Day 26: It Sometimes Rains in California

26 April 2021
Sulphur Springs Trail Camp to Road FS 4N33
PCT Mile 406.6 to 431.9

Well, it rained for about 5 hours last night. I think some of it was freezing rain because it was cold and the outside of my tent was icy this morning.

I got a late start but I was on trail by 6:30am.

Old road from Sulphur Springs
Frémont’s phacelia
A wet and green morning
Raindrops on a tunnel spider web

One difficulty today: rain was still on all the bushes, and the trail needs maintenance in this section. So I was literally swimming in bushes.

I started out in my wind pants, but that was a mistake – the wetted out quickly and made a nice path for water to fill my shoes. Yuck!

I took off my pants, wrung them out, and proceeded in my short-shorts, which was much better, because my legs dried more quickly and my feet also started to dry out.

Did I mention it was still in the 30s?

Walking in and out of the clouds
Swimming in bushes

It could have been worse – the trail climbs over Mount Pacifico where some other hikers camped last night. As I passed through mid-morning, wind was blowing icicles down on my head.

Icicle!
Winter wonderland
View to the north
Frozen tree
Frozen bush

I was happy to climb down out of the wind, where I saw my first snow plant of the trail!

Snow plant
Wolf lichen
Finally some sun!

This is a very dry section, so fire stations in the passes often let hikers fill up from the water they use to fight fires. It’s not potable, so we have to treat it just like water from a natural source.

There was a backlog at the Mill Creek Station due to a broken faucet. The water just shot out the side in a tiny stream, so it took forever to fill our bottles. It was windy and cold up there and the other hikers saw me in my short-shorts and yelled “put some pants on JimmyJam!”

Natural water source
The line for water
More beautiful views
I think some hikers are at mile 420 every day….
Zigzag larkspur
Sierra gooseberry
Chicken of the woods
Sugar pine

My last climb was over Mount Gleason. It was late afternoon, so getting cold again, but at least I was losing elevation on my way to the next water source where I hoped to camp.

Down into the clouds

Knock Knock and Puma were already camped on the road near the water source, so I chatted with them and then headed up the road about 500 feet to camp where I could call Half Cookie.

Camping on the road

I know this road is closed, but I still worry some 4×4 is going to come crashing down on me. It’s an irrational worry, but oh well.

As I write this, it is starting to rain again! At least I am warm and cozy in my tent. 🙂

Today’s Hike-U:

Unpredictable Weather
How crazy am I?
I thought this hike would be hot
Instead I’m freezing!

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