PCT Day 97 – Salvation Spring

21.8 miles, near 2119.2

• Woke up and got coffee from the lounge. I skipped breakfast while everyone else indulged the buffet for a second time. Had a few slices of leftover cold pizza.

• It was a cool and foggy day, we leapfrogged with day hikers as we hiked north on the timberline trail.

• I took the wrong path down a sand dune and into the forest, following scant tracks and realizing how many people took this wrong turn just like me and had to double back. I bushwhacked back up, sweating and cursing at myself, just because I didn’t want to cut a switchback down like everyone else, and then missing some helpful stick signs on the ground telling me which way to go.

• Caught up with my group at the tail end of their lunch, chatting briefly before they set off again. Navigated some confusing rock fields and found a way across a raging glacial stream on logs with a rope.

• Crossed paths with a burly southbounder in a kilt, who said he recognized me from the Mexican restaurant in Wrightwood (62 days ago, which feels like 2 lifetimes). I don’t remember any other hikers there, but I guess I’m memorable.

• Finally made it to camp, close to sunset, and a spot for 1 more tent. My buds saved me a beer, cooling off in the spring. This is the last night before town, so we’re eating all the food and drinking all the wine so our packs are lighter tomorrow.

• Bugs aren’t too bad, we sat out listening to music and talking. Nice having the place to ourselves. Yardsale set up her tent, but cowboy camped with some of the boys.

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