Mileage: 10.8 miles (39%)
Start/End: Page Meadow/PCT-Blackwood Creek
Highlights: Top-of-the-world view from Twin Peak
I wandered around and froze for two hours. That down jacket sure would be worth the extra bulk now, I thought. I wore a pair of socks on each hand and a bandana under my straw hat. All the shirts I was carrying, and both shorts and pants too. The humidity was really helping the cold penetrate. Page Meadow is poorly signed and I wandered for an hour between two different confusing intersections. Maybe it would have been easier in the daylight. I pursued a porcupine round and round goading him to pose for a picture, though he only cared to show me his backside most of the time.
At 6:05 I was welcomed to my day’s low point by a single howling coyote. His cries echoed up and then back down Ward Canyon, where, by the way, Ward Creek flows steadily, meaning I really didn’t need to carry that extra gallon of water. I forced myself to chug it, skirting carefully the painful line of brain freeze. My pack was now 20% lighter than the night before. At the base of Twin Peaks, too, plenty of water flows.
The hike out of the canyon is grueling but it wasn’t until 9:05 that I was reminded what it was like to be hot. I took off two of my shirts and slowed down enough to capture a photo of the strange fluorescent green parasite that plagues the pines here from the waste up:
By 10:30 am I had put in 6 miles for the day and stopped to nap off the spur to Twin Peaks. I heated a can of baked beans and I relaced my shoes because Salomon’s chordlocks always wear out. Admittedly, I’ve owned 8 pairs of these and I’ve put every pair through hell and they’ve held up better than anything else, but still, if the lacelocks are going to wear out everytime, shouldn’t new ones be included?
I woke up and didn’t feel like hiking. I downloaded a couple of my favorite albums emailed friends and wrote this. I snacked on cold baby carrots and crispy Triscuits and laid in the sun. After that night, I need a break.
I finished my Triscuits, packed, and climbed to the summit of Twin Peak for a sunset on high, then descended to join the PCT headed south. I found plenty of water on the trail, even mud, which was a pleasant surprise given how dry it’s been, and camped on one of the forks of Blackwood Creek. It was plenty warm, and not humid, way up here at 8,200′.