Day 2: Windy Night

PCT Mile 1202.4 to 1220.6

Miles Hiked = 18.2

The wind woke me up last night at about 2am and continued through the rest of the night. My tent was staked down securely so I wasn’t worried. But I was cold so I zipped up my down jacket and tucked my head down under my down quilt. I fell back asleep.

This time of the year it starts to get light shortly after 5am. I tried to ignore the brightening skies but ended up exiting my tent at 5:45am. The winds were still blowing and it was cooler then I expected so I kept all my layers on but was still chilled as I tore down camp. My pack was ready at 6:45 so off I went, northward on the PCT.

Cold morning

The first few days on a backpacking trip like this are always challenging. It takes a few days to acclimatize to the altitude. It takes a few days to get used to carrying a full backpack. My first food resupply is in five days and each days ration of food weighs about two pounds – so I was carrying almost ten pounds of food. Luckily water is generally abundant in this part of Northern California so I don’t have to carry a lot of water like Donna and I did when we hiked through the Southern California deserts.

The scenery was beautiful on this late June windy morning. I passed by several lakes

Tamarack Lake

I soon arrived at a car-camping campground that was adjacent to the PCT. I stopped and disposed of some trash and utilized the privy. When you’re home it’s kind of disgusting to use a pit toilet – when you’re a PCT hiker it’s quite the luxury. Isn’t it interesting how perspective can change based on circumstances?

On top of a ridge line I enjoyed a nice view looking back at the Sierra Buttes where I had started yesterday.

And then I passed a few more mountain lakes.

I ran into a few mountain bikers that lived in nearby Truckee. They weren’t biking on the PCT because the PCT is only legal for hikers and equestrians but there are quite a few other trails that crisscross the PCT that are open to bikers.

The tail was virtually snow free with the exception of this patch that I carefully walked across

And then I ran into a couple that was parked at the end of a dirt road up in the middle I nowhere. They looked to be mountain bikers also. I chatted with them for a minute and then off they went. I took a photo of their rig.

The trail continued to the north

And the Sierra Buttes became more distant behind me

I didn’t see one other PCT hiker today. That’s never happened to me before – usually there are lots of PCT hikers along the trail. The word is that a lot of hikers stayed off the trail because of COVID-19. Seems to me that the trail would be a pretty safe place to isolate. You just have to be careful when you go into town to resupply (masks, social distancing, etc).

Late in the day I collected water from a spring and then hiked on another mile and made camp.

Here’s a profile on what my hike looked like today – a little over 18 miles and over 3000 feet in elevation gain and loss.

Thanks for reading!

10 thoughts on “Day 2: Windy Night

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