Date: 19 Jul 2017 0902PM
Location: Camping near mile 2549.9
Today's Miles: 19.2
Total Miles: 100.2
Woke up pretty late today, was beat last night. Didn't get out of camp until around 0830, but I wasn't in a rush. Ranger walked past my campsite after I'd packed up, he didn't see me since I was a good 30m off trail.
Day was a long one, 5,000+ feet of climbing over twenty miles.
The trees around this part of the world are huge - makes me think of that scene in Parks and Recreation where Ben stops suddenly and says "I'm on Endor!". Interestingly enough, I can already see the landscape subtly changing each day.
First ford of the trip, managed to avoid it by climbing on a pretty sketchy log that had fallen across the stream. Log sloped upwards at the end, wasn't expecting that. Water was moving way too fast and deep to safely get across, glad the log was there (I guess!).
Pushed on to a camp atop the day's climb. After making pretty good mileage the past few days, I bumped my food planning mileage per day to around 17.5. Ran into someone heading north that said there was some troublesome snow up ahead a bit further south, and that it slowed her down pretty good. Using the time I have in good terrain conditions to sock away a few extra miles for when I get slowed down so I don't run out of food.
Food is always tricky, and most definitely the heaviest thing I carry. Everyone has a different method of estimating how much food to bring. I typically lowball my mileage estimates so I have a buffer, but since my only long distance hiking experience is out east it'll take a little time to adjust.
Haven't been able to indulge myself and watch a little of the TV I have stored on my phone, usually because I'm just too tired at the end of the day to enjoy it. Unlike the AT, the PCT has me walking from the moment I step foot on the trail until dusk. This is mainly because of the shorter window southbound hikers have to make it through the various mountain ranges before snow falls, but other factors are at play as well.
Being out here on the trail is hard, but not in the way you might think. The daily grind of hiking all day inherently has its own rewards. The feeling of doing an honest day's physical labor, and doing it well is a poor substitute for sound mental health, but it's a start.
It's difficult for me, being away from my wife and our home. The sense of responsibility I feel towards looking after her and making sure she has everything she needs is overwhelming at times.
She is an amazing, strong woman.
Nothing in life makes me feel *better*, but there are many things that help me feel less worse, at least for a short period of time. Hiking keeps me alive, but that's not good enough. I hike in hope that being out here helps me progress towards becoming a healthier person overall.