1452 to 1476 (McCloud River)
Crisp and cold in the early morning hours. I hiked bundled up in my fleece hoodie and down coat. But the PCT provides constantly changing conditions. The only thing you can rely on is change. That you are going to have to learn to adapt.
By afternoon, I was baking in the heat and drenched in sweat. The ridgewalking along Grizzly Peak was gorgeous, but I knew I was not able to appreciate it. All I could do was trudge along head down under the shade of my umbrella, sweltering as the heat hung heavy in the air, fantasizing about ice cold drinks and swimming in mountain waters.
|Hiding from the heat under my umbrella.|
|Fern clinging to a rockface.|
By late afternoon, I was descending to the McCloud River. Long before I could see it, I could hear the roar of the water. I imagined soaking my feet in the cool waters and falling asleep in my hammock to the music of the cascading water. But when I finally got to the river, I found that the PCT had taken me to a car-accessible campground by the water.
|The magnificent McCloud River with whitish-tinted waters.|
I kept hiking across the bridge. The banks were steep on this side of the river so I just kept hiking and I ended up camping away from the river, though at least I could still hear the water. Guess it didn't matter anyway that I couldn't see the sunset, because I was too tired to keep my eyes open. I just crawled into my hammock, felt my feet throbbing and aching, the poor things. Then I fell asleep.
Yet another day I hadn't seen anyone at all.