Day 23 – “I’ll Raise…”

Buckthorn Camp to Trail Camp
1.4 Mile Detour, Mile 394 – Mile 420.6

Buckthorn Creek in morning

Sometimes when you are playing poker and you find yourself in a bad spot, the only thing to do is raise the bet. So too with hiking I suppose.

Trail flowers

My plan for the day was to finish the endangered species detour and knock out a 10×10 which would land me at a picnic area on Highway 2. I was betting that I’d be able to take a break and get the cellular coverage I lacked last night.

Pleasant but no views

The morning walk through Pleasant View Ridge was, um, pleasant enough but I’m not sure where they were hiding those views. I confined myself to small scale spectacles.

Red eruptions through the pine straw

The day was overcast but I arrived at the picnic area in high spirits only to be disappointed. I was able to dump some trash (never pass up a trash can) but posting was a no go. Nothing to do but keep going.

Entering the fours

The trail entered a fire damaged area of low, labyrinthine hills. The walking became quite tedious and monotonous as the trail snaked through the scrub. I’m pretty sure I walked every point of the compass disconsolate and unable to perceive any progress. I did run across a guy who was out doing a 5 day hiking fast, limiting himself to only water and electrolytes. Um, seems like a spectacularly bad idea to me.

What’s better than 10×10?

To break out of my funk, I raised the stakes setting myself the goal of 20×2. Unbeknownst to me, the last part of the 20 included about 2000 feet of elevation gain but by that point I was determined.

Approaching the promised land

The payoff for my achievement was a sweeping view and 3 bars on my phone. I removed my shoes and socks and stretched out on a large rock for an extended break. I then set my sights on the Mill Creek Fire Station another 6 miles ahead as a good stopping spot. They did have a spigot with cold water but camping there would have been under power lines, next to a noisy highway, and no phone service.

Sunset camp

Time to reraise! Though ready to stop, I girded myself for another 2.5 miles of climbing in hopes the elevation would deliver silence , solitude, and service. Ring the bell, we have a winner! I found a terrific spot that gave me all three with a colorful sunset thrown in to sweeten the pot. I wasn’t planning on doing 28 miles today but I am glad I raised.

Bonus sunset

10 Replies to “Day 23 – “I’ll Raise…””

  1. Hi 🙂
    Rob and Cheryl told me tonight there are two 25 year old Wenatchee women thru hiking together. Started 5/4 at the Mexico border. Maybe you’ll run into them. Maybe you have ? I read about them in the Wenatchee World newspaper. They seem to have a similar schedule/mile goal per day you have. The PCT trail community must be fascinating. Are there places along the way to log yourself in ?
    You are doing great blogging btw!!! what can’t AppleJack do??
    Hugs from us goils 🙂


    1. Ha, very cool. I’ll be on the lookout but nobody from Wenatchee as yet. There are trail registers in the towns but you have to know trail names usually. Another run in today with FlowerMan and Catweazle who left Wrightwood on Monday I think. Ciao JoJo


  2. Wow, you da man! You are as good at hiking as you are at poker! I remember those “big” stakes games, and you always seemed to win from my memory! Sleep well, you are in reach of the KOA tomorrow! Amazing!


  3. And I really liked seeing the pic of the solar charger at work 🙂 Impressive. Reminder me of the water purifier model you are using, I forgot.


    1. Thanks my brother! The filter I use is called a Sawyer Mini. Also, there’s a linked page here that lists all my gear.


      1. I did look to get your gear list earlier… and the link is broken, no worries. Safe travels today in getting another 10 by 10.


  4. Really enjoying your blogs. Congrats on doing 28 miles, that’s awesome. We have been in Tahoe CA and other high places in Oregon trying to hike sections of the PCT. Alas, we’re too early this year and are already planning a return trip. The Three Sisters Wilderness is inaccessible right now. But we are seeing some spectacular snowmelt waterfalls…the trade off. Love your pics too. Enjoy!


  5. Sunset was a good “Adios” to the last day of May. Glad you found a quiet place to camp. Sometimes it sounds like the trail is crowded but other times your pictures are of complete solitude.


    1. I like that Heidi, adios Mayo. There does not appear to be a pattern regarding people on the trail. Today for example I didn’t see anybody until after noon.


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