04 Apr Day 8 – Where is the water?
Hiked 20.1 miles, At 134.8 miles.
I started hiking at 6 am and finished about 6 pm, but I took several long breaks and some shorter ones. Although I feel strong, a muscle on the outside of my right shinbone feels sore when walking downhill. Near the end of the day, I noticed that it was bruised looking and swollen, so even though I wanted to keep hiking, I thought it best to take the next tent site.
Over the day, the terrain changed from shady creek side to pink boulder strewn mountains, to desolate high desert mountains. It is always interesting to cross over a ridge and see different landscapes and new views. Today was one of the longest stretches without water so the pack was heavier. Some water sources that are usually reliable were reported dried up. We use the PCT Water Report like you used to read the newspaper every morning. Hikers self report water conditions and the PCT water report is updated. I download the latest report to my phone. Also, the hiking app Guthook is used by all PCT thru-hikers and includes self reported trail news including water reports. You have to check both. I carried as much as 5.5 liters of water today. It is recommended to carry 1 liter per 4 – 5 miles, but weather, time of day, and hiking speed should be considered and you should carry more than you need.
Here is some of what I saw.
Early morning view back toward Warner Springs. Clouds settled in the valley.
A plant on the side of the trail.
Trail passes between 2 large boulders. The trail meandered through and around many beautiful pinkish boulders in one area.
In the afternoon I moved over a ridge and into even hotter and drier terrain.