Off-trail PCT CA Section C

Nov. 22: A Late Exit

Despite my late night, I still managed to at least get up at an early enough hour that I thought I could get to the trail by noon. I cut the oversize plastic covers off the aglets of my new laces, installed them on my boots, tied the excess lace around my ankles, and went out for some breakfast.

The nearest diner serving breakfast was only a few blocks away at Lumberjack Cafe. But I made the mistake of aiming for one of the few tables on the front patio instead of ordering take-out and wound up losing an hour to sitting in a chair in the parking lot waiting for one to open up. By the time I had eaten and paid it was already 10:20.

My next stop was a convenience store just under a mile further down the road to get a razor to take care of my beard that was getting annoying because before it became impossible.

By the time I ran back to the motel, it was nearly 11am, check-out time, so 8 asked the office for more time and got a thirty minute extension.

This was enough time to at least shave, get my hiking clothes on, repack my other clothes, and get all my things out the door, but not enough to repack my food or finish uploading my videos. And a maid peeked in while I was doing all that, eager to start cleaning already. I carried everything downstairs and did the food packing outside the laundry room while my phone topped itself off inside.

As soon as my phone hit 100%, I started walking out of town the same way I came in, passed by a troop of dirt bikes as soon as I entered the closed part of Van Dusen Canyon Road. It was probably 2pm by the time I got to the trail. I had to stop there to refill my water from the creek because I had forgotten, in my haste, to fill it in the motel bathroom.

Finally, though, I could start putting in some miles. It was only a few hours until dark, though, so it would have to be a nero day.

The sun was setting as I came down a series of switchbacks off of Gold Mountain and it was pretty much full dark by the time I turned off the trail into Doble Springs Trail Camp, another little established campsite with all the amenities, similar in design to Little Bear Springs Camp, except the water was actually flowing at this one.

I managed to get my bedtime ritual done reasonably early this time, making it possible to have an early start the following morning.

Total distance: 12 miles

Trail progress: 7 miles

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