Day 2 April 26
Boulder Oaks to Pioneer Mail
It’s colder than a well digger’s ass!
Today was one of the hardest days I’ve ever had on this trail. Last night’s storm started around 11 pm. Volatile wind mixed with hard rain, cold temperature, and poor tent placement kept me awake all night. I had to fix my shelter three times because it collapsed. The fourth time it collapsed at 5:44 am, so I decided to get up and hike.
Mother Nature let me gather my things and put on my rain jacket before letting hell break loose.
As I hiked up into the mountains already damp from the previous night, it occurred to me that I should have hid out in the privy at Boulder Oaks instead of pushing on. But my desire to reach Laguna and a hot meal was stronger.
For 16 miles it rained, sleet, and snowed. The sleet stung my face and I felt humbled. The coldness of my toes and fingers indicated to me that if I stopped at all, I’d quickly become hypothermic. So I didn’t. And I ran the downhills. I got to Laguna around 11 am looking like a sad wet cat.
Breakfast, lunch, and two beers later I regained my strength. Before heading out, I paid Dave Super a visit and managed to knock over one of his gear shelves. Party foul! What an awesome store! It’s packed floor to ceiling with thru hiker stuff.
The wind tossed me around the last 10 miles. I shook my fist “Haven’t you seen I’ve had enough Mother Nature!” She has no mercy on me.
Drying out my sleeping bag in the cold wind proved futile and so I was in for another sleepless night. Every two hours I woke up to perform sleeping bag aerobics while the wind continued to pummel the side of my shelter. While the stars hid behind clouds of sand, I thought about hiding in the privy. But that stench! I couldn’t do it.
Such a difficult day in the desert! This PCT ain’t no Sunday walk in the park.