In nearly every photo of the PCT, there is water, green plants, rugged terrain. Until this point, those photos are a myth. I live in the desert and love it, but today, finally, I am camped on a bed of pine needles, have my bear can stowed in a real bear box, and am listening to a nice, wide, shallow creek while I watch the expansive meadow in front of me for wildlife. My clothes, washed in river water, are hanging dry above me. It takes seconds, not minutes, to fill my gallon ziploc bag with water for sterilizing. This was worth the walk.
My day was spent hiking with Pit Stop and Navigator over surprisingly deep sand littered with rough-edged boulders. Jokes throught the day centered on the beach which was missing its ocean. In a meadow below us, early in the day, I saw a distant black shape moving around near a rock. I really miss my damned binoculars. We all had knee pain from the downhill, rocky sand; additionally, there was a sharp shooting pain in my right hip for the last couple of miles to Rock Creek. Upon stopping here, all my pain evaporated into elation at dipping my dirty, wrecked feet and legs into cold rushing water.
Tomorrow will be my last day hiking with these two St. George miscreants, since they plan to take the detour ip Whitney. I love hiking alone, but their companionship was a great motivation for me to push through the altitude. They've certainly convinced me that we will all be hiking together after this thing is done, exploring Utah, Arizona and Nevada and finding microbrews along the way.
Note: three whitetail does just before dusk