Day 2 on the Pacific Crest Trail started early (recap of Day 1 here). I woke up at 4:54 and couldn’t go back to sleep–to my body, it felt like nearly 8 AM. I slept OK. It was quiet, at least. No animals (or brother snoring!) woke me up during the night. The sleeping bag kept me warm enough but I had a stiff back. I really needed to go to the bathroom (and not the quick kind…) so I laid there for as long as I could. Apologies for any TMI–this is going to be a brutally honest post.
These are the notes I typed in my phone that morning: I might dig my first cathole soon.
I’m trying to wait so I don’t wake the others.
We’re off the grid right now, which feels weird yet nice. [The night prior I sent a message to Javi, using AM’s Garmin GPS phone, so he had a number to reach me in case of emergency–that gave me peace of mind! Thank you, AM!]
I finally got up, quietly taking care of business. I worried about getting germs in my eyes, so I carefully cleaned my hands with wipes, then hand sanitizer, before putting in my contacts:
The others woke up shortly after, and we started packing up. Joel heated up water, and I made Picky Oats oatmeal.
I wasn’t too hungry, so I ate about half, then offered it to the others. We were off and walking by 7 AM. I was pulling up the rear in our pack of 4, and I soon realized it was going to be a tough day. We stopped at a river to fill up water, and I hesitated to go pee since there was so little cover (no big bushes or trees) and there was such an embankment. Cole made a (very true) comment: “It’s much harder to be a woman on the trail.” So true, cousin. I decided to just hold it, and hoped the next stop would be better.
We walked and walked…Thankfully, the views were amazing, but the sun soon beat down on us, and there wasn’t much shade. I was starting to fade. In 2 hours and 40 minutes, we walked 7 miles. I felt beat, and my stomach a little queasy. I didn’t know if it was something I ate, the exertion, the time change, the elevation… a combo of all? I started to doubt myself, and wondered how I’d keep going. Was this a mistake? Should I turn back?
During our “coffee break” (in which I couldn’t even stomach the thought of coffee) I voiced my concerns to the group. Cole said I could use his trekking poles. Game changer! That helped sooo much! Plus, he said maybe I should lead (since I was the slowest–not too proud to admit it). Also a huge help. Instead of feeling like I was falling back, I felt empowered to lead the group, and step it up a bit.
Highlights of the day included seeing Mount Shasta in the distance, finding a baby rattle snake a few feet off the trail, and wowing at some huge pinecones.
We stopped a few hours later for lunch, and I definitely felt the hours of walking already. My back and legs were stiff, and stomach was still a bit off. We aired out our (dirty) feet, and took a nice long break. I didn’t have anything great for lunch, just trail mix and some candy bars.
Our late afternoon snack break…
We set up camp a little after 6. There was an ice cold spring nearby, so I enjoyed the cold drink, as well as a cold “hiker bath” (washed off my hands, arms, legs, and face). I enjoyed setting up camp at a leisurely pace, especially since my entire body ached from all the walking.
We had a “feast” for dinner that included polishing off an entire bag of beef jerky as an appetizer–jerky never tasted so good before! I made some Mountain House chicken fried rice, and gave the portion I couldn’t finish to Cole. We topped all that off with s’mores. We cooked the marshmellows over the JetBoil stove, since it was so dry, we couldn’t make a real fire. I had enough for us to each have 1 s’more, and an extra marshmellow so Cole could have 2.
Funny story: when we were little, we camped each summer together at a little campground in PA. One summer when Cole was little, he sang, “I wanna sah-MOH-ah” and the rest of us never forgot that 🙂
I changed into fresh clothes, brushed my teeth, and called it a day by 8:45 PM.
Total miles by segment: 7.1 + 4.1 + 4.2 + 3.7, so about 19 miles for the day. About 3,700 feet elevation change, 7.5 hours of walking, and 45,000 steps. WHEW! No wonder I was beat.
Read on… Day 3 here.