Sunday, July 17, 2022
Start: campsite in a small grove of live trees in the burn area, 1 mile south of Andesite Spring
End: Bucks Lake
Elevation gain/loss: 6877/’7802′
I was up at 5:30 and out by 6am, after a shitty night of sleep. I was woken up at 1:30am by multiple deer coming closer and closer to my tent. I had to yell and shine light on them to get them to back up, and it took more than 30 minutes for them to go away. And it turns out milipedes make a lot of noise on plastic, which didn’t help me sleep.
I passed by Belden around 10am; they were closed until 11am so I pushed on. The climb out was brutal. For the PCT, it was steep and relentless – and completely unshaded due to the burn. I quickly saturated my clothing with sweat, with sweat dripping off my shirt and shorts. I ran out of water a mile away from the next water source even while I had been rationing, but I yogi’d a liter from a weekend backpacker which made a huge difference.
I climbed without any shade for hours, until I topped out around 5pm. Thankfully, I then was able to hike through some unburned areas. I believe as of tomorrow, I should be on unburned trail going forward.
I made it to the road walk into Bucks Lake by 6:15pm. I passed by one of the two lake “resorts”/restaurants, based on a better menu and more positive reviews of the 2nd one. Unfortunately, it turned out that the 2nd one was closed. But by that point, I preferred to get a little bit of time at the campground, so I headed over and arrived by 7:30pm.
I set up my tent, charged my phone, ate dinner, drank a lot of water, and chatted with a few other hikers who were already set up here. I’m excited to be heading towards the end of the burn area; shade and safe tenting areas are so critical.