Day 28 Part 1 - Don't Drool on Your Down

(I've broken this day up into two parts, since my day took such a drastic turn for the worse.  The first part was written around lunchtime.  The second was written the next morning while I was trying to recover from a stomach flu and not succeeding.)

To celebrate four weeks on the trail, I have some tips for future PCT thru-hikers:

1.  Don't drool on your down
2.  Screw sleeping clothes, find comfortable clothes you can wear for a week.
3.  Cowboy camping is where it's at.
4.  Learn to love dirt.
5.  Stuff sacks are for losers.
6.  The whole trail is just an excuse to find the perfect mid day napping location.
7.  Or maybe it's just the quest for the perfect cathole location.
8.  Trekking poles are life.
9.  Don't carry more water than you have to, that shit's heavy.
10.  Say yes.  Unless it's pyschedelics.  Then say no.

Today has been pretty great so far.  I woke to the sound of people getting ready to go.  An early rising crowd, this is.  Mouse was out, hard.  I ate, packed up my stuff and asked him if he felt alright before I left.  He was fine.  Satchmo and Sage were still sleeping by the remains of the fire.

It wasn't long before I found Steve, Dan and Dave sitting around on logs.  I hadn't seen them since Big Bear, so I sat a spell and talked to them.  They said more snow fell on the Sierras and they were going to skip to Etna and hike to Canada from there, coming back to the Sierras for the finale.

The trail follows Holcomb Creek downhill all day today, lots of access to water.  This creek is lovely, reminds me of North Carolina when I'm down near it, but when the trail meanders away up the valley, it gets hot and dry fast.  I stopped to eat my chocolate before it melts.  Mouse caught up to me at a water stop.  I knew he would.  He shared some chocolate cookies with me.  Yum.

We kept hiking and around 11, Mouse spotted a nice pool of water in the creek below.  It was early for a lunch break, but around the next corner there was an even better swimming hole, so we stopped.  I stripped down to my undies and sports bra and dunked myself.  Mouse decided it was too cold and didn't come in.  It was cold, that snowmelt fed stream, but it was exhilarating.  Hiking after that, I felt like I did as a kid after swimming in the creek.  Leg muscles a little tight from the cold, a little off, but a smile on my face.

We hiked until a stream crossing, where I wanted to stop and have lunch but it just wasn't a great spot.  Mouse stopped to fill up his water bottle and complained of the bugs.  I left Mouse to his bugs and found a great spot for a nap just up the trail.  A nice shady tree, a meadow, cool breezes and the sound of the creek below.  Even a sunny rock to dry out my sleeping bag.

After my nap, Mouse was nowhere to be​ found.  I kept going down the trail and noticed his footprints.  I found Black Cap on the side of the trail and took a short break.  I also met Lisa from Norway.  Mouse's tracks got fresher, until I saw him on a switchback ahead.  I called out but he couldn't hear me.  Then, Lt. Dan from Israel came up fast behind me  The trail followed Holcomb Creek until it reached Deep Creek.  At the Deep Creek Bridge, I saw Mouse crossing the bridge and yelled again.  He saw me and waved, but I needed to get water.  When I finished, he was gone.  I didn't see his tracks ahead, so he must ha e either gone down for water or gone to the cabin.  I kept walking down the trail, stopping for dinner at an overlook.  This gorge reminds me of Linville Gorge back home, a deep slice winding through hills and rock.  The big difference is the trail is so easy and well maintained here.


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