Date: 14 Aug 2017 0917PM
Location: Camping near 44.1063, -121.7286
Today's Miles: (alternate route - mileage to come)
Total Miles: (alternate route - mileage to come)
After last night's quick decision I woke up to a new feeling: I will no longer be on the PCT. I'd still be walking in a southernly direction, but I wouldn't have a guidebook to tell me what to expect ahead.
It's a good feeling really, experiencing the unknown. I can't usually say that in my life, there's just something about being alone in the wilderness that suits me.
Woke and packed. Dry camped last night and with no idea where I'd find water next I ate a pop tart and some cookies for breakfast instead of my usual cold oatmeal smoothie.
As I walked I found my way, checking my map frequently to make sure I was heading in the correct direction. Map didn't have much information on it, just the general location of trail junctions.
Just like when I picked up that air rifle last winter for the first time since I left the military, navigating through the wilderness was comforting. A skill I honed well while in the military is comforting to me when applied once more.
Found a horse camp along the trail early in the day. A kind woman offered me some water after I told her I was just going to filter the non-potable water the horses were drinking. Most of the people were packing up their belongings in fear of the fires.
Continued walking for a few hours and bumped into a few women out for a short day hike. They asked me twenty questions rapid-fire like, barely giving me time to answer. It wasn't a problem at all, I actually enjoy educating people about the trail.
Walked for most of the day through a previously burned area and didn't stop until I was on the other end of it. Skipped lunch and ended up eating an early dinner, something I do when I'm not sure where in going to end up for the night. It's easier to eat before finding camp, the food gives you energy to keep on hiking and removing a chore from the end of the day.
Should make it back to he PCT sometime tomorrow, with the local fires behind me.
Camping above 7,000 feet again - I like it up here. The air is cold, it's very quiet, and the views are fantastic. Tonight I watched the sun set over the sisters, with a fire burning its way through the trees in the distance.