Day 147: (24.75 miles)
mile 2195.7 – 2220.45
Had an earlier than expected wake up call last night. We had camped about fifty feet from what we thought was a seldom used forest road. In the middle of the night a loud truck pulled up, a person got out with a flashlight and headed our way. He was shinning the light around and then locked in on our tent. As he approached, Paul asked him what he was doing? He said he was looking for the trailhead because he was hiking the trail tomorrow. He then asked if we were PCT hikers? We said yes, and he got all excited saying he had never met “PCT Hikers”. He asked if we started in Mexico. We said, yes. He said, “Wow, that’s cool!”. He started to ask more questions and then apparently realized it was late and we were literally half asleep (fully before he drove up) and apologized for the intrusion and drove away. We usually don’t camp near active roads for this very reason. In the morning we heard loud knocking noises and also what sounded like something or someone walking in the forest. It was below us, then behind us, then in front of us, and then up the trail near where we were camped. The loud crunching we thought was deer or maybe even elk, but when we heard the knocking, we looked at each other and said, Sasquatch? Then we saw it…a large squirrel up a tree, knocking pine cones out of the top of a tree. After knocking ten or so cones down he would come down and collect them. Actually there were several. Thus, why it seemed to be all around us. No Sasquatch! Darn.
We hiked all day through dense forest,with some massive trees. We passed the 2200 mile mark and crossed a few open plateaus. Later in the day, we took a break to soak our feet in Blue Lake.
Had it been earlier in the day we would have swam and/or floated on our mats for a bit. No such luck today. While soaking we met two women drying out from a hail/rain storm last night. Fire Starter and Warden, were out for a five day hike and were being resupplied by their husbands.
They described a horrific storm last night which we gratefully missed. We had camped on the other side of the mountain range were sparred from the deluge, in fact we never had a drop. Lucky us! We said good bye and hiked off making some extra miles for the day. Camping spots were scarce, if not non existent for more miles than we had initially intended on walking. This however allowed us to experience the neatest optical illusion as the sun began to set.
The bright orange light from the lowering sun shot through sparse openings in the trees, like a color filtered stage spot light, causing parts of the forest to appear to be on fire. Simply spectacular.
Once the “light show” was over, we continued on our way in search of a flat piece of real estate. We made camp about two miles past the Sawtooth trailhead, tired, hungry and especially happy to have missed a storm.