Day 52

PCT Diary :: Day 52 – August 23, 2019

‘Pancakes and switchbacks’ ⁣

Seiad Valley is home to the infamous PCT pancake challenge. Participants are to eat 5 pounds of pancakes in under 2 hours. The waitress tells us in 10 years only 4 people have succeeded. Yet Dejure wants to enter. ⁣

A few of us cramp around a white plastic cafe table and order our breakfasts: ice cream milk shakes, eggs, waffles. I go for a veggie omelette and sourdough toast. The cafe is kitch and homely. Our orders come – good hiker sized portions. My food is decent but I can’t finish. ⁣

Meanwhile Dejure is labouring under the largest stack of pancakes I’ve seen in my life.⁣

Dejure and pancakes

He looks sick but keeps pushing on. We joke and encourage him but I can’t see any pleasure in the challenge. ⁣

By 9:30 I need to leave. It’s late to hike. They have 2 hours to complete the challenge but they can also walk faster than me. ⁣

Rainbow in the forest

My plan is to walk about 21 miles. Less than normal but today there’s over 6000 foot of elevation. ⁣

The hill feels relentless. Switch back after switchback. For every 2 steps of elevation there’s one of decline. I long for the honesty of a true steep path and think of the hill climbs back home. Bring me quick suffering rather than this exhausting tease. ⁣

The day is hot, 100 degrees, and for the first time in these 52 days I feel chaffing on my inner thighs and where my pack rubs on my lower back. Maybe running with my pack yesterday wasn’t such a good idea. ⁣

But despite these hardships grace walks with me. ⁣

On the trail

She’s there in the cold river water i drink from. She’s in the respite of the forest shade. she’s in the breath of wind. She’s even in the hobbit-tree chair I have my lunch on. ⁣

Before night fall I arrive at camp, there’s a canopy of trees yet it’s open enough to watch the sky burn as sun sets. Deer roam unperturbed by my presence. ⁣

Dejure and some of the others come later – in time to witness the beauty. The whole camp glows in the fading sun’s light.⁣

Sunset at camp

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