Pacific Crest Trail (NOBO) Part 6/10


Because I am able.
Dec 31, 2017
Days: 112 - 127
Miles: 1376.1 - 1679.2
Zero Days: 1

There is a lot of fear mongering on trail, but for the most part, I could ignore it. This next stretch got to me though.
  • Heat wave coming
  • Totally exposed
  • I ran into a girl who got airlifted off
  • No water for 40 miles? (that is what they said)
To say I wasn't freaked out would be a lie.

Luckily, like all previous fear mongering, the actuality of the trail wasn't so bad. Yes, there was no natural water source from mile 1377-1406 (29 miles, not 40). But there was a reliable water cache 16 miles in. It definitely was a challenge and it would be my hottest day on trail (that I know of), but it would be highly memorable and a day that I would actually bond with other hikers.

Sawyer and I left camp at 04:45 AM and would make it to the water cache before noon. Everyone was napping or resting in the shade. Most hikers planned to stay there until the evening, but Sawyer and I decided to press on SLOWLY. It was 113 degrees outside and 107 in the shade.

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Does it look as hot as it was?

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After we left the water cache, I couldn't even make it a mile before I needed to lay down. I remember not understanding how it could be so hot and how would I be able to nap? I nodded off for about 10 minutes and awoke with my mouth agape and was covered in sweat. An older man, Camino had joined us beneath the tree.

We moved on. It would be us, Camino, and Slayer, shade hopping from bush to bush. Sometimes we would only make it 50 feet before we went ahead and sat back down. Once Sawyer and I made our way off the rim, we sat and waited to make sure Camino and Slayer made it down safely. We were all more exhausted than thirsty so we decided to camp instead of trying to push to the water. 4 others would join our tight camp spot, and as nervous as I get in large groups, all I felt was gratitude that each of these people had made it through safely.

1400 miles in bones. I didn't realize at the time, but it would be a fitting marker for the day I was about to have haha


Oddly enough, this day was MORE exposed. It couldn't have been as hot, but it definitely felt hotter. I ran out of water several miles from the next water source. I don't know that these symptoms have anything to do with being too hot or lack of water, but when I managed to make it to the water I was walking kinked to the side because my left side hurt so badly and my left arm was shaking uncontrollably.

I don't ask for help, but I needed it. Sawyer had to help me remove my pack and dress and then fetched water. Slayer was already there with her shirt stripped off as well. We are both modest females, but that just goes out the window when you are TOO HOT. Everything becomes more basic and less "judgey" when you are worried about your safety. It was an interesting thing to experience.

Burney Falls, been here before so I didn't bother trying to get a good picture.

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Starting to get Sierra tan again.


Fires, fires everywhere.

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This young buck actually showed interest in me earlier on trail and then showed up and got within 10-15 feet after I had collected water. I ended up being the one who backed up and left as he seemed to want to get even closer.

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I usually see a lot of bears when day hiking or on weekend backpacking trips, so it was surprising that I didn't see my first until almost 1500 miles in. A mom and cub were on trail. The mom ran off one side of the trail and the cub ran up a tree on the other side. It cried for her. Soooo cute his little noises. We gave them some time to rejoin, but they didn't, so we just walked right through. The mom showed no concern in us and went back to eating.

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Mmmmm chocolate milk creek!

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This is one of my favorite photos from the trip!

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I am not sure if it was because this section had been so mentally taxing, but this mile marker actually seemed important to me. For the first time it really hit me that "I WALKED 1500 MILES. I walked each step to these sticks!".


I had been wearing these shoes exclusively since mile 500ish, I finally replaced them.




I couldn't resist staying at the Railroad hotel that I had stayed at with Bobbie before! You get to sleep in decked out train cars!


Didn't realize how much I love pitcher plants!

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Lovely sunset leaving Dunsmuir.

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And sunrise.

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Trinity Alps has always been one of my favorite Wilderness areas.

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Someone was an engineer on trail and would set up these glorious leaves to make water collection easier. Thank you forever, stranger.


We would hike into Etna and spend a glorious afternoon and night there. This was the most hiker friendly town and we probably should have zeroed there. I spent $6 at a thrift store so I could take a break from being hiker trash.

Sawyer wanted to feel fancy too.



My favorite sign on trail.


1600 miles and I am a teapot. That is my handle and there is my spout.


Bloody ***** trail...says it all.

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Doesn't make for good breathing, but makes for nice pictures.

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There is a lake in there...

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The trail taught me that Thimbleberries are my favorite.

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This lovely doe got within a couple feet of me while I was trying to pee. I had to get pretty firm with her and toss some debris so I could finish my business before she came to drink it up.

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This was another section that most hikers were skipping. They had heard that there was a lot of bushwhacking... *forehead slap*. It ended up being fine and I am very glad I didn't skip it. I had never seen such tiny fawn before! They were like puppies!

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I have never seen a white orchid before!

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The morning after my worst night of sleep on trail.

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Another BLUE flower?! The world is so cool.

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Holey Shoes!!!
That is impressive.

Thanks for these. I am enjoying them.
The B&W deer photos are great, also like all the flowers.
Hi Miya - I signed up here tonite just so I could write and tell you how cool your journal is, amazing stories and great photos. I started binge reading them and thinking "When will part 5 be posted!!!?? Hurry up!!" You are an inspiration to a lot of people, I guarantee it. You make hiking the PCT look easy (and ... I'm pretty sure it isn't).
Welcome to BackcountryPost @Ted ! Your comment is much appreciated and I am glad you are enjoying the reports! I will probably post the 7th one tonight or tomorrow.

I hate to say this, but to me, the PCT was easy! Granted, it was the most physically taxing thing and there were challenges, but I woke up EVERYDAY wanting to hike and being so happy and grateful (until near the end haha, I started to get pretty grumpy). Ultimately, you are just WALKING, and while I am not an athletic person, heck I probably trip and fall more than your average person, I am able to walk.

However, I spoke with many female hikers that told me they cried at least once every single day, and I knew of 100+ hikers that quit, I know everyone says it so much that is cliche now, but thru hiking is more mental than physical. When I thought of the things that I had already overcame in life, what I subjected myself through, what I survived, the trail was easy breezy. Plus, my obsession with completing things I start, left me with no other choice but to finish. :)
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Hi, Miya. Our the past couple of years whenever I've read something about the PCT or have been near the San Rafael Swell I've thought of you and wondered if you'd been able to start (let alone complete) your dream. I was so happy to see your posts! Congratulations and Kudos!! You are one strong cookie. I look forward to the future installments. Thanks so much for sharing your journey.

P.S. Gotta ask.....Was it you making the organic mileage markers or were they already there?

@Stephanie B Aww that is so kind of you, that I have been in your thoughts :)

All trail markers were already there except:

403 - Made by me
511 - Made by me
600 - Made by NightRyder and Synergy
1400 - (Sawyer and I made one of rocks, but then we found the one with bones)
2100 - A random hiker we just met made it
2400 - Made by me

Sometimes we would find the marker later. The app that we used was changing/updating miles as we hiked, so sometimes our '2100' was before or after another thru hikers.
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