Jacob Leistra / "Game Boy" / PCT 2019

Day 15: Crossing Into Section C

Mile 209.5 -> Mile 232.1

It was (finally) time to get back on trail. We took a Lyft back to the trailhead, dropped off some food and supplies we no longer needed in the hiker box, and got going.

The majority of the day was what I imagined the desert would be. This made sense, because we were starting out around 1300 ft., so we wouldn’t be seeing any snow or ice like on the surrounding peaks. Instead we spent much of the day climbing up a dry and sunny incline surrounded by sage brush, cacti, and wind turbines.

Thankfully we had zero wind, save for a breeze or two. A day or so back we laughed about how I had quickly grown to hate wind. (And for good reason! You can’t pitch your shelter, you can’t stay warm, dust gets everywhere, it’s loud and hard to sleep in, etc.) I joked that this would probably be my super villain origin story: all my nights of windy camping would force me into an insane hatred of wind, so I would invent a device to suck all the air out of the atmosphere. No air = no wind! Call me Dr. Vacuum or something like that.

Well, back to yesterday. There was no wind all day and it was glorious. Once we got about 10 miles, we started to zig zag across the sandy Whitewater River, and later Mission Creek. Another hiker mentioned this section was badly affected by flooding, and we quickly so how. The trail skirted the creek over and over, but many crossings were heavily eroded. For some miles we were following other hikers’ footsteps through bushwhacked trees and plants. We followed cairns to refund the trail, and walked across logs, rocks, and debris to cross the creek a dozen or so times. In some cases we waded the creek just to find out we were following the wrong footsteps.

It was a long, fun day with excellent weather. It reminded me of Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Parks. This was the least established part of the PCT this far, and I loved it.

Main Photo: The view of the highpoint of our day near the Whitewater Preserve on May 24.