May 20, 2021. Miles 177 to 190. 4th rookie mistake, cool detour to Tahquitz watchtower, and my hardest day yet even though only 13 trail miles

So the day started with the knowledge I screwed up my filter by letting it freeze (I like to camel up before I start the day). But I had my backup, so my confidence was still high. Of course I almost immediately got off trail, but this time only cost about .2 of a mile and no real elevation

I dropped my pack at the Tahquitz junction, started the half mile 300 feet elevation gain hike and I saw my first snow.

The views from the Lookout were perfect and 360 degrees. I don’t regret not trying Tyne summit at San Jacinto at all, especially with how hard that days 13 miles turned out to be

My photos do not do this area justice at all

The trail goes up and down all day, with 3 big climbs and 2 small climbs at the end when you are exhausted. This was the closest I had to a “boink” all trip. I just seemed slow all day. Of course the 9k elevation has something to do with it.

The junction at mile 179 was cool. Lots of great trail intersect there, and I met my first rangers who sadly had to send people away if they didn’t have permits. The winds had died down (Rose as always was right) and the trail was good.

Just writing this reminds me of the troubles I had that day, so I will emit some of the few photos I took, but will include a couple.

This is Deer Springs at mile 186. Nice slow flow, but a river is up ahead in .6 so I continue on.

Great water at the hot time of the day, If I was not already exhausted I would have played there a while. Thankfully, this water source was at about 9k, so I could fill up 6 liters for the 20 mile water carry required. Yes, 20 miles. WOW!

Although only about 4.5 miles to the Fuller Ridge Campground, it was hard. It had 2 minor climbs and 2 nonexistent climbs that just wiped me out. Thank god no high winds, and no snow at all

I arrived at the camp semi late and tired. It had a couple picnic tables, but not the promised toilet. I set up camp, and trail angle Amy gave me the best tasting beer I have ever had.

Now I had my new dread. A 15 mile downhill to the next water, and a 20 mile day to get to the end of section B. It was kinda cold, but I slept ok. I planned on starting before 6 to avoid as much of the heat as possible. 3 different PCT campers arrived after me and left before me.

I had been without cell service before the rock slide, and suspected Rose wanted updates, but had no way to contact her till this campground.

Published by tomconnolly3

Former 270 pound hiking noob is attempting to hike the PCT starting April 8!

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