PCT Day 9 – Warner Springs

22.9 miles, near 109.5

I attempted to wake up before 530, but every time the alarm went off, I’d look over and Carie was snoring, so I’d snooze it. That happened 5 times, so we didn’t get out of the tent until 630, and not on the trail until 730 🙃

The irritating:

• Thought we were sheltered from the wind last night, but there were still moments that felt like we were blasting off into space.

• More terrain today like yesterday, in and out of canyons that makes it feel a lot longer

• In and out of the wind, in and out of the sun, in and out of the mist. Hard to regulate our layers and body temp.

• Saw some helpful signs pointing out poison oak, but there are so many other plants that are shiny with leaves of 3, everything looks dangerous.

• We weren’t sure if there was camping in the last 10 miles before town, so we decided to just go for town. Some hikers stopped at an unmarked camping spot on the river that would have been perfect, but I was in the zone and stupidly kept going. Maybe we’re not quite ready for 20+ mile days.

The sublime:

• Once we did get off the ridge and out of the canyons, we entered some beautiful meadows. We had threatening clouds on either side of us all day, but always a patch of blue in sight. The green, red, and purple grasses swayed in the breeze.

• The very last stretch before camp was along a delightful stream, meandering through giant old trees (not sure what type of tree, waxy oval leaves). We could hear crickets and frogs and birds chirping. Tried to enjoy it, despite feeling very done with hiking for the day.

• Tried listening to music with earbuds for the first time. It was a great kick after lunch. Something about sensory deprivation and I felt like I could hike forever.

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