Miles - 23
I wake at 5:15 and lay still for a while, enjoying the stillness of the dawn. Eventually I get up, tent down, stuff away and hike away first. I do always love hiking at first light. The air is cool and no one else is awake, I plan to continue early rising back home and walking when I can. I run into several random lone deer as they eat their morning grass. Brian catches up and I let him overtake. I’m running low on food again. I should actually plan my daily calorie intake. For the day I have
2 poptarts - 410
1 cereal bar - 170
1 mars bar - 240
1 noodle packet - 240
2 porridge packets - 300
2 wraps and choc sauce - 240+ 70 = 1970
I need to pack more food, I’m going to gorge myself at Vermillion Valley Resort.
I gradually rise up into the valley and think I must be dreaming. It so beautiful. The valley is lush and green with a quiet river flowing through it. Deer casually walk through it, their slender legs carefully picking their way through it.
I pass by many campsites, some have fire rings, flatten patches where tents have been. It’s all amazing, I follow the river as I ascend up the rocky pass, following deer hoof prints as I go. I find Brian soaking his feet and I wash my top which stinks. Then I fall in up to my knees and end up washing my shoes and socks too. I’m trying to drink more today and when I’m at the top I bother purifying my water. I eat two porridges packets - my hunger is immense today and I can’t wait to eat lots at VVR.
Hiking on I find Brian on a large rock as the 11am sun shines down. I’m hungry. Its 1000 ft and 2.5 miles to the top, we can’t see the path but we walk on anyway. It’s rocky all the way and water flows down the path from melty patches of snow. I don’t stop and keep moving. I get slow and hungry but keep going, trudging along. It feels like I’m in Iceland. I’ve never been but it’s how I imagine it to be. Then I see it. John Muirs hut. One final zigzag up and I arrive. I eat a mars bar to celebrate and head inside to check it out. The hut itself is very impressive. Curved and made of stone with a wooden door. There is a fireplace and mantle piece but it’s all stoned in. I sign the book and we chat with some PCT hikers and I am filmed saying a quote from a Dr Seuss poem for the PCT 2015 class film. I recently found the video and it’s great! It brings back fantastic memories!
I then walk down the other side which is more gradual with flowing rivers into lakes and stones everywhere. Everything is beautiful, apart from the mozzies which follow me here, there and everywhere. I catch up to Brian and we descend together then I stop for some noodles and to air my feet while he walks on. I hike on but don’t see Brian anywhere so I continue alone and walk down into the another stunning meadows with deers. It’s breathtaking. I walk till 7pm and pitch my inner pitch tent to keep the mozzies away. I smell a fire and watch mozzies try to invade my tent, thankfully their attacks are futile and I’m able to sleep in peace. I sleep in Mcclure Meadows.