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PCT 2015 Day 118: Here Comes the Rain Again

  • Start: 2,061.5
  • End: 2,085.4
  • Miles: 23.9
  • Camp: Before Hwy 26

I woke up to more rain today, this time heavier and windier…so I stayed in bed until it stopped! It eventually gave up around 8am, and we were hiking at 9am so we knew big miles were going to be a slim possibility today.

The trail was chilly and damp, winding through dense forests. The forests have changed though, still pine but the trees are tall and skinny rather than the larger sturdy ones I’ve been used to. The rain overnight and the wind this morning catches the thinner trees at the tops, and the forest makes all kinds of strange sounds. I’ve gotten used to the normal sounds of creatures scuffling and leaves rustling, but the squeals and groans of the woods today were all new.

I saw Oregon grapes for the first time in a few days and remembered that I hadn’t tried them yet. They are dusty blue berries, sour but tasty and I think they would probably make decent jam. The damp and the cooler temperatures had also brought out salamanders and slugs, one a welcome addition to the list of familiar trail fauna, one not so much. 

The rolling hills and the mix of drizzle and cool breeze meant the rain jacket was on and off and on and off all day. It began to rain just as I’d constructed my lunch, and stopped again when I’d packed up to continue walking. Annoying. It also meant I didn’t need to drink as much, which meant a lighter pack and fewer stops. Better.

It began to rain properly as we headed up the final hill. I stopped to note the odd-looking clear cut in the forest that had evidently been created to make room for power-lines, but otherwise we kept our heads down and went ploughing on.

We had been aiming for the highway but stopped a couple of miles early and sheltered under some trees not far from a stream to camp. Doc and Fancy Feet were already there having hiked in the rain this morning and gotten ahead of us. It seemed a busy site with a couple of other tents I didn’t recognise. I also noticed that the presence of day hikers meant a substantial amount of toilet paper lying around all over the place. Gross. Pack it out, people. Or at least bury it. I’ll pick up trash I find lying in the trail but I draw the line at toilet paper.

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