Hiking, PCT 2015, Travels

Day 11: Moving Again

Siestas are definitely something I could get used to. An early start meant hiking in the cool part of the day, as well as alongside a shady creek. This made for a huge contrast as the sun came over the top of the hill. The trail started to climb and the temperature was rising. The desert smelled of rosemary today. At 10:30 I decided to make lunch and veg out for a while, not hiking again until 2pm. I found a small campsite with some handy shade and cooked up a huge bag of chicken and rice before lying back to sleep it off. Blazing Star turned up at around 12 and company made the hours go by a little quicker.

It’s been a slow day. Hiking at 2mph is challenging for me, although it makes a big difference to my knee so it is worth my remembering. I averaged that all morning, getting in 10 miles before I stopped. I also had a message from Chug whilst I still had cell service saying he had benefitted from going slow during the past 2 days. He has the same injury as me so it’s good to know what I have in store!

A hummingbird landed on my head as we were leaving our siesta spot, causing some surprise that they fly at the tops of the hills. I had them down as less hardy, perhaps unfairly. It led to my first suggestion of a trail name – Blazing Star said either “hummingbird” or “zumbadour” as it is translated in Costa Rica. Or “bird”. Or perhaps “roost” or “perch”. The possibilities are endless. But I’m not sold on them. The names are fine but the story is pretty lame. I want a better one.

The afternoon hike was relatively uneventful, but I passed through an odd landscape which was still recovering from a burn. Lots of scrub and rocks. And burned trees and rocks. Anyone think the burned yucca plants look like the animated broomsticks from Disney’s Fantasia?

We ended the day at trail angel Mike Herrera’s Sky Ranch, where there was barbecued chicken (“yard bird”) and fried potatoes as well as pancakes and syrup. I caused a stir saying “potatoes” in my English accent. Who knows what would have happened if I’d said “taters”?! It was a pretty chilled sort of place, with an eccentric host and an eclectic mix of volunteers. A new one turned up and moved into the RV just as we were bedding down in our shack. He comes from LA and has never been here before. No idea how Mike finds them. True to form, all hikers in bed by 9:30 whilst the volunteers and Mike’s family played on. Rock and roll.

Miles: 17.8
Camping: mile 127.3

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