Day 107: mile 1516.9 to mile 1545.9

7.31.18. 29 miles.

I had originally set my alarm for 4:45 this morning, but snoozed it and went back to sleep. I was pretty tired! I woke up shortly after at 5, and got my clothes on, but was still tired, so I just laid back down with my quilt draped over me and scrolled through insta for a bit since I had service. After getting bored of that, I finished getting ready, and was hiking by 6:15.

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It was pretty smoky this morning. After 2 miles I reached a tentsite that is supposed to have amazing views of Castle Crags, but I could only barely see the outline of the mountains. It looked pretty cool though. I did run into Sprinkles though! It was nice to see a familiar face. I had no idea where she was. She informed me that her hiking partner, Burps, had just left camp. I hadn’t seen him since the Sonora Pass area.

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The morning wasn’t too difficult, even though it was mostly climbing. It was all fairly gradual though, and followed some ridges, so there were nice views, despite the smoke. I can tell that this is a really gorgeous section, and it sucks that I can’t really enjoy it in its full glory. Maybe this will be a section me & Mom do as a fun trip. Something that made the morning pretty great: it wasn’t crazy hot! And there was a breeze, so no annoying bugs flying around my face!

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I took a lunch break at Porcupine Lake right off the PCT. It was such a pretty lake, and Sprinkles and Burps joined me. Too bad it wasn’t super hot, or I may have gone swimming. But it was actually breezy and I was not warm, sweaty, or dirty enough to take a dip. Mainly I just didn’t want to be cold. I only rested for about 1.5 hours before continuing on.

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As the day went on, the hiking got easier - the trail was practically flat at points, and it never really got hot, and surprisingly, there were patches of blue sky! I hadn’t seen blue sky since Burney, so this was pretty exciting. I am heading further north currently, but tomorrow will be going south for about 30 miles until sharply turning north again. We’ll see how the air quality is tomorrow. But it definitely got better as the day went on, which was exciting. I was also able to get some service and check on the progress of the Carr fire and saw that they were getting more containment, so hopefully it will be out soon enough!

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I was debating where to stop for the night, but since the hiking had been pretty easy, and my feet didn’t hurt, which was a nice change from the last stretch from Burney to Shasta, I decided to push to the further tentsite since there was water there. I had been leap frogging with Raven all day, but he left me here, needing to do more miles to make it to Ashland in less than a week. I found a nice spot up away from the trail a bit and gathered water from a very slow trickling stream. I was the only person here for a while, but another hiker showed up while I was eating dinner in my tent, and another just rolled in - it’s after 9, so they’re hiking pretty late! There’s a nice breeze tonight, and for the first time in a long time, I was happy to actually get into my quilt, instead of just laying it on top of me or even off to the side. Maybe I won’t wake up in the middle of the night to me sweating like crazy!