Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 9. 10 before 10

115 to 136

Today I hiked 10 miles before 10 o'clock.  First time I've ever done that.

Made it to Tule Springs, our first day on the PCT hiking over 20 miles. We are still trying to take it easy to prevent injury.  But it's hard to hold back sometimes because the trail is so well graded so it's much easier hiking than the trails back in Georgia.  Today we climbed several thousand feet, but it was so gradual, it never seemed like work.  Now I know those of you who have hiked with me are rolling your eyes because you know that I don't struggle with uphills very often, but I assure you that other people say this trail is well graded too-it's not just me!
Pathfinder cruising on the PCT.
For this first 100 miles, the PCT has definitely been easier hiking than the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail (my old stomping grounds). While the AT climbs up steeply to the top of each hill, the PCT has long gentle switchbacks and follows the contour lines. They say it's because it's graded for horses, but I like to think its because the trail constructors actually wanted us to have a positive experience. And it's not just the grades, it's also that the trail is usually nice sand or dirt with few rocks so it's gentle on the feet. It makes for delightful walking. I pretend that the trail is saying it likes us hikers and wants us to be happy. I am definitely feeling the love.

The PCT is wonderfully maintained as well. A huge thank you to the trail maintainers who make the trail so nice.  It's been really easy to follow even when night hiking.  The other nice touch was little signs pointing out poison ivy.  I only saw one blowdown across the trail so far and it was one I could walk under without even taking down my umbrella.
Only one downed tree so far.  Thanks to the trail maintainers for such a great trail!
I keep thinking how much my Trail Dame friends back in GA would love this trail.  Another great day!
Gorgeous flowers.


  1. Hi Hemlock, great post...really enjoy them. Can I ask you how much water you carry each day, how much you drink, and what kind of filter you use? Thanks, Diane

    1. I carry a sawyer mini. The amount of water depends on temperature, terrain, how much food I have, and miles between water. Sometimes only a liter, more often 3 liters, and sometimes 5-6 liters if it is a 20 mile water carry on a hot day when I know I need to rehydrate my lunch, dinner, and breakfast. its been a learning experience for sure, and water is often the heaviest thing in my pack.

  2. I am loving following your adventure Joan. May good winds always be at your back.

    1. great to hear from you Patti! hope all is well with you my friend!