July 29th
Raynolds Pass(1931.1)-Spring before S Fork Odell Creek (1,964)
Campsite Elevation: 8,218ft
Today was a fun day that went by somewhat quickly. We hiked all day with Sweet As and Dain who camped with us last night. It ended up thundering and raining around 1am last night for 30mins or more, so we were glad that we had hiked a bit further to a more protected area. We all woke up to wet tents and sleeping bags due to condensation, but it wasn’t bad. We would just need to lay our stuff out at lunch to dry and that is always a pain. We started hiking by 6:45am and had a couple miles of cross country through tall wet grass before hitting a road. When we hit the dirt road for a few miles, it was easy cruising and that was nice.

I had great fast Internet again and was able to get lots done while walking the road. I got my blogs posted and reordered the electronics that I had hoped to get in Yellowstone, which were probably stolen by a random person who signed for the original package. Good news is that I was able to call Amazon and get a refund for the order and reorder the things. In about a week I will be in another town to get the order and until then I will be fine. The order was for unnecessary electronics that I don’t need to have right away…a replacement USB for charging my MP3 player that I lost in Yellowstone, a mini iHome speaker for playing books and music out loud (especially good for warning bears), and most importantly, a new USB cord for my iPhone. I’ve been wearing that cord thin with how much I have it exposed and stretched while charging and hiking with my solar charger. This will be the second replacement of that USB due to wear and tear during the hike. I just hopes it holds out another week since it is being very temperamental and only charging during lunch when I can set it at the right angle and keep it still. That is giving me limited charging and less usage while I have strong signal, so that’s annoying.
I’ve mentioned that we are seeing many southbounders and we saw three more today now that we passed the point where many hikers have the option to take a shorter road walk to save two days of hiking. Lots of the southbounders are taking that route for some reason, but most northbounders have had enough road walking and like the idea of getting back up on the Divide. We ran into my friend Alex/Stag who I know from Portland and hiked the PCT the same year as me and we hiked some together. We took a picture of the four of us from PCT Class of 2011.

Time flew by with trail in the woods and up on the divide that wound all around and up and down. It was not flat hiking, but our bodies were entertained by the break in the monotony. Bloodbath loved having two guys to hike with and the three of them led the way and chatted most of the day.

After lunch, Cherry Picker reappeared after some side trips he had taken around Yellowstone making our group six. Luckily, he had a battery with extra charge and I was able to fully charge my iPhone, yay! We had more hiking with great views and wildflowers. Here is everyone at our last water source before a 13mi gap.

We all decided to not carry camp water and push to the spring in 13mi so we could just camp at water. Well, in our conversation with Alex, he warned us about a gap coming up in water and that a spring was dry. We thought it was in a further section and somehow none of us even thought he meant this spring…uh-oh…
Towards the end of the day, the late afternoon clouds began to gather and we heard rumblings in the distance and saw lightning that we thankfully were able to dodge. We have been very fortunate with the rain lately.

We saw two more solo southbounders in the late afternoon that were very friendly. One was Blue Foot and the other was Smiles. I loved Smiles! A fully enthused woman from Switzerland who I had had some online interaction with before the hike. We have a mutual friend an it was great to meet her in person. She has such a great energy and the perfect trail name!

Smiles was low on water and we were near our (dry) spring, so Rampage and I have her our extra water…well, when we got to the spring, we realized it was the one Alex tried to warn us about and that all there was were muddy puddles. It was 7:30pm and we were tired and had seen some water a half mile up or so, so I wanted to hike back to that. Cherry Picker, Bloodbath, and Rampage came with me, but we had been cross country in tall brush and grass and couldn’t find the water…time and energy wasted as we probably hiked an extra half mile each way looking for it. We eventually went back and this was our swampy camp water.

We all ate in the tall grass away from camp and hung our food.

There have been many flashes if lightning, but no rain or thunder just yet. Hoping for a quiet night of good sleep!

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