Pacific Crest Trail

An appetizer of things to come

Day 46

As per usual, I got up before the sun, but today it was unusually dark because the moon wasn’t up. Living in cities it is easy to forget how much light it really makes. As a result the stars were extraordinarily bright. It was also quite cold but I slept well (wearing two pairs of long johns). I couldn’t help thinking a bit about bears while trying to fall asleep, though.

I took my cell phone with me as I went out to recover the bear canister that I placed yesterday just in the marginal fraction of a probability that I would get lost in the dark and not be able to find neither my tent or the trail. It was there exactly as I had left it, so no bears had been playing with it.

Today was probably the first real taste of the Sierras with yesterday being more of a transitional day leaving the desert behind. The trail slowly gained additional height climbing bringing us into the altitude where high altitude pines are almost the sole living thing you see. I have become quite fascinated by these threes they grow so slowly and take equally long to wither away so you can see them slowly losing their cortex and spurting new small twigs even though the main trunk is falling slowly apart. They grow in a highly irregular and twisting manner and prosper with their imperfections where no other plants do.

The landscape became gradually more rugged and white, and at times there were rock formations that looked like someone had places giant bricks in the landscape a long time ago leaving them to the harsh wind and weather. A few mountain tops also occasionally peaked out in the horizon without ever properly revealing themselves.

In other words, the landscape was surely turning into something new and exiting.

When I finally reach my intended camp site, I had done 27 miles and was therefore disappointed to find how exposed it was to the wind. The next camp site was next to a lake incurring a risk of condensation problems, so I picked my poison and stuck with the wind. I was somewhat afraid that the wind would pick up further and potentially even ripping my tent apart, though it is supposedly a very resilient one. Luckily, however, the wind eventually died down as it has often done later in the evening. The campsite was at 3300 meters (11099 feet), which is the highest I have ever camped by a large margin. There was eventually a small patch of residual snow from the winter close by.

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