Friday, August 31, 2012

Day 132: Three Corner Rock Ridge to Panther Creek

Tiny fingers of sun stretched over the east ridge through the trees to our camp. We packed up, grateful that we would be hiking into the sun on the warmer east side of the ridge.

We had not hiked far when we realized our water supplies were low. Despite the fact that the next creek was several miles down the trail, we pressed on rather than adding mileage by hiking off trail to a nearby spring. A few miles later we were grateful to find two bottles of Gatorade in a cache of trail magic left for PCT hikers ... Not to mention Reese's peanut butter cups!

Reaching a road crossing, we hit our first "snag" of the day. Brightly colored ribbon blocked the trail. Unaware of a PCT closure in the area, I checked my cached PCTA trail closure web page. Sure enough, it listed an old trail closure due to a damaged bridge at Snag Creek. But, looking around, it seemed the detour was no longer in effect. Signs no longer marked the reroute. Assuming the creek was now passable even if the bridge remained damaged, we continued down the trail.

The Snag Creek bridge was badly damaged. Both log supports were cracked and several of the flat wooden cross planks were smashed. Cautiously at first, I stepped one tentative foot, then another, onto the bridge. It held.

Continuing down the trail, we met two runners carrying light water packs and rolls of pink and orange ribbon. Not far up the trail a pink ribbon tied to the tree declared "14 miles."  The numbers continued to count down until we reached Panther Creek, our destination for the evening and the start of the PCT Bunker to Bonneville 50k ultra trail run the next day. As I headed to bed that night I wondered how tomorrow's PCT hikers would react to hundreds of runners heading the opposite direction down the narrow trail and was glad we had completed that section today.

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