Saturday, August 18, 2018

Day 126- Cloudy With A Chance Of Thunderstorms

Saturday August 18, 2018
Trail Junction(2577.8) to Powerlines(2611.4) 
33.6 Miles 
Total Miles: 2325.8 
Elevation: 7,500 ft 

I have been very fortunate with weather on this trail so far. For the most part I haven’t had to hike in all day rain like on the AT or in Washington on the pct. With all of the fires in the West this season a little rain is actually a good thing. It rained for most of the night last night and I really expected it to rain all day. When I left camp this morning it looked like it was going to rain, but the sky cleared slightly. Packing up a wet tent is never fun, but at least I didn’t have to pack up a wet tent in the rain. The day started off very easy. By eleven o’clock we had already hiked twelve miles. Most of those miles were on a dirt or paved road. Straws, Piñata, and I walked side by side and laughed our way down the trail. We took an alternate route for a mile, that allowed us to stop at a campground for lunch. We had a picnic table, privy, trashcan, and potable water. We were in high spirits even though it had begun to sprinkle on us. 

Awesome sign

Curious horses 

We stayed st the campground for close to an hour. It sprinkled on and off the whole time and the temperature dropped rapidly. I put on my base layer top, rain jacket, and rain pants to help keep warm. When we finally left the campground the clouds cleared slightly and we walked uphill. It didn’t take long before we were overheated and had to stop to take layers off. 

Newish trail

Clouds and haze

Most of the day passed by in a blur. Straws and Piñata seem to pick up the pace after lunch, whereas I tend to slow down. Today was really a challenge to keep up with them. Around mile twenty eight I stopped trying to match their pace and just did my own thing. After s few miles I caught back up with them. I was just in time to hike past a big herd of cattle. Cows are one of the dumbest animals I have ever encountered. Instead of running away from us as we hiked by, ten of them decided to run down the trail in front of us. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but they kept crapping on the trail as they ran. We had to dodge their droppings as we walked. One cow got separated from its friends and trotted down the trail behind us. It really seemed like she was going to run me down. After a ridiculous few minutes of this, we stopped hiking and let her go by. Stupid cow! 

Cow following me 

Around mile thirty I lost Straws and Piñata again. I really needed a snack break and they went on ahead. My snack break was over pretty quickly because I started hearing thunder. I caught up to Piñata and Straws at a water source two miles ahead. We could see a pretty nasty storm inching its way closer to us. We decided to find shelter amongst some pine trees and wait out the storm. The trees provided a great shelter. We stayed mostly dry, but got pretty chilled just sitting around. They took the opportunity to cook dinner, while I tried to think warm thoughts. The storm lasted almost an hour. When it passed by we emerged from cover and started hiking again. Hopefully the rain I’ve encountered over the last two days is helping to put out the fire that is ahead of us. 

Straws and Piñata cooking dinner

Waiting out the storm

First time I saw the sun all day 

We hiked a few more miles before finding a place to call home for the night. The days are definitely starting to get shorter. By the time I set up camp, cooked, ate, and got into my tent it was after nine o’clock and very dark out. It feels like it will be another cold night tonight. I’m hoping for more rain tomorrow for the fire ahead of us, but I would like to stay dry as well. 

Rain helps make everything look so green 

“A high heart ought to bear calamities and not flee them, since in bearing them appears the grandeur of the mind and in fleeing them the cowardice of the heart.”
- Pietro Aretino


  1. Now that I am back home, I can post more easily. Your elevation change today didn't look too rough compared to some other days. I remember "cows to the left and cows to the right." Now you have "cows to the front and cows to the back." I wonder if we will see any cow quotes?

  2. Dad is tracking the fire around you. More rain would be good. I’m glad you’re seeing cows, horses instead of grizzlies!! LU

  3. Replies
    1. Maybe she couldn't "bear" to make one :)

  4. Wow, you’re really pounding out the miles now! Soon you’ll be hitting the home stretch through GNP! Hoping the fires die out soon with rain and effort from all the brave and awesome fire crews!