Smoke On The Mountain

Day 14

Mileage: 31.2

Total distance: 400.6
Tonight I am at Glenwood Camp and climbed up the ridge a ways to watch the sunset. There are four other hikers down by the cabin, which makes me feel great about choosing this spot for the night. There’s are streaks of gold sinking behind the range in front of me and directly behind me are stars beginning to shine above the mountains. Mosquitos are eating me alive. 

Today kicked my ass!! So many climbs and some serious elevation change in the past thirty miles. Right off the bat this morning there was a 4 mile, 3,500 feet climb and for some reason I had a ton of energy to blast up it. Perhaps it was the coffee and donuts this morning on the way back up the hill. 

As soon as I was dropped off by my incredible host family, I realized I left my wallet in their car. Shit. No service. I began wandering around trying to find some and started trying to hitch, but nothing was working. Finally, I got one bar and sent my message quickly and thankfully it went through. About fifteen minutes later they showed up with my wallet and I thanked them endlessly for helping me with my carelessness. I felt like a fool!! Right after this I started hiking and immediately crossed a rattlesnake. That’s number 5? 

The views today were jaw dropping. It’s so cool to look back and see where you’ve come from and where you’re going next when you stand on a mountain. At one point you could look down and see LA nestled in a pocket and on a really clear say you could seethe ocean, but it was too hazy for that. 

I really enjoyed being alone today and got to do things at my own pace without feeling bad for holding someone else up. The trail took me in and out of pine forests and zig zagged up and down the ridges that stretched west. 

Around mile 15 I summited a mountain and before me I could see smoke ascending off a peak not too far away. Sounds of helicopters filled the air and soon I saw them coming and going spraying water around the fire in attempts to control its burn. I sat for a long time and watched this and began hiking again and was still able to see it off and on. I began getting closer to the fire and started worrying the trail was going straight into it and at the last minute it dipped down to highway 2 and is at the perfect time for another reroute. The section the fire was in was a protected area for a species of frog, but unfortunately now was on fire. Poor little guys. The reroute included three miles of road walking and 1.4 miles of a side trail to connect you back to the pct. The side trail was breath taking! It follows a canyon and massive cedar and pine trees fill up the forest and greenery swept the floor. It was so lush and perfect with my timing going through it. The golden hour had begun and I was on cloud nine. So. Damn. Pretty. Also, I reached mile 400 today! Wahoo!!

  • Side trail of wonder. 

The last five miles were slow going, but the grade was low and the sky was colored beautifully. Now that I am sitting up on this hill I can hear owls hooting in the distance, mixed with a low hum of the helicopters working hard to maintain the fire. There is an owl so close by it scared me when I first heard it. I wonder what he’s gonna do tonight? 

Thought of the day:

Who won game 2?!?!

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