, this experience and sharing it with others becomes very valuable and necessary to save the planet and humanity in a vast Universe we are part of that we are now discovering. Life may be rare in the Universe.
    The PCT is a formidable trail through incredible natural wonder, and the amount of energy and commitment to hike the distance is a considerable achievement with great rewards and inspiration to others to reconnect and live within the natural realm. Thank you for sharing and hope the journey continues to go well.

  2. Hope Jahren, a botanist, swears you can hear corn growing in a field – you just need to listen! She’s written a very interesting book, Lab Girl, about her growing up and her studies and work – very interesting!

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