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PCT 2015 Day 21: The Tropical Paradise of Silverwood Lake

  • Start: 313.4
  • End: 335.5
  • Miles: 21.1
  • Camp: Above Silverwood Lake

Early on the trail this morning we came across a water cache with a trash can, which for us is a big win. The amount of packaging on food, even after decanting and discarding the outer packets of things in town, is pretty horrific. We pack out all our trash, toilet paper, and any trash we find discarded by the side of the trail by other hikers or blown by the wind, so an opportunity to get rid of it is great! We left notes in the cache to say we had visited and to thank the people who maintain it for their thoughtful trash can. 

Over the hill, we saw Silverwood Lake appear, shining a glorious blue amid green hills and steep rocks. It reminded me of holiday brochures of tropical island hideaways. Jet skis and motor boats dotted the surface which just added to the effect. 

We peeled off trail to a beach where we could take lake water to supplement our supplies, and it was so idyllic we stayed for a while lounging in the sun. A few miles later we stopped again at a picnic area with tables, outhouses and running water. Again we took almost an hour break. I ordered new shoes to be delivered to Wrightwood as mine are now shredded on the inside, and found that even with a U.S. dollar card, a U.K. billing address is prohibitive to getting anything done. One of the guys ordered on my behalf in the end, such was the barrier to being foreign here! The old shoes have given me heel blisters, and I also have some chafing so I have new pain to replace old pain! There won’t be a day when nothing hurts out here, but it seems insignificant somehow. The grandeur of the scenery, the variety, the distance, the hours, and the friendships. So much good out here that it makes it hard to complain about anything.

It has been such a lazy day, no one hiking particularly fast and pushing hard, lots of breaks, lounging in the sun. And yet we covered over 21 miles. I think we are all stronger than we think. It’s a nice feeling.

Once we climbed away from the lake, the trail became narrow again with few places to camp. Our foursome had to split up, with tiny campsites only accommodating a single tent or cowboy camper. A shame not to camp together but after such a lazy day with so many breaks, it hardly seems an issue.

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