Day 15- BFT
There is nothing like sleeping in and waking up to a beautiful sunny day next to a little lake in the mountains. The weather was chilly this morning, but standing in the sun felt amazing. I wasn’t in any rush so I decided to fish for a bit before I left, but didn’t catch anything. After a boring poop and a slow water squeeze I left my little heaven.
Trail was immediately spectacular. The dense Alpine forest covered me from the sun as I slowly descended down to wooly creek. Once I made it to the creek I was blissed put thinking the rest of my day would be filled with chill hiking and smooth terrain, but I was quickly proven wrong. The second I crossed the creek the trail brought me uphill through an insane few miles of bush whacking and tree climbing. It took me forever to get through it and the worst was yet to come.
I slowly found some steady ground, but then found myself met with a sea of poison oak. I tried my best to make it through untouched, but we will see in a few days how well I did. The terrain again proved relentless. I would lose the trail the second I found it again and spend so much time ducking under fallen trees or wading through chest high bushes. Fucking hell.
After an hour or so I had enough and stripped down to jump in the creek. I spent almost thirty minutes splashing in a beautiful swimming hole next to a miniature waterfall before I got my clothes back on and kept moving. Eventually after hours of bullshit I began climbing uphill to the PCT and the poison oak faded out. I couldn’t wait to get on the PCT and hike on that highway without a single blockade.
The second I got on the PCT everything changed. I forgot just how spectacular that trail is and how well maintained. I’m hiking the PCT all the way to Siead Valley through the Marble Mountain Wilderness. I blasted five miles in about two hours again blissed out on the beauty of the surrounding peaked and ridgelines. I had a few flashbacks to this section from my thru hike in 2016, but honestly didn’t remember too much of what I saw. Maybe because two years ago I was plagued with a shin splints and focused on getting to town asap. If you want to read my blog on this section from two years ago check it out here and here.
I eventually made my way to Paradise Lake and started to fish with some other day hikers. This man told me in 19 years of living out here he has caught 611 bears. He uses dogs and runs them up trees and then let’s them go. Not sure the point, but he was really proud. He said it’s all in the chase. After another dinner next to a fire and a gorgeous sunset over the ridge I’m in my quilt ready to sleep deeply to prepare for another day on the PCT. I love this trail!