June 30, 2016 - I think that was my longest mileage day so far on the PCT. It started off with hiking around Aloha Lake which was nice but was pretty rocky so made for slow moving. Then went past a few more lake before making the climb up to Dicks Pass.
The hike up wasn’t too bad but like always the hike down from the pass is always the worst because of steep snow to hike on. Lost the trail a few times but I knew I was heading down to the lake so I slowly made it down the rocks and snow. At one point I got really off trail and got to some points of where I wasn’t able to go down any further as it was too steep so I would have to backtrack and find a safer way down. Doing all that backtracking made for a slow morning.
Once at the bottom it was easy hiking all the way to Richardson Lake where I planned to have my lunch break. Right before I got to the lake I came across a rattlesnake, the first one I had seen since the desert so it scared me pretty good as I didn't expect to see one. Once at the lake I found a nice shady spot to rest for the afternoon. When I arrived I came across several people swimming. I talked with a guy heading south and he told me that there would be a good camping spot on the ridge about 2 miles past the Rim Trail Junction. My plan was to stop at the trail junction for the night because my map didn’t show any camping on the ridge but I thought I would get a much better view from the ridge than at the junction so I thought it might be worth it.
I had 11 miles to the junction with 3.5 miles downhill followed by 3.5 uphill then another 2 miles down with the last 2 up. It was all in the woods with good trail to hike on so I made good time only no views until I started the last uphill. At that point I filled up on water since it was the last water for awhile. I also prepared my food by letting it soak and planned to eat it when I arrived at camp.
I got to the junction and saw the bugs were bad so I decided to gamble on that camping spot on the ridge. It was a nice hike but I kept getting worried if there would be a spot because there was nothing but ridge line for miles. Finally after 2.5 miles I found this little spot next to pile of rocks so I pitched my tent and ate dinner as the sun was starting to set, very red sky and hazy makes me think there maybe a fire out there. Hiking those extra miles were worth it as I wouldn’t have had this sunset back in the woods. However, I would have had more room to camp as this spot didn’t offer much in room.