Mile 394 to 415

We left our campsite a mile before Cooper Canyon Trail Camp and began walking uphill to start our day. Soon we were in a mixed forest with stately trees towering overhead. The PCT out of the Buckhorn Flat Campground is beautiful, especially in early morning light.

Water was plentiful for the first-half of the day, and we didn’t have to carry much in between sources, which was nice because my food bag was still heavy. I think I packed out too much and am paying the price each day with the extra weight.

We met a Hungarian guy who is doing a long section of trail from Warner Springs to Yosemite National Park. He is in the middle of doing an internship (perhaps he meant residency) for internal medicine, but said it was very stressful and he needed a break so he came to the U.S. to hike on the PCT. I have met people from all walks of life out here including doctors, nurses, EMTs, firefighters, chocolatiers, and medicinal cannabis farmers. You name it and they are probably out here.

Disparate though our careers may be, we all have something in common. We took a leap of faith and came out here to hike the trail. Whether it is for a week, a month or a full thru-hike, we have all committed ourselves and jumped in with both feet. With that shared experience in place, people are a lot more open, welcoming, and caring out here. You are more likely to trust, share, and help each other. I wish life before the trail was like this, and I hope life after is.

Over 400 miles! The desert is half over.

We did about 18 miles by 12:30, which was partially my “fault” since when I am in front I drive a fast pace. The rest of the group agreed that yesterday was the third hardest day on trail, and they were looking forward to an easier day, but no one else every wants to be in front so the task fell to me.

We found and amazing siesta spot with generous shade and grand vistas. We took full advantage and relaxed for 3 1/2 hours alternating between sunbathing and snoozing in the shade. I also took a poop with another amazing view. In fact, three of us did.

Poop spot!

We started back on trail and the views opened up even more! The only downside was that there was Poodle Dog Bush (PDB) everywhere. PDB gives off a scent like pot and if touched irritates the skin worse than poison oak or poison ivy. In other words, it’s a bad mother *ucker that you want to avoid at all costs. Good thing we were down wind a lot and would get a whiff before we came upon it. Bedazzled had unfortunately changed to shorts at lunch and was on high alert jumping at anything green.

PDB on either side of the trail.

We hiked about 4 miles after our siesta and set up camp on top of a ridge with almost 360 degree views. Bedazzled and I are cowboy camping so I hope the wind doesn’t pick up too much. There is some windbreak thanks to the vegetation.

It is starting to get hot again, and we will be at lower elevations so things are bound to get interesting. Night hiking may need to be put on the table before much longer.

Goodnight everyone or as Bedazzled would say, “gutten nacht.”

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